Wednesday, August 27, 2008

A birthday wish, without the embarrassment

It’s my Mom’s birthday this week. We asked her what kind of gift she wanted this year, and she requested an Olive Garden gift card. I very clearly remember one year when we celebrated her birthday at the Olive Garden. The entire wait staff sang to her and brought out a delicious chocolate cake. It was a perfect celebration – except it wasn’t even close to being her birthday. I was 10 years old at the time, and my Mom had taken me and my friend to the Olive Garden for lunch. Enticed by the prospect of a good prank (and a free cake!), I whispered to the waitress, “It’s my Mom’s birthday, can you bring out a cake?” She nodded and left. I thought my Mom might have heard me whisper that to the waitress, since she was sitting right next to me. But, somehow she didn’t. So, when she heard the wait staff start to sing in unison, she smiled and looked around the room with anticipation at whose birthday it was. When they stopped at our table and set the birthday cake in front of her, she turned as red as the tomato sauce in her entrée. She laughed a little, only because she probably didn’t know what else to do. Then my friend said jokingly to my Mom, “Mom, you don’t look a day over forty!” A few people at the table next to us heard that remark and whispered to each other, “She’s forty!” My poor Mom. Not only did she suffer the embarrassment of a surprise non-birthday celebration, but she had her potential age announced to everyone in our suburban Olive Garden. The worst part? Those birthday cakes are actually not free, like I thought. Therefore, I did not get us a “free” cake, but rather one that came with a $3 charge. I’ve heard that there’s no such thing as a free lunch, and I’d like to add, that there’s also no such thing as free embarrassment with your lunch either. We gave my Mom an Olive Garden gift card for her birthday this year, just like she wanted. It’s actually a relief to know that my prank didn’t spoil the restaurant for her forever. I’ll completely understand if she decides to forego the cake and singing when she uses it. Happy Birthday, Mom! :)


Anonymous said...

That's such a cute story! And what a good sport your mom was!

New Girl on Post said...

Oh my! Your mom took that prank rather well, I laughed thinking about that. Your mom has good taste, I love Olive Garden!

Angela said...

Your Mom and I have the same favorite restaurant - Olive Garden is awesome! What a cute story... I didn't know they charge for the birthday desserts?!