Friday, September 15, 2017

Blow Out the Candles and Make a Wish

Virgos, so they say, dislike being the center of attention.

But that kind of minor detail goes out the window when a favorite Virgo is celebrating her 80th turn around the planet and she has a posse itching to celebrate with a seven-hour party in her honor.

The fetivities kicked off on the screened porch of Pru's manse - complete with a string of pink flamingo lights - where the birthday queen made her entrance in a gorgeous white dress with a green coral-looking design and wearing a necklace and earrings she'd crafted the day before to match the dress' colors.

I can only hope that someday I'm cool enough to have a necklace to match a particular dress.

We raised our flutes filled with Simmonet-Febvre Cremant de Bourgogne Blanc and the birthday girl was quickest at the verbal draw, announcing, "To me!" before any of us could do it for her.

You know how dependable Virgos can be.

But they're also known to be self indulgent and if you're going to splurge on your birthday, Shagbark is as good a place as any to do it, assuming you don't mind eating in a strip mall. The patio was new to us but plenty of people seemed to be enjoying themselves there, no doubt due to the glorious weather.

The first matter was setting up our table to accommodate three left-handed people, no easy task, and followed by tales from growing up left-handed (beatings with rulers, adamant grandmothers, forced switching) that sounded positively Byzantine.

You don't think about right hand privilege until you hear about left hand reality.

In what turned out to be foreshadowing, we decided on Domaine du Dragon Rose despite none of us having heard of it. Our server explained that they'd brought in the Provence Rose because of a "Game of Thrones" watching party.

He also apparently took stock of our group and decided to warn us that there were only three more bottles of it in house.

Forewarned is forearmed and all that.

And while Virgos may be sensible, the rest of us ordered with abandon. The star of a dish called up south fried green tomatoes with shrimp and bleu cheese was the summery succotash, of which I could have eaten an entire bowlful. Black mission figs with prosciutto were to die for. An heirloom tomato salad reminded us that fall is a week away.

It was all fish, all the time when it came to entrees - tilefish, swordfish,  two trouts and a seafood stew - with bites being traded via bread plates and boarding school reaches.

When our server came over, he wanted to know if we needed anything else. My standard answer to that since November 8th has been, "A new president?" and as I said the words, his face lit up in relief and pleasure.

Leaning down so he could speak honestly and quietly, he said, "Oh my god, I love you! I have to bite my tongue when I hear tables talking about how great Trump is and it happens a lot." Looking around at the clientele, it seemed likely we were in the minority when it came to politics and tax brackets.

Too bad, my date commented, since his guess was that Democrats tip better than Republicans.

Pru had brought one of her presents to be opened at dinner and the birthday girl was nothing short of gob-smacked to open a card and see that she'd been given a week at the beach. Her jaw dropped even further when she was told she'd better start packing because she leaves Sunday. Fortunately, Virgos are also flexible.

"I need to get busy washing my underwear!" she exclaimed. Or use my method and just wear your bathing suits the entire week. Whatever works for you.

The good news is, there are no underwear police at the beach.

In what was surely a first for this group, we eschewed dessert off the menu, but only because we knew that the porch awaited with birthday carrot cake, more gift-opening and libations galore.

The two non-alpha males discussed their need for only one pair of pants between them and brought science into the conversation every chance they got, while the womenfolk kept things lively with our thoughts on everything else that mattered.

Like why you marry someone. The birthday girl had given up on her boyfriend of 8 years not proposing, so when she met another guy and he proposed after 3 weeks, she married him. Of course, then the boyfriend wanted to marry her but she turned him down despite their history.

Her rationale was that the new guy was taken enough with her to propose after 3 weeks while her former boyfriend hadn't been motivated during 8 years and only asked when he heard she was getting married.

Pru thought that was crazy talk, but I could see where the Virgo was coming from.

Where things got a bit hazy for me was when everyone else went down the "Game of Thrones" rabbit hole and I was left buffing my nails and looking at the ceiling. I'm sure it was impressive to see a tribe of half naked men with one foot in the stirrup and the other on their steeds' back as they shot arrows at the enemy, but...yawn.

Beau noticed my glassy eyes and suggested ways to entertain me, but there was too much GoT passion on the porch to fight it, so I just had to wait it out. It's a huge favorite of the birthday girl who loved the spectacle of it and, because she's an analytical Virgo, the layers of sub plots and story twists best followed when binge-watching. Or so I was told.

One subject where we could all agree was that age is nothing but a number and more a matter of how you feel than what your driver's license says. Even so, I made it clear that I refuse to think of anyone as old if my number is higher than theirs and that was everybody on the porch except the birthday girl.

And although she wouldn't divulge her wish when she blew out her candles, Virgos are naturally curious, so I wouldn't be surprised if it involved a half naked man on a steed.

But they're also down to earth, so I'm pretty sure she'll get that underwear washed first.

I bow down to a magnificent Virgo woman who has her priorities straight.


  1. All beach, all swimwear, 24/7 --now that's my kinda girl!


  2. Right?! No shame in a bathing suit all day long...that's just beach attire, cw!

  3. Lovely.
    May we all turn 80 with such style and all our facilities clicking... and having just created something beautiful the day before.