My birthday is February 7. Family tradition is to have a family dinner for birthdays; my dad’s present to the person of honor. You get to choose the place, then we work out the date. Sounds fun, simple... not in my family, or at least for me.
I do my best to pick a place that has at least two dishes that each person can choose from. My mom and one sister have dairy issues (so do I for that matter) Dad is… you can never please him. I pick places where he can get the dishes he always orders, always make sure they are on the menu. (I don’t eat seafood. Others pick seafood only places, hmm!) I try to pick a place located closer to all of them since there is only one of me. I feel I go more than out of my way to please, to accommodate them. Wait, this is for my birthday? Why don't I get the same treatment?
Scheduling is the only part that should be difficult. It’s accounting season so we usually celebrate end of February or in March, fine; sis and her hubby are CPAs, can’t be avoided, I get that. The other sis takes a lot of vacations. When I work Fridays I always get stuck late so that is my only bad night right now.
Now it is my birthday, I am supposed to pick the place *I* want to go to, end of story, that is the “rule”, it is what everyone else gets to do.
In the past I picked a steak place for my annual delicious steak; I eat very little red meat and when I do, I want it to be good. It's one of the few places dad would eat everything on the menu! Has chicken, steak, lamb, veal... This place has great fries, other sides and chocolate mousse pudding: complaints from family it’s too expensive, too far away. A) Steak places are expensive. We are being served huge pieces of very good meat and huge side dish servings. B) Restaurant is closer to me but by all main highways. At most a 40 minute trip for the furthest person.
After a work luncheon, I chose a nice Italian place closer to them. They have more than a few non-cheese dishes and my dad’s standard only things he will order Italian plus seafood dishes he likes. I order the same chicken dish, it is so delish, and the red potatoes with it are great, cooked perfect every time. The desserts, most made in house, are sooo good! Love their tiramisu. Don’t know if it is traditional or not but it tastes great and I get that great rum/espresso buzz from it, sis loves the cannolis. They have a few really great chocolate desserts as well (I hope to introduce K to). Sis and I went there for lunch one time and ordered two desserts: one to eat there and one to bring home! After going there two times for my birthday and for numerous other celebrations and luncheons, sis told me she always gets ill after eating there. I was surprised since I am the one with the sensitive stomach. So we don’t go there anymore, a totally reasonable request; I have no problem with that, disappointed but no problem.
Two birthdays ago, I re-found a Japanese restaurant I love that we used to frequent at one of my jobs; they have great food, something for everyone, dad’s standard sukiyaki, and the best ginger salad dressing ever! Everyone loves the food. The place is a bit of a trip for me, but so worth the ginger salad. Last year all I hear is complaints about the parking. They have a small lot but lots of parking on the street.
It’s the stupid stress. It’s boils my blood. Something that is supposed to be my celebration, my evening, something to put a smile on my face and be fun turns into the worst evening ever.
I have had my fill, more than my fill, I am sick of it. Why do I have to deal with complaints when I do my best to accommodate everyone else? Why is it OK for dad and one sister to pick a seafood place when they know I do not eat seafood but a place I pick with great food that everyone likes is taboo? They do not get why it angers and frustrates me so. Guess I should pick Tavern on the Green: far away and expensive and that would be ok? I guess I have always been too nice, too accommodating and they expect me to give in to everything. No more, well not exactly.
This year giving it one more shot. I now know after my conversation with mom, it will be the last family dinner for my birthday. I will just take myself to my Japanese or another place, and celebrate with Madison and Maverick and one day to celebrate mine and K’s birthday, when he is up to it.
My Email to my Sisters and their significant others:
“Since it's always such a, I don’t know controversy, hard time... whatever you want to call it, to have my family birthday dinner at the restaurant of my choice, I am giving 1 more shot at pleasing everyone.
Please excuse my sarcasm, losing my PET/CT job (happy birthday to me) at end of February has me angry & frustrated; love that job!
I have decided 2 try cold cuts & Fireside/Zorn’s chicken & fries at the rents (not relaxing but...) You all arrange the date thru mom with your vacations, accounting plans, etc. My bad night would be the Fridays I work: 2/11 & 2/25 since I always get stuck there. If I'm lucky I'll get the other Fridays *fingers crossed*
PS: not telling the ‘rents bout the job thing yet. I cannot handle the stress. Have a few things in the works but cannot deal with dad's degradation. Then telling me I had a great "attitude change" when the permanent hours finally came thru WTF?!
Kim bought us lunch 4 getting 2 the office today; <>
J feel better & don’t work too hard & ask Kim about her gift from us.
M don't work too hard.
K & K another warm vacation I'm sure, where's my ticket? ; ) Enjoy! E too if she's going.
Been up since 4, need 2 be up at 5:30 I think. Warm, sweet dreams :) meryl
...via iPod touch”
One Sister replies:
“Sorry to hear about the job. Fingers crossed that something opens up very soon.
We are free Friday, Feb. 11th, Sat. Feb. 12th, Sunday, and Feb. 13th, Sunday, Feb. 20th. Let us know what you land on.”
Other sister replies:
“Mom and I were discussing days. Sat and Sun nights are good for us. Karen’s weekends below work for me. Mom will follow up when she decides what day she wants. She was talking about the same weekends.”
What is that I have highlighted in red? Yes, it is MY birthday! True I did tell them to work out the scheduling on their own but that line shows what I have known for some time, it isn’t my birthday after all. So I really can stay 25 like K says :)
Of course, ultimately it is all my fault... I try!