November 28, 2010

Poll: Public birthday displays

(Taking a page from Iris Took's book and doing a quick Sunday poll...)

A few nights ago, we ate dinner at a large Italian restaurant in Columbus.

While we'd come to enjoy a relatively quiet family meal, it quickly became evident that the families in the surrounding tables were after a completely different experience.

It was going on all around us.

And I do mean ALL around us.

One after the other: Boom, boom, boom.

"OK, EVERYBODYYYYYYYY! WE HAVE A BIRTHDAY OVER HEEEEEEEEEEERE!!!"

Commence clapping, hooting and/or hollering, and singing of the Happy Birthday song at ear-splitting volume, all while the birthday boy or girl themselves stands there, red-faced, trying to blend in with the red-and-white-checked tablecloths.


T beckoned to me. I leaned in to hear him over the din. "I love you, but if you ever do that to me, we're getting a divorce," he said with a completely straight face. I think he was only partially joking.

In addition to the spectacle of a few nights ago, I've been present at countless restaurant birthday singalongs. The most famous one in our family (even more so than when my mother donned a sombrero bigger than her head at the now-sadly-departed Chi-Chi's) is when my brother and I were forced to climb ON TOP OF OUR TABLE at Joe's Crab Shack and sing Happy Birthday...to ourselves.

While I'm not quite so mortified by the experience (or the threat of the experience) as T, at this point in my life I think I would gladly forgo the free dessert that generally comes with such things and celebrate my birthday in relative anonymity. I think my standing-on-tables days are over.

What do you think? Love the singing wait-staff and all-eyes-on-you experience? Hate it? Indifferent?

8 backtalk:

Erika Jean said...

HATE it!

Summer said...

Hate it. I do believe I have uttered similar words to Chad. Do. not. do. it. :)

Sarah said...

No thank you. I don't even like people I know singing to me, let alone strangers.

Ky • twopretzels.com said...

If there's a free dessert involved, I'm fine with it. :)

(That's the pregnant lady in me talking.)

I will not, however, STAND ON A CHAIR WEARING A SOMBRERO while doing the HULA HOOP on my birthday. That's ridiculous.

Mickey D. said...

Who do you think hates them more - the person being sung to or the people doing the singing?

Miserable.

Iris Took said...

I am not sure how this started, but some people think it is fun to embarrass the birthday person. I don't get it.

Yes, free dessert, awesome!

Song - terrible! I have always hated the birthday song. Why is it so terrible and no one can sing it well?

Sidenote - If I am wasted, I can tolerate this.

Wendy said...

I would DIE! I would hate all of that attention on me. Plus it would all seem so fake - I only want Happy Birthday wishes from people that know me, not random people at a restaurant!

wrestling kitties said...

Nope....hate it. As I child I could stand it a little more, but once I reached puberty it just wasn't for me. I will PAY for my dessert, I can not stand that kind of embarrassment.

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