Kelly says he doesn’t like Samba that much. If anyone doesn’t like Samba, it should be me. But I kind of love it.
I lost an eating contest there. It wasn’t that big a deal, just a casual challenge, but I lost. I went the high road – where I didn’t force the issue on the creamed spinach, because Karl didn’t like it. But did he offer the same courtesy? Nope. Plaintains up the wazoo. And salmon. Too much salmon. Can’t get enough bacon wrapped turkey though.
Catherine blames my loss on me finishing 3 other people’s lunch just a few hours earlier. With a bowl of tartar sauce. I’m not sure how much that came into play.
But that’s not what makes Samba special.
When I turned 30, we went to Las Vegas to celebrate. I invited lots of people to go, but most of them couldn’t go. Maybe even all of them. One thing or another. “Going to Wimbledon” I think was the most creative story. I think I still argued that Wimbledon will be around next year, I might not be…but that didn’t seem to matter.
Well, it was just timing. I didn’t take it personally. Mostly. Some of my family would be there. Catherine would be there. We’d still have fun. At the airport, on the way to Vegas though, I thought I’d give it one last try. Blackberry in hand, I sent out a mass email, pleading with people to come out to Vegas. Catherine sat right next to me, quite supportive. It was a sad, desperate letter. I pulled all the stops. Tried to yank every heart string.
Had completely no effect. Except maybe lowering people’s view of me.
So off to Vegas we are. On the day of my birthday, we have a late lunch. Like 1:30 or something at the Sterling Club. A nice lunch. I get a steak sandwich. And they mean business there. It wasn’t a meat sandwich. It was a steak sandwich. Catherine leaves with her friend to go shopping after lunch. I’m just tired, probably didn’t sleep. We’re supposed to meet up at 5 or something at the Mirage for dinner. I nap on the floor in the Turnberry with my legs up on the leopard ottoman.
They wake me at 5 to goto dinner. I’m not hungry. Big steak sandwich. And though I like Samba, it would be a waste for me, because, I’m not hungry. Big steak sandwich. I say I’ll meet them after. They say “come on”. I get grumpy. I’ve been woken up. I’m going to a meal I’d normally enjoy but I won’t enjoy that much cause I’m hungry. We’re late. I might even be irked that Catherine had to go shopping today, instead of yesterday or tomorrow. But okay, let’s goto Samba.
Woah! Surprise! Wow – all the people that said they couldn’t make it out to Vegas were actually telling cover story lies! They’re all here! Well, maybe 5 of them. Or make that 4 plus one other person I wouldn’t have invited, but he just came along – people actually thought that he was the “partner” of the guy I invited – which was pretty funny and worth him coming after all. And 2 of the 4 might have been late. But Damian and Cynthia were there – with little, lucky Owen. Cha-Ching!
Everyone else was telling cover story lies because Catherine asked them to. She wanted to have everyone tell me they couldn’t make it and then show up for the surprise party. Except that most people had other, real reasons why they couldn’t make it (no Wimbledon after all! Which made me kind of sad, cause I knew Candy wanted to see Petey.)? So we were kind of back to square one. Though, don’t get me wrong, I’d be happy to roll dice with Damian any day of the week.
My parties don’t tend to be that big.
The theme kind of ties in with some birthday in San Diego while I was in grad school when Catherine got me a birthday cake that said on it “You are not alone”. Which, in a broader context, is a touching sentiment. But I think on a cake it looks odd. Like if the cake were bigger, it might say “You are not alone, loser.” Or “You are not alone, like you are every other day of your pathetic life.” I think it was me, her and Walter there that year. I got to eat the piece of cake that said “alone”.
Anyway, this party she put together was like that cake, but with people. And even more people observing from a distance. Setting the stage from afar one might say.?
But it was fun. A good time. She decorated the room instead of going shopping. While decorating it, the waiters asked her if it was a little kid’s party. I don’t know what that means. But me and Owen got lots of cars and toy dice to play with.
I didn’t eat much. Wasn’t hungry. But bacon wrapped turkey found a way. And the flank steak.
My favorite part?? Realizing that Catherine was sitting next to me, letting me write that silly email out at the airport. She could have stopped me. Saved me some embarrassment. But she didn’t – she was sweet and kind and encouraging me to go on and share with others how desperate and lonely my situation was. She was there, watching me make a mistake, but didn’t stop me. She might have even nudged me towards it. I don’t have a copy of that email anymore, but it would be worth a couple of laughs right now.
She’s come along way.? Maybe one day, she’ll tell you what she got for her 30th birthday. I mean, after that day comes…