We took my mother out for dinner last night to celebrate her 70th birthday. Usually it's a Chinese tradition to have a huge banquet when one reaches this milestone year. And we kids were prepared to go all out and invite all her friends to a 10 course meal at a Chinese restaurant, for an event not dissimilar to a wedding banquet. But my mother wanted none of that - she wanted a low-key, family only event and suggested North 44 as her restaurant of choice. Which was fine by us (as my sis and I have been there separately only once before, and it was on the list of restaurants that my brother wanted to try). We couldn't really believe it as my parents generally tend to be more "splashy" when it comes to social matters. Just ask my brother, whose wedding 4 years ago was a major occasion that was pretty much run by my mom (I felt sorry for my brother's now wife, then fiancee, poor thing).
As we don't take my mother's initial comments at face value, between the three siblings we asked her at least a dozen times before we came to the conclusion that yes, indeed, she wanted a small dinner. She doesn't want to broadcast to all her friends that she's 70 years old. Come to think of it, I don't think I would either. I think it's a woman's prerogative to keep that information sacred.
We were fortunate enough to get the small private dining room which fit the 10 of us (including my two munchkins) very comfortably. We all dressed up a bit and G especially was excited. The kids made their Grandma special birthday cards, and G wore her mahjong print dress and her patent Mary Janes. It was quite funny as we got to the restaurant and were escorted through the beautiful dining room to our table. As we were seated, Giselle said, "Daddy, where the party go?" and you could see the disappointment written all over her face. She was looking for kids, balloons and cake and had to settle for boring adults!
But in the end it was quite an elegant, wonderful evening. I had ordered a delicious lemon raspberry cake from Noisette Pastry Works (Hannah uses real butter cream YUM...) which the staff plated for us after the lovely entrees.
And even better for me, I could actually drink this time - my sister and sister-in-law are both in their third trimesters of their pregnancies, so I could take their share - whoo, hoo! I've been so used to being DD all these years of trying to conceive and breastfeeding, it was a novelty that's for sure.
And most importantly I think my mother actually enjoyed herself.
But a major fringe benefit to parties is that it gives you a reason to shop for new outfits. So I had an excuse to pick up and wear my latest "classic" piece by Teenflo. A touch of Jackie K never hurt any wardrobe. My hubby noticed my legs for the first time in about 10 years and called me a "hot mommy", so it was worth every penny!