Sabrina's Birthday Party

A nice lady, Sabrina & Stasha.............Sabrina's birthday card

Last Friday Stasha and I went to a birthday party for our friend Sabrina, who was turning 34. As Sabrina’s husband Olivier says, “At 50 a man is still young. At 30 a woman is finished.” Both he and Sabrina have a great sense of humor, and that’s one of the reasons why we really like them. They’re also the parents of Enzo, who is one of Sam’s favorite people.

We arrived at their house about eight and waited in the kitchen for the other invitees to arrive. First there was Marilyn and her husband whose name I’ve forgotten. It’s probably Pierre. Then Natasha arrived, then a couple we’d never met before and whose names we forgot instantly, then another lady we’d never met before whose name we forgot instantly, then another lady we’d never met before whose name we forgot instantly. But they were all nice. French names are almost impossible to remember. I think they do it on purpose so that if you actually remember someone’s name it’s a sign that a lifelong friendship is forming. Other than the name Guy, I challenge you to come up with a single French name that’s less than two syllables. Go for it. I dare you. We have Bob and Bill and Fred and Sam and George and James and Jim and Charles and Jeff and Greg and Dave and Paul and Chris and Brad. The French have no such names.

We arrived at the restaurant about 9:30. At the front door were two big-boned mean-looking goons dressed mostly in black leather. When we walked up they scowled at us while blocking the door. Natasha stepped up and said some magic words and all of a sudden the goons started smiling and stepped aside.

The restaurant offered a fixed menu for 25 euros. The choices were something with foie gras (pronounced “Fwa Graw” and literally meaning “fatty liver”) and something without foie gras. Along with truffles (which are basically dirt that costs a hundred euros per kilo), foie gras is a food that makes French people salivate so wildly that they need bibs to catch the overflow. But it’s basically just mashed up duck’s liver that’s the consistency of cold butter, and the mere thought of it makes me swoon with nausea. I tried it once and won’t make that mistake again. If a French person ever talks to you about the taste of foie gras, everything they’re saying is a lie.

So I ordered the meal sans foie gras. I was very hungry and ate everything, since we began eating about 10pm, which isn’t particularly late for dinner in France. Also, since it was Sabrina’s birthday everyone ordered champagne with dinner, and I naturally stuck to my normal regimen of fruit juice or whatever non-alcoholic substitute that’s available. The act is starting to wear thin, frankly. A man in France that drinks no wine and eats no foie gras (or truffles) is like a man in America that hates guns and enormous SUVs. I’ll probably never fit in in either country.

After dinner they brought a cake and we all sang Happy Birthday to Sabrina while Olivier took a bunch of pictures. Sabrina seemed very happy to be 34. She didn’t look finished at all.

At 10:30 the karaoke began. Back in Arizona we have a restaurant at my golf course and the retirees start coming in for dinner about 4:30 in the afternoon. By 6:30 they’re mostly in bed for the night dressed in their flannel pajamas. At 6:30 in France people are basically just finishing lunch, and dinner at such an hour is out of the question. When we arrived at 9:30 we were literally the first people there, but by 10:30 the place was full of revelers, and when the karaoke began we were all encouraged to sing a few songs.

More singing, first at our table and then on the dance floor. Sabrina is in black. Her sister is in the gray with the scarf. The woman in the funky blue blouse is from Marseilles. I can't understand anything said by people from Marseilles.

Stasha and I looked through the list and chose Endless Love. I wanted to choose Patience by Guns N’ Roses, but when I realized that no French person has ever heard this song and that I would have to sing it by myself, I changed my mind and chose a duet.

At 11pm they called us up to sing. I know Endless Love well from numerous romantic slow dances at Desert Shadows Middle School in Scottsdale, AZ in 1984, and was excited to showcase my singing prowess. Unfortunately just as we – the only foreigners in the whole place – got up to sing, the machine broke. After standing there for two minutes with a hundred people staring at us, the DJ finally asked if we wanted to sing another song by Lionel Richie. I blurted out the only one I could think of: All Night Long. The problem with this song is that I don’t know the words or the tune. Oh, and that it sucks.

They started the music and we began singing. It was the worst rendition ever. Seriously. Ever. I was completely off tune the whole time. Stasha helped keep it together, however, and I even started getting into it at one point, as you can see from the photos. And Sabrina and Olivier and almost everyone in our party (except a couple of people whose names I can’t remember) came out to dance while we sang, so we wouldn't feel so exposed.

Singing and dancing to "All Night Long" with my hot wife. I've got to do something, anything, about my enormous head.

At 11:45 the karaoke ended and the dancing began. We formed a tightly-knit group on the dance floor while a growing crowd of lesbians formed around us. While dancing to mostly French hip-hop music we debated whether or not so and so was a man or a woman. It was all very confusing but fun nonetheless. At 1:30 we paid the bill and went home.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

The lesbians were probably attracted to your sweater Dave.

Blogger Dave said...

I'm not sure exactly what that means, but I'll take it as a sign that I need to upgrade my wardrobe.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

;) Right on!


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