I am getting closer to my birthday and it makes me nostalgic. Nostalgic for dinners, travel and wines shared with friends over the years. Now, I choose a place that I want to dine and bring the cupcakes. The Goddess coined that phrase. I was expressing to her my discomfort about choosing a restaurant that I wanted to dine at and not making my friends uncomfortable due to my expensive tastes. Her solution--bring the cupcakes. I could pay for the meal and not feel bad. Remember when you celebrated your birthday at school and your mom would bring cupcakes to share with the class? Same principle and created the same result. Celebration and joy.
Years ago, when I turned 30, I celebrated in Napa. First time to visit that wine mecca and four of my friends joined me. It was incredible. Wine tasting, food exploring and meeting new friends. I had arranged dinner at Bouchon and was determined to pay for the meal. I was so thankful that my friends joined me in another city to celebrate my birthday. The least I could do was take care of the meal. Not to mention, we had to have foie gras with the meal and a few other must haves to make me happy. I don't mind spending money on food/wine/experience. At that meal, I could sense my sister tensing up about my choices. I love my sister and she chooses to spend money on different things. Dining out is not something that rates high on her list. For me, it's about the memory associated with the meal that makes it matter little what it costs.
This year, my friend, Melody, is joining me for dinner. Ironically, my birthday falls on a huge wine related festival in Santa Fe. I will be attending that, too. I found a restaurant that I felt would be suitable for the meal. A french bistro and I do like the chef. Kind, gracious man and the food is fantastic. I have not yet shared with Melody the location because I do not want to scare her off. It will be an expensive meal but one that I am prepared to take care of. I want to bring the cupcakes. I hear stories of people that go to dinner with friends and everyone chips in to pay for the birthday person. The other night, this happened to me. I joined a group of ladies to celebrate an acquaintance of mine's birthday. Two people left early and managed to pay for their respective meals. However, they did not chip in for the shared appetizers. So, my beer and entree, totaling $13 plus tax/tip, turned in to a $30 contribution to the tab. Melody also contributed $30 to the tab and we both took a hit on it. It happens and I understand that. I just don't intend to do that to my friends on my birthday. I will dine where I want and am prepared to take care of it.
I hope to visit some hot springs in the next few weeks, too. It's been too long and I miss the rejuvenation factor. I will be working, a lot, in the course of the next two weeks. I was able to secure my birthday off and the following day. I will make the most of it.
Then, two weeks after my birthday, I will be heading to the Bahamas. I cannot wait! That will be fantastic! Bahamas here I come....