Ritual Confessions

March 10, 2008

Saturday’s post — Nick’s birthday

Filed under: Uncategorized — elissakaren @ 3:33 am

Yesterday was Nick’s birthday, so I was pretty much out of commission all day. It was a very low-key birthday, compared to the ones I’ve planned in the past. A couple of years ago, while we were still in New York, I rented a car that I barely knew how to drive and generally risked our lives on the Westside Highway en route to a small, private airstrip in New Jersey. Where Nick got to fly a glider plane. Then, that evening, I took him to dinner at Caviar Russe, a stunningly elegant spot where we had what Nick claims was the best fish he’s ever eaten.

How far we have fallen. We have all been sick for many days running, and I’ve spent most of this week home with Charlotte, unable to take her anywhere but to her doctor, while fighting off my own illness. So his day this year consisted of my springing for all the boy-toy-type paraphernalia he needed to rig up the garage doors to open automatically, and watching the baby for the majority of the weekend so that he could devote himself to this project (which really did seem to make him very happy). I also got a sitter last night so that I could take him to dinner, and I rented and agreed to watch the movie of his choice, which was the two-and-a-half-hour Downfall, about Hitler’s final days in his bunker. Nick’s a World War II buff, but let’s just say that nothing could have induced me to sit through this flick on any of the other 364 days of the year. It was seemingly endless, and repetitive, and oppressively heavy, and though at least some of the characters were clearly supposed to be admirable, I was unwilling to invest in any of them because they were all nazis. Who cares if they stood up to Hitler and protected innocent German civilians? Any one of them would have snuffed out a Jew like a roach.

I realize that I haven’t mentioned where we had his birthday dinner this year. I offered to take him anywhere he wanted, and I’m afraid I can’t bring myself to confess the spot he chose. When he announced this choice, I was chagrined, and offered him several alternatives that were, if not on par with Caviar Russe, at least light-years above this particular joint. But he would not be dissuaded. I’ll only say that it’s a cheesy chain and a mutual guilty pleasure, and it was amazing to be able to order sizzling fajitas without worrying about Charlotte getting burned. And as if to counter my stance that it was hardly birthday-worthy, it seemed that every other table in the place was celebrating one… the wait staff just kept on singing.

Next year I’ll be back in charge.



  1. That’s not such a horrible birthday. It sounds like he enjoyed it anyway.

    I hope you and Charlotte are feeling better.

    Comment by Shawn W — March 10, 2008 @ 4:02 am

  2. That actually sounds pretty fun. Except for the movie.

    I hope the plague departs your house soon … that part doesn’t sound fun, either.

    Comment by davidrochester — March 10, 2008 @ 4:16 am

  3. I have found that as I get older, “happiness” (and by extension a happy birthday) takes on a whole different meaning. For me, a happy birthday is just the kids and I with everyone happy, not fighting, not arguing, and not trying to one up the next. That and maybe someone else doing the dishes. That’s my current state of happiness when it comes to birthdays. (Although this could be because no one is open on my birthday! I’ve never gone out to eat on my birthday!)

    Comment by Corina — March 10, 2008 @ 5:49 am

  4. Oh, you wouldn’t know…it’s on Christmas Day.

    Comment by Corina — March 10, 2008 @ 5:49 am

  5. Corina — Ya gotta move to Portland. There are restaurants here that are open on Christmas. Seriously. You can have Christmas dinner out if you want to.

    Comment by davidrochester — March 10, 2008 @ 2:40 pm

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