As I get older, I realize that one can be a set of contradictions. I can be both happy/sad, generous/stingy, creative/rigid, expansive/restrictive. And that it’s ok. I was deliriously happy last night celebrating my mother’s (and father’s) 80th birthdays. That they are happy and well and live 15 minutes away from me seem like a miracle of miracles. That we get along (mostly) also seems extraordinary and intensely comforting to me. My parents can be both cheap/extravagant. There was my dad’s Christmas birthday party at McDonald’s a few years ago and just a few days ago, they took a very old TV from us (that we got as a hand-me-down from Vickey – so now twice hand-me-down) because their TV broke and they didn’t want to go to Costco to buy a new one.
In the summer, my father insisted that we find a fancy restaurant for my mother’s 80th birthday for him to host. He’s like – we need to find a fancy restaurant that we can sit outside at – we are not comfortable sitting inside to eat with other people. I was like – we can not sit outside in November and I thought to myself no high end restaurant will have outdoor seating. I looked and looked for something suitably elegant and pandemic-safe and finally settled on Pineapples and Pearls – 2 Michelin stars in 2017 “worth a detour” – who was offering an at-home dining experience. We booked this in early September for last night (a nice discount for having it on a weeknight) and Vince would be home!
I had taken off the entire day from work to clean/declutter the house. Jeremy cleared out everything from the kitchen counters. The coordinator told me there would be 2-3 people coming, but 5 people came! Four chefs and one server. Two of the chefs were in training, so that’s why we had so many people. Everyone wore masks (we did too as much as we could while eating) and over the course of the night, we found out that everyone was vaccinated and boosted so that was comforting.
Just a mention of the wine – so the restaurant doesn’t have a Maryland liquor license, so they couldn’t provide the wine for us. They sent us a wine list to be paired and I started to try and buy them, but it’s not like ordering from Amazon. I had to go all over the web to try and find them and I was getting frustrated – sometimes there were ordering minimums and sometimes you can ship to NY but not MD or whatever. So, Noah (who I learned through this whole thing has his own “wine guy” on frequent text), helped me and bought the four bottles for me (I paid him back!) and they were great. We are not big drinkers. Often we have dinner together and only sometimes have wine, but we’ll only drink half a bottle between the four of us. But last night we did happily finish all the bottles (I think it helped that Jeremy didn’t need to drive) and we were all contentedly slightly tipsy by the time dinner was finished. But OMG, by the time Jeremy and I were going to bed a few hours later – we were both already hung over, headache & a little nauseous. We are too old to drink so much wine at once more than once in a blue moon.