Awesome with a dash of awkward

“So how was your birthday? Was it awesome? Or kind of awkward and weird? Or terrible?”
This was the first question my friend, Joe, greeted me with on Sunday following my 35th birthday.
I started to answer and then paused.
“Say no more,” he said with a laugh. 
I told him that it definitely wasn’t terrible, but it was really awesome with a dash of awkward.
Those that follow this column will remember that my wife is currently suffering spinal issues that make even sitting at home difficult for too long. This is coupled with a strict diet.
I’m not saying all of this to complain. I would support her if our only option were to eat food out of toothpaste tubes while laying in a dark cave. (There’s something to add to my restaurant ideas list.)
I mention these conditions because I’m kind of ... really ... insufferably ... indecisive.
You know that guy who will order and then, as the waiter or waitress is leaving the table, will frantically shout, “Wait! Can I change my order?”
Yeah, that was me. Sorry for interrupting your meal.
So with a list of limited options and my wife having to plan the best way not to hurt, I was hesitant to give an answer. 
The conversation was basically the common “No, Where do you want to eat?” conversation on steroids.
“Where do you want to eat for your birthday?”
“What sounds good to everyone?”
“It’s your birthday.”
Then, an hour later.
“Have you decided yet?”
“No, got any input?”
Then, two more hours later.
“I just want everyone to be happy with where we go.”
“I will stab you with a SPOON!”
Okay, it might not have advanced to outright threats, but I really wouldn’t have blamed anyone.
We settled on a hibachi grill, which sounded good to everyone but requires sitting for as long as it takes a Japanese chef to cook six meals in front of everybody with flourishes and fire.
When we got there, a couple of  members of the party were on edge, and I quickly realized that my wife was preparing for a painful sitting experience just so we could go out on my birthday.
I then realized my part in making things awkward as everyone (my parents, my aunt and uncle who traveled up for the celebration and my wife) was trying hard to make the day special as I made things more difficult trying to make sure the day was good for them.
My friends and family were very generous on this milestone birthday, but what you truly appreciate are people who want to spend time with you and care so deeply about your happiness.
 
Gaudette is a staff writer at the Dublin Citizen and can be reached at 445-2515 and report@dublincitizen.com.

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