The night before my birthday, I asked the Mr. if he “had things under control.” I was fairly sure that he 1. had no birthday card for me, and 2. had no gift for me. I wish I could say that I’m one of those selfless souls who could simply let my birthday pass by him without raising any fuss were he to do nothing, but I tend to bounce around our apartment in the days leading up to my birthday screeching, “Birthday, birthday, birthday! What do you have planned for my birthday?!” And when he proceeds to get nervous and hem and haw (as he does every year) and complain that he has had no time to get me anything (as he does every year). I respond with a dejected frowny face and mope dejectedly about. I also respond with something lame like, “Oh, that’s okay,” when clearly it ISN’T, and he tries to reassure me that it will be okay…somehow. (He still doesn’t have a card or a gift or a plan, mind you, but he also doesn’t want to see me mope.) This little drama unfolds in the same way every year, like clockwork.
So on the night before my birthday, after I asked him this question, he disappeared into the current guest-but-soon-to-be-a-nursery-room and told me I was forbidden from going in there. Over the course of the next couple of hours, he popped out occasionally, took some breaks, and told me my gift was “simmering.” That was slightly alarming to hear given that we don’t have a cooker in that room, but I trusted he did, in fact, have it under control.
The next morning when I got up, I discovered what I initially thought was a big, flat package on the sofa. This sort of confused me as I was fairly certain he had no gifts for me (the usual protocol is that I bug him a few days before my birthday (see above described drama), direct him to my extensive Amazon wish list that I have to remind him exists every year, and he buys me some stuff). So I thought, “Hmmmm…what is this?”
He told me that I should “open” it. When I picked it up, I realized that it was no gift – it was a card. A giant, very sweet and thoughtfully made, homemade card. On one side he wrote what my birthday gifts would be: Lunch at the Residence Palace (which we were planning on), + a new pair of glasses (that I’ve been wanting for quite some time but it’s a lot of money), + love. On the other side, he wrote me a very sweet message talking about all the changes coming our way, and how we will have to be strong together. Okay, I have to admit: the guy has style. And definite bonus points for anything homemade.
That morning I enjoyed reading a bit of the final book in the Hunger Games series, Mockingjay, that I had treated myself to a few days before (I’ve been “rationing” the books in the series over the past year-and-a-half, but figured if I didn’t read it soon it would probably be another five years). We then walked into town and enjoyed a lovely meal at the Residence Palace restaurant, called the Residenzgaststätten. We’ve been there several times for coffee and cake, but had never eaten in the restaurant before. The last time we were there we noticed a “Business Tray” that offered 3 courses for €9.50 every weekday during lunch. The choices for the menu on offer sounded good, so we decided to try it for my birthday.
We were a little surprised at how it worked. All three courses came out at once on one very large plate. Each of the courses were small – appetizer, main and dessert – but well-crafted and tasty. I thought my main course of “Trout (with salmon-colored flesh) over Risotto” was really nicely done. We were a little less impressed with the Mr.’s “Pumpkin Pasty” (sort of like a croissant stuffed with pumpkin). It had a nice flavor, but unfortunately the croissant/pasty exterior was a bit soggy rather than dry and flaky. If you’re a big eater, you might be disappointed by the size of the lunch for €9.50, but for me, it was perfect. I’m more of a grazer who can’t eat a huge meal all at once, so having three small courses was ideal. We decided we even had room a couple of hours later for some cake and coffee. Sadly, one can’t find cake here slathered in delicious American buttercream frosting, but I certainly don’t reject a tasty German cake when one is offered.
After lunch, we walked around to a few eyeglasses stores where I tried on some frames. I made the Mr. snap some photos of me in the perspective styles, which felt a little silly, but I’m glad we did it as I now have some images to look at more closely at home. I think I want to check out some more places before I make any kind of decision, however.
All in all, it was a really nice birthday. The Mr. really did have it under control 🙂