Thursday, October 13, 2005

birthday dinner

My friend wants to take me out for dinner. I know how this is going to go, but I play along.

Her: I want to take you out for your birthday. When would be a good time?
Me: Oh, fun! How does your schedule look?
Her: Well, Monday next week is good for me. Or Wednesday. Or Friday. But I definitely can't do it on Tuesday or Thursday.
Me: [thinking monday, wednesday and friday are all bad for me] OK, how about tomorrow night? Is that too short notice?
Her: No. That would be fine. Where would you like to go? Your choice.
Me: Oh, you know I like just about everything. And what I haven't tried, I'm willing to try. What sounds fun to you?
Her: You think about it and decide. But you know I can't eat shellfish ... and I can't go to [names a few] ... and we need to go someplace close ...
Me: OK. I'll decide by tomorrow night.
Her: OK. What time?
Me: Um, I'm not sure I can make it before 6:30.
Her: Don't you think we will have a hard time getting seated that late?
Me: Would you prefer 6:00? I really don't think I can make it any earlier.
Her: OK. 6:00 is fine. And if you happen to get here early, that will be fine, too.
Me: OK. Tomorrow night at 6:00.

See, I know if I say up-front “Why don’t you just tell me where and when,” it will take away her joy of taking me out and make her feel like it’s not my “party”. So I have to give her the illusion that she is actually letting me have some input in the decision. But ultimately, I know it’s all her choice. I don’t mind. The social element is the important thing to me – not the food. And Heaven knows I won’t starve if I don’t go out for dinner on my birthday.

But at the same time I can’t help wonder why there are so many control-freaks in my life.

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