Posts Tagged ‘celebrations’

31st December
2008
written by Steph
I hope all of you have been having a wonderful holiday season, whether you celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah, Christmukkah, or some variant thereof (Whatevermas, for example).  This year Tony and I decided to NOT separate over the holiday season – it seemed cruel to think that we were going to see loved ones, only to be apart from one another – and instead decided to problem solve and bring our loved ones to us collectively!  As much as we love it, our condo is way to small for us to have more than one overnight guest, never mind two families, so we opted to rent a cabin in Gatlinburg for several days.  This wasn’t your grandmother’s cabin though, as it was pimped out with a hot tub, pool table, and several flatscreen tvs.  I was a bit disappointed in the kitchen, which was far from fully equipped (there was only one pot that would have been large enough to boil anything!  And if you advertise that your cabin sleeps 8 people, maybe you should make sure that you have provided enough silverware for that many people at any given meal!  Foolish!), but we made do and made some lovely meals.  I was grateful that this year we got the light-end of the traveling, and it was fantastic that our families got along like a house on fire (including our brothers, who reinforced our motto of “Why have children when you can have dogs?” 😉 ).  We spent lazy days watching movies, playing the diabolical Scene It, and – once we had procured powercords for the respective systems – playing games on the PS3 and Wii.  When did Mario Kart become so evil?  Seriously, the computer is out for blood in the Wii version!  It was still fun though, and one of the highlights for me was watching our two fathers play Ghostsquad on the Wii and try to kill as many people as possible.  Tony and I had played earlier, and despite three tries, never managed to get a headshot on the final big boss.  Our fathers?  Got it on the first attempt.  Bah! All in all, it was so nice to have everyone all together at Christmas, and also to try something new this year.   Even the dogs got to be a part of the celebrations rather than being sent to the kennel (aka, “puppy jail”), and they were spoiled mightily by our parents, much to their great pleasure.  I do hope we’ll be able to make it up to Toronto in 2009, perhaps after it’s thawed up a bit!  For New Year’s Eve, we had several invites, but all involved flying, and we decided to keep up our streak and just bum around this year.  We look forward to playing more video games, eating delicious Indian take out, and watching movies (I intend to convince Tony that on NYE, it only makes sense to watch the 5 hour BBC version of Pride and Prejudice!  If that fails, then I hope to be allowed to watch When Harry Met Sally!).  It’s gonna be hassle-free, we’ll be together, and that’s what will make it great!  However you choose to usher in 2009, have fun and stay safe!  See you on the other side…
6th December
2008
written by Steph
We went out for dinner last night with a good friend of ours who this past week both successfully defended his PhD thesis and turned 30.  To celebrate him being both older and wiser, Tony & I asked if we could take him out for dinner and drinks yesterday.  His choice of restaurant was not a place either of us would have suggested had it been up to us, but seeing as it was his night, we went along with it.  I had mentioned in passing a few days earlier when speaking to this friend’s girlfriend that I didn’t know why anyone would ever go to this restaurant by choice as I didn’t like it very much, only to find out that apparently it was one of our friend’s favorites. In the end, although there wasn’t much on the menu to tempt me, both Tony & I found options that we were satisfied with and that ended up being quite delicious.  Unfortunately, this morning I received an email from my friend (who, being a grad student (although no more!), suffers from intense-guilt complex) saying his significant other had told him I didn’t like the restaurant, but thanking me for going anyway.  I was really upset that he had been told this, because even if we had agreed to go to the restaurant out of respect for him, I certainly didn’t want to feel as though we hadn’t enjoyed the evening or that we had sacrificed ourselves on the altar of his celebrations.  I shot him back a quick email saying that in the past I hadn’t necessarily been a big fan, but we both had a great time last night (food included), so he shouldn’t fret about it at all. Mostly, I’m peeved that his girlfriend shared this information with him, as I don’t really see the point in doing so.  We had already had dinner, so it’s not like we could go back and select a different restaurant.  I feel like sharing that type of information with him, even if it is true, only served to be hurtful as well as unhelpful.  I dislike this idea that seems to be embraced more and more often that so long as you’re telling the truth, then that is the only accountability you need for what you say.  I do not think that truth need always trump tact.  Sometimes it is more important to be kind than it is to be honest.  Of course, I don’t mean that one should avoid telling others things that may be painful for the other party to hear simply to avoid an uncomfortable situation, but I really wish more people would consider the ends they hope to achieve when speaking. As an aside, one of our dining party last night (the birthday boy had invited another friend to the festivities) is forever in my bad books for showing up an hour and forty minutes late without an explanation or even a genuine apology.  I understand not everyone is as adamant about punctuality as I am, and am willing to forgive unexplained lateness up to about 20 minutes.  If you’re going to be much later than that, I think you are obligated to get in touch with the other party if you can and inform them of this.  We showed up at the restaurant at 7, were told we had about a 40-minute wait for a table, and were seated at 7:45.  We phoned our dining companion, who was at this point 45 minutes late.  She said she would be there in about 20 – 25 minutes.  She showed up at 8:45.  I think this is especially egregious given that we were at a restaurant for dinner (a busy one at that), so no one felt comfortable ordering anything other than drinks until she had shown up.  Given how late she was, a courtesy phone call telling us it would be ok to go ahead and order without her would have been nice.  I know some girls like to be late to make an entrance, but maybe they ought to strive to do so before other people have made an exit!