For the past few birthdays, I've referred to the event as International Brad Day. To me this seems like a fun way to diffuse the awkwardness that sometimes comes with (a) what does a person bring to a birthday party for someone who doesn't drink and (b) it removes birthday from the equation so there are none of those unwanted jokes-about-aging cards that I have no need for in my life. It also creates a curiosity amongst people that don't realize it's my birthday as to what this day is I've devised to throw a party in my own honor. Oh, and it's fun.
In past years, I have celebrated my birthday with all-out dessert bashes. And since I've been in Chicago, I've started throwing pot luck dinners at my house, which have all the appeal of a normal party but the downhome-ness of a family gathering. They have been huge successes. I decided that this year, I wanted to do something adult: throw a legitimate dinner party.
What is legitimate? Well, I wore a button-up shirt, which is a rarity in this unemployed phase. But, more importantly, I invited 6 guests to join me and my epicurean girlfriend for a multi-course home-cooked meal served on non-disposable dishes with real silverware and enough seating to accommodate all the guests. This was our menu:
- pumpkin hummus (with fresh pita from my local Mediterranean market)
- curried pumpkin soup (with veggies from my local Mexican market)
- date honey chicken and cous cous (the date honey was from my main squeeze's recent trip to Israel)
- date honey ice cream with pumpkin spice granola on top (the granola made by Chicago company, Milk & Honey)
- pumpkin bread pudding
The evening was superb. And the work that went into putting together a meal with so many different parts gave me new appreciation for my mom and all the dinners she planned for our family growing up or for dinner parties I had been to where everything had to come together at the correct time. And while two of us had to sit on the couch for lack of chairs, and I had to borrow some of plates and spoons, and I had to wash everyone's soup bowls before they could have dessert, I sort of felt like a real adult.