happy birthday, patrice

11 Sep

Coconut cake from Buca di Beppo

I’m not the best at surprises. I have a knack for finding out what Pat is going to surprise me with – and I’m also horrible at keeping secrets from him. For his birthday, I wanted to do something special – but any restaurant I thought would be a perfect surprise, I talked myself out of it or was convinced otherwise from said restaurant’s ridiculous large party reservation requirements or gratuity inclusions (as a veteran retired server myself, I’m all for included gratuity on large parties, but making that gratuity close to 25% is getting to be a little ridiculous – the incentive for the server to provide stellar service is lost). I digress… so, I ended up asking Pat where HE wanted to go for HIS birthday.

He opted to try Buca di Beppo in St. Paul again – even after a horrendous experience last year with thousands (ok, maybe 15) teenage girls shrieking in excitement each time their male waiter came to their table.

When I called to make a reservation, the kind gal on the phone asked if we were celebrating anything special; I said, “yes,” telling her it was my husband’s birthday and requested that a cake be delivered to the table after dinner. Dinner was delicious, we waited patiently for the dessert, and as I saw the server walk around the corner, my face immediately turned bright red and I put my hands to my mouth in the “OMG, what IS that” fashion. The cake was covered in coconut – which Pat is deathly allergic to! The gal on the phone never mentioned it was coconut when I asked her about what types of cake they had available. While I probably should have done the right thing as part of my spousal duty to ensure no deathly ingredients were included in the birthday cake, it slipped my mind – mostly because coconut is NOT a normal thing to throw on a birthday cake. Especially that much of it. And to top things off, “Patrice” was inscribed on the top of the cake instead of Patrick!

Since that fateful September day, I’ve been calling Pat ‘Patrice’ and he’s been affectionately calling me ‘attempted assassin.’ A memorable birthday to say the least. 

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