My birthday dinner with friends was held at The Orange Hill Restaurant, located way up on a hill that over looks Orange County. Stepping inside, my cousin Michelle said, “The last time I came here was ten years ago, for prom.”
My brother and his wife were supposed to have their wedding reception there. My dad and I had rushed around last fall trying to secure the Evening Star Room and adjacent patio and when we’d done so, placed a non-refundable deposit for Sunday, July 7th, a grand time to have a wedding because the ceremony would be held outdoors against the setting sun and afterwards we’d all be ushered into the dining room with panoramic windows of the view.
Then some things changed. My brother and his wife are now having their reception in Taiwan which left us with a massive question: how do you finagle back the non-refundable deposit? Well, you can’t. But you can host “up to four events,” the restaurant manager told us firmly.
“Have a good time,” my dad said, when I suggested I have a birthday dinner there, “tell your friends to order whatever they want.”
So we did, and I spent most of the night looking like this:
|Thanks for this, Charlene.|
Amy was kind enough to put my hair up in a sock bun ten minutes before we left, but from some angles I like I looked a little too kung fu master. It didn’t matter; I always look better in person anyway. I had a good time scaring people at other tables, gentle families who wanted to take their mother somewhere nice with fish on the menu and dim lighting. Except the guy behind me couldn’t tell a story without peppering it with the F word. My poor friends, I hope they had a good time too, though most of the time they were probably thinking, “What is she laughing at?”
|Amy: “Betty, you’re scaring me.” Notice the empty plates of dessert.|
|Jaime: “I didn’t even say anything.”|
In calmer times, we managed to catch the sunset and pester a kind, patient waiter to take multiple versions of this photo for us.
|Twenty-seven with some friends, some cousins, all family.|
Mostly I was laughing because that’s what I do when I’m happy.