>Birthdays in my family are not an isolated incident. You can celebrate with friends, you can hit a bistro with your folks, but the birthday itself is not complete until the family gets together and goes to extremes- lots of food, lots of wine, lots of presents, and lots of family.
On my birthday I’d gone out with friends and two days later there had been a barcrawl, so I was pretty much birthday-ed out and waiting for Mom to plan and execute the family shindig was like waiting for the other shoe to drop. That said, the family party was fantastic. There were gifts, of course, but more importantly it was an informal experiment on the validity of the “hair of the dog” approach to dealing with a hangover.
It went down like this:
Subject A (me), in a spectacular lapse in judgement, had a few drinks at a Halloween party on Saturday, woke up Sunday not feeling my level best, and proceeded to chase the blues away with mimosas (bad! bad!), white wine and champagne.
These had a marked effect on Subject A’s demeanor. When presented with duplicate CDs and DVDs there were giggles aplenty but when given an iPod car charger/transmitter that had a cassette adaptor (Subject A’s car doesn’t have a cassette player, which Subject A’s parents should know as they purchased the car on Subject A’s behalf), Subject A responded in a less than gracious fashion. In fact Subject A was downright imperious in her dismissal of said object, which Subject A is downright embarrassed about.
Anyway, Subject A found the company lovely, and the food delicious; there was quiche, salad with a piquat (?) dressing and tomatoes with basil followed by Julia’s recipe for orange cake. And there were some great gifts- Subject A is going to get a spiffy manicure at Aveda and enjoy a Christmas music show at the Kennedy Center in December and she is quite pleased about that. Today, however, Subject A, or rather “I”, is/am feeling a little rough. Which is probably due to the 7 mile urban hike I undertook with some friends mere hours after drinking myself silly.
At about 4pm, a few hearty souls gathered to walk the Capitol Crescent Trail from Bethesda to Georgetown. The CCT is a paved trail suitable for walking, biking or rollerblading, and with the changing leaves it is picturesque and pleasant. There was just one little glitch that was unanticipated- the fact that the “fall back” part of the “spring forward, fall back” meant that the sun set waaaaaaay earlier than anticipated and at around 6pm that nice wooded path was positively spooky. By rights one would think that wild deer should have bells or headlights or something so that when they appear out of the darkness off to the side of the towpath they don’t frighten the bejaysus out of you. Really.
So we trotted into Georgetown at about 6:30pm, got a table at Pizza Paradiso and had a guilt-free meal. I will not, however, ever order the wheat crust again because it was just not all that good. In fact I would go so far as to say that it tasted very like an unsalted Triscuit, or even a soft cardboard box. Ech. And this is coming from someone who loves the pizza at this joint. Truly.
On the way out of town- MK and I decided to walk to Dupont Circle- I saw a crowd gathering at the M.A.C. store and so we crossed M to investigate. The store’s denizens were trying out Halloween looks on several costumed models. There was a mermaid, a doll with hinges painted on her elbows and knees, a woman on fire- her legs painted to look singed, a woman in a little black dress who was half skeletal and a few others. It was quite spectacular to watch them work. The crowd stood about, peering into the windows and chatting with each other. MK struck up a conversation with a married couple from Davis, CA (where MK went to school). It was like standing in a crowd of children checking out the newest stuff at a toystore and prescient of the upcoming holiday season, which is very much in effect already- some folks at Mom’s office threw a Halloween party and all of the candy in the favors was from Hershey’s holiday lines (kisses wrapped in red, green or gold foil, etc.)
A little wonder and beauty- even if it was a little out there- was a good way to end the day.