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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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