Because of the early surprise party, we had been polite, considerate and somewhat uncharacteristically jolly for over a week when my real birthday finally arrived. All that good behavior evidently took its toll. We were a tad grumpy that evening. I didn’t feel like cooking—it was my birthday, after all. We were drawing a blank on meal ideas.
After much aimless avoidance and procrastination, we opted for our Sunday-night default setting and ordered Chinese food, which we ate in front of the TV. We had run out of conversation. We couldn’t eat in the kitchen, as we were battling an onslaught of ants, and the table was piled with the usual contents of the counters and cabinets. It was getting chilly on the screened porch. Despite an excess of cable channels, Tivo, Netflix DVDs and the vast possibilities of streaming video, there was nothing we could all agree on. Not even an old Seinfeld or Raising Hope. H commandeered the remote and persisted in not hearing the program requests made by D and me. Segments of House Hunters, 60 Minutes, and AFV interspersed with annoying commercials proved to be an especially unsatisfying combination. We were grumpier after the meal than before. It made me wish we had eaten on the porch in cold and silence.
There remained, though, the chance that birthday cake and ice cream would offer, if not real fun, then at least some solace. D and I had baked and iced a beautiful cake with snowy meringue frosting.
At H’s urging, we decided to walk our dog Kiko before dessert. This would prove to be a most unfortunate choice.