Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Toasting you all!

I am staying in tonight and cleaning and relaxing with a nice mug of tea. It's not even 9pm and already I'm in my pyjamas. I worked today until 2pm, but I'm tired nonetheless. Although I do like to see the New Year in with friends, the first of January is more important to me. I'm having some family and friends over tomorrow for dinner. Hence tonight I will also be prepping for that.

My birthday went extremely well although it's all a blur for me - and not just because I was drunk. I organized tapas and wine for about 30 friends at a low-key bar. I had been to that bar a few years back but had never gone there since. When I called and asked them if they could prepare tapas for 30 people (which took up 2/3 of their space) they agreed to do so, told me that children were welcome there, and that I didn't need to give a credit card number in advance.

I was kind of nervous that it would all happen but when my parents and I arrived on Sunday, two tables of 15 were set and waiting. I wish I could have had more people as I really wanted to celebrate the friends in my life., but budget, space, and timing only allowed for so many. I was so happy that some of my friends got to meet others - I had a group of four girls from high school and various groups from more recent locales such as work - and that all my friends got to meet both my parents and my brother and sister-in-law and my two nieces. Most people seemed to have fun although I was too busy running from person to person and checking to see that everyone had enough to eat, drink, etc.

One of my friends brought her 10 year-old daughter who amused my little nieces all night. She was a godsend. Meanwhile, my 73 year-old father was doing shots with my friends. He was disappointed that the bar had fire regulations about him setting his fingers on fire for the flaming Statue of Liberty [if you haven't done that, it's when you stick a finger in your shot, set your finger on fire, and then drink your shot and blow out the flame before it burns your finger. A friend of mine from Rochester taught my dad that years ago and he's loved it ever since]. My mum tried to chat with as many people as possible.

I think what made me the happiest was hearing my sister-in-law say that she was so happy and relaxed as the kids were off playing with my friend's daughter, and she could sit and relax with a glass of wine.

The waitstaff were so terrific as well. They were very efficient and very good natured about the noise from our table. I also followed the April/Sue guide to entertaining which is a system my friend and I came up with years ago. It's where you admit to the waitstaff at the beginning of the night that you'll be too drunk to calculate the tip and ask them to just factor it in for you. That way all the worry about 'do I tip on the tax?' and whatnot is taken care of, and I have never had waitstaff try to rip me off in any way. And sure enough, by the end of the night, it was so much easier for me to just hand over a credit card for a completed total. My dad good naturedly chipped in as well for many of the drinks.

All in all it was a fantastic evening for me to have been surrounded by some of the most important people in my life. I wish my oldest brother had been there as well but he had to work that day (he lives out of town), but I saw him over Christmas at least.

Here's to all of you and wishing you the best for 2009! May you be surrounded by those you love.


Roxrocks said...

What a brilliant way to turn 40!!!! Welcome to the Club! 40 is Frigging Fabulous...just wait and see!

mainja said...

Ah, new year's eve. Yeah, John and I watched Death Race and Species and I wrote a birth plan, and we were in bed by 10:30. *grin*

Happy belated birthday by the way!

katrocket said...

Happy New Year, and Happy Belated Birthday! I wish great things for you, baby! xo!

Lesley said...

Happy New Year, and Happy Birthday too! Your birthday party sounded perfect! And I will admit that even though I went to a big party last night, I would have much rather been home in my jammies with some tea and my kitty. You chose wisely!

CoffeeDog said...

Sounds like you had an excellent birthday! I liked that you asked the waitstaff to figure in the tip, funny! I usually tip before taxes, but am always a very generous tipper, 20% most of the time.

Stewie said...

Fantastic time it looks like you had. Your dad is a rock star. lol.

eroswings said...

It sounds like a great party! What a fantastic way to celebrate! Hope your New Year's Day dinner went well, and may this year turn out to be a wonderful year for you!

Susan as herself said...

Sounds like a grand ol' time! Good for you, and HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!

Inexplicable DeVice said...

A belated happy birthday and, of course, Happy New Year!
Your birthday evening (and new year) sounds perfect - You obviously have wonderful friends and family.