birthday wishes

my in-laws have a tradition of going out to dinner to celebrate birthdays. the birthday person gets to pick the eating establishment. this sounds reasonable, but my in-laws aren’t known for their culinary wisdom and sometimes do odd things at the table.

this time, we ate at paul’s favorite chinese place in west chester. they have an impressive, laminated menu sporting creatively named dishes. the dish i picked was named after a chrysanthemum.

as i was looking at the menu, i saw movement out the corner of my eye. upon further inspection, i found a rather large roach-like bug nestled in the folds of my scarf. i quietly showed brni my little visitor then i gently shook him off my scarf and onto the floor. that’s when i decided to fill up on those crunchy things you dip in chinese mustard and wash it down with medicinal doses of wine to kill the germs. my dinner did not disappoint. it was very pretty and wholly inedible.

towards the end of the meal, brni’s father gave each one of us a pamphlet that he picked up in florida from some nursing home. we have five wishes, and they are:
1. the person i want to make care decisions for me when i can’t.
2. the kind of medical treatment i want or don’t want.
3. how comfortable i want to be.
4. how i want people to treat me.
5. what i want my loved ones to know.

after we fill it all out, we need to have it signed by two witnesses who are willing to swear that we are not crazy and they aren’t going to make a fortune when our designated loved ones pull our plugs. brni and i made a rather quick exit after that.

i feel kind of guilty about dumping the roach on the floor the way i did, because now that i think about it, he was probably just trying to hitch a ride to safety.

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