Birthday Disaster

Since the Island King's birthday is the day before mine we always have a 2 day birthday celebration.

Except that he never actually cares what we do and as long as I'm happy he's happy so I do most of the planning.

I really wanted to spend the weekend at Tower Camp but he had to work all day Friday and then do a sunset shoot Friday night so we planned on leaving for Tower Camp Saturday morning.

Friday afternoon I went to Ft Walton to pick up some Shockwave Exploding Targets so I could blow something up on my birthday and of course they were completely out.

Crud. I guess I'll have to improvise. Firecrackers, shotguns – I knew I could figure something out.

I got home Friday afternoon to not one but three emergency phone calls from clients needing photo shoots done – on Satuday.


Everything stops for George Washington and Martin Luther King's birthday so why can't things stop for mine?

I mentioned that to the kids who told me that Washington and King were important, significant people – thus their birthdays should be celebrated.

I'm important and significant – hell, I'm the matriarch of this crazy town, circus family – and let me tell you, running my family is not for the faint of heart.

I was bummed about not getting to spend the weekend having fun but I talked to the Island King and we decided to use a gift card to our favorite restaurant we got a while back so when he got home we went to eat our birthday dinner.

Because we had the gift card I decided to get whatever we wanted – knowing that if we went over budget it wouldn't cost much out of our pocket – so we could pig out in a thrifty manner.

We get to the restaurant and sit down in our usual spot (like I said, we go there often) and the waitress never shows up.

The restaurant was almost empty so I'm not sure what the problem was but the Island King had to go and find her EVERY time we needed something.

When it was time to order I ordered the most expensive steak on the menu and added lobster sauce to top it.

The first thing the waitress says is “We're out of the lobster.”

Well of course they are.

I ordered the steak anyway and when it arrived it was seared on the outside but the inside was still really cold. Steak Tartar kind of cold.

I sent it back and the second time it comes out, it's warm, but bleeding out all over the plate.

I've had steak here often and it always comes out the way I ordered it so I was really surprised they were having so much trouble making a medium rare steak. Or even medium for that matter.

I sent it back for the 3rd time – and it returns, half it's original size – with one half bleeding and the other half shoe leather.

How do you even do that?

The manager shows up and we tell him the story, including the fact that it is both of our birthdays and we show him the half cooked/half raw steak.

And he offers me a free brownie.

Really? Do I look like a 3 year old to you? A free brownie is not a substitute for an expensive steak.

He was a young guy who sank down into a chair, put his head in his hands and told this was the worst day ever.

His best cook quit in the middle of the afternoon and they have a new broiler and he was the only one who knew how to use it. The manager had been dealing with the fact that 90% of the food that day had to be sent back to the kitchen.

We were being sympathetic and he vented for a while and seemed very nervous about the fact that spring break starts tomorrow and they can't cook anything.

He then tells me he's going into the kitchen and will personally oversee the cooking of a new steak.

He returns with the thinnest piece of meat I've ever seen and it was so well done I could barely get my knife through it.

A prime example shoe leather.

One look at my face and he agrees to comp my dinner.

Meanwhile, the waitress has not shown her face again and the Island King never gets a 2nd drink.

He had to go tell her we were ready for our bill and she brings it out. We give her the gift card and a $20 in case the card doesn't cover it and when she brings the card back she says “There is exactly $.05 cents left on the gift card but I broke the $20 so you'd have change for a tip”

Tip? You have to be kidding!

I don't tip according to the food because I know waitresses don't have any control over the kitchen but I do tip on service and considering the Island King had to go find her EVERY time we needed something (and the place was practically empty) her tip was not high on my priority list.

Her comment about having change for a tip was her undoing because we left the gift card with the $.05 on it and a note that said

“Tip: Don't make me come find you every time I need something”

The Island King grabbed the pen and wrote “I've never left here sober in my life and the fact that you never came to see if I needed a drink means you get no tip”

I've worked as a waitress and I am usually a good tipper but if you sit on your butt at the bar watching tv instead of waiting on me, the best tip I can give you is a note telling you to get off your butt and get to work.

Saturday rolled around and the Island King went off on his photo shoots so the Island Girl and I talked about going for a hike.

It was right about then I that I realized going anywhere could be dangerous. In fact, this particular day, my birthday, would be the day I'd see a bear – and the way my luck was running I'd get eaten by the bear.

Can you imagine surviving a bear attack and then waking up in the hospital to your mother saying “I told you so?”

The Island Girl and I both agreed that if anything catastrophic were to happen – today would be the day.

The phone rang and it was a client wanting to buy some stock photos.

My gallery isn't working that well so I told him I'd get the gallery up and running by that afternoon late and then he could find what he wanted to buy.

There goes any possibility of me going anywhere.

My sweet daughter tells me she'll go get sushi for us and off she goes. Not long after, the phone rang and it was her telling me they were out of spicy tuna rolls.

Of course they are. That's my favorite.

She brought home several different kinds and it was all good but some spicy tuna would have made lunch perfect.

The phone started ringing and I played secretary and worked on the gallery for the rest of the day.

I went to bed around 8 that night – which is extremely early for me but sometimes going to bed early is the best way to end a boring day.

I don't think I've had a birthday that stunk as much as this one since the year I turned 40 and spent the day putting a roof on my house and trying to keep my Dad and the Island King from killing each other while we worked.

The good news is that while my birthday wasn't a fun one, we did spend it making money – which really makes having a terrible birthday tolerable.

I think it's time to stop with the birthdays. I haven't had a great one since my 39th and my Dad is now complaining because according to his “adjusted age” he's only 12 years older than I am.

It's officially time to start celebrating birthday anniversaries instead of actual birthdays.

Besides, it would be a little embarrassing to be older than my Dad.