Birthdays for your special one are always a pain in the neck. Especially if they are those who grew up celebrating virtually every damn thing as a family and having group hugs. I grew up in a home where expressions of emotions weren’t a thing. No “I miss you” and “I love you”. (Yikes).
Now imagine me meeting someone who has no qualms confronting emotions and feelings. So embarrassing. You can tell by now that I’m an avoidant. Sadly, birthdays for people like this are something you can’t avoid. Mostly because you are reminded about them subtly six months before. And even after the damn birthday, there is something called a birthday month. So if her birthday falls on the 9th, as my Lady’s does, you have three more weeks of her insisting that it’s still her birthday.
Anyway, I took her to Graze the steakhouse at the Nairobi Sankara Hotel. (Thanks, Joyce). Graze is a New York-style steakhouse, specialising in aged beef and succulent seafood. She’s carnivorous and loves her meat almost as much as she does her seafood. Absolutely loves meat. She also loves wine. And romance. And low lighting. She wore high heels and a black dress that her mother wouldn’t approve of because of how much skin it was showing. (The more skin the better, I think).
We got a nice cozy table at the corner. Graze has that mood, it’s not too big to feel like you are eating at Nyayo Stadium and not too small to rub elbows with the people at the next table. “They look like they know what they are doing with meat.” She said, looking over at the activity in the kitchen. We ordered wine and food. I had a sirloin steak while she had a T-bone, all recommended by Chef Gregg who, surprisingly, oozed personality given how temperament most chefs are.
I had just landed from New York that afternoon, I was wiped. Jet lag. I had had an energy drink and a Jaggermesiter earlier but I was still drowning. Thankfully she’s a talker, so she kept me awake while she occasionally nodded not at what I said but at the meat. I had one whisky, she had two glasses of merlot.
Look, she didn’t even need me to be there, to be honest, I would have gone to the washroom and passed out over the sink and she would have only noticed if Gregg asked about my whereabouts. Isn’t that what birthdays are?