Birthday Number Deux
Today I celebrated my second birthday in France. Of course, it wasn’t my own. Mine was just a few weeks ago. And at my age, you don’t need any extras. Rather, we commemorated our friend Stephan’s special day – or Bonne Anniversaire as the French say.
Instead of going out to a smoky restaurant filled with “unattractive rats,” Stephan opted for a more quiet and intimate evening at Chez Chris and Dave. So with Chris out of town, I began to prepare for the evening.
We all know I don’t like to cook. And what I do throw together in the kitchen has more elements of white trash then French flair. But I thought the evening would be a good chance to share some Kansas delicacies (or at least a few my mom loved to prepare): meatloaf, mashed potatoes, corn, rolls and for dessert a chocolate Betty Crocker chocolate fudge sheet cake with milk chocolate icing (and fake blowout birthday candles).
I began prepping around 2 p.m. (after my first and only visit to the gym). From there, I hopped on the metro and headed to the 8th arrondisement for one stop shopping at Monceur Fleurs (for a table setting), Monoprix (for trimmings) and Picard (for frozen necessities). Thank God for my newly purchased wheely cart. Without it, I would have found myself being weighed down with bags of potatoes and pounds of meat.
Once I returned home at 4, I cleaned (Alise doesn’t come until Saturday so a touch-up was in order). I peeled. I poked. Four hours later (and after Chris’ arrival from Germany), I found myself ready for guests to arrive.
Xavier and the birthday boy came around 9. Lorenzo, because of prior work engagements, arrived closer to 10 – just in time for dinner (which is still considered early by Paris standards). So by the light of 14 Pottery Barn votive candles and the wintery sounds of Bing Crosby’s White Christmas (iTunes shuffle selection), we dined and discussed everything from imported dinner rolls to interesting sex fetishes. What could be better?
In the end, I think everyone enjoyed the evening. For me, it was yet another reason to appreciate Paris. Sure, there are world-renowned museums. But for me, nights at home with good friends trump Picasso or Cezanne anytime.