Office birthdays are a delicate dance. We usually have one party a month, for all the birthdays of that month. Group parties seeeeeeem like a good idea, but without designating one special person, no one knows how to proceed.
First, everyone pretends not to notice the cake, because they’re so busy chatting and catching up. I, however, have a laser-guided focus because my great weakness is that if there is food, and a group of people, I will always, ALWAYS panic about not having enough to eat.
THEN, you have to try and get a piece for yourself. Etiquette dictates that the birthday person gets the first slice, but with no one person, it becomes an awkward shuffle of “who is going to go first, and look like a jerk/pig?” The trick is to try and sneak your way in, snag a slice and retreat back into the crowd before anyone sees.
AND THEN, if you work in MY office and have yourself an ice cream cake (a far superior choice), you’ll have to fight off the lactose-intolerant production assistants who “just want a bite – just for the taste of it!!”
This is a monthly occurrence in my life.
This was an incredibly belated birthday gift to my buddy Natalie, who is from Portland can’t shut up about the damn place.
I don’t know who in my house is getting J Crew catalogs, but I’m loving them. This woman was probably modeling this lovely shirt, which you can probably buy at a location near you. But I was happy to see that when I’d finished attempting to draw her, she came out exactly how I would imagine Beatrice “Boo Boo” Glass, from my favorite J.D. Salinger story, “Down at the Dinghy.”
So there, you see – this isn’t JUST a doodle. Now that it’s vaguely literary and personal, it’s ART.
I love cities. I’ve lived in cities most of my life. I love being able to walk around the corner for a coffee or a gallon of milk. I love the interesting architecture. I love the variety of people, restaurants, bars and cultural venues. Cities are great. But I’m still a child of the suburbs. This becomes painfully apparent when the subject of food comes up between me and my friends. The combination of living abroad and yearning for the American food that I loved, and living in the Northern Virginia in a time when it was doggedly focused on turning every tree and creek into a strip mall, has engendered in me an affection for chain restaurants. I dragged my family out to Olive Garden for every birthday party; I chugged Starbucks like it was my job (and actually, I enthusiastically put on that green apron and mixed those drinks for two years); and the ultimate night out was to Red Lobster, to partake in the never-ending baskets of their amazing Cheddar Bay Biscuits, warm from the oven.
Unfortunately, I went to school in Boston, and all of my friends are from Massachusetts now. No one understands when I argue that Red Lobster’s seafood, though it’s found even in land-locked cities, is still delicious (and who even has room for the crab legs after all the biscuits, youknowwhati’msaying?) They are lobster snobs. Not that they’ve ever tried the place, because god forbid they step foot in a chain seafood joint when they can just skip off to shore next to their house and dig clams fresh from the sand.
The good news is, I’ve found myself a nice a girl who happens to hail from Arlington, a suburb in Virginia not far from my own. Even though her town is just across the river from DC, and has its fair share of independently owned restaurants, she, like me, feels the pull of Red Lobster. This means that when I start babbling excitedly about a Red Lobster prix fixe deal I saw on TV, she is prepared, nay, eager, to give up a Saturday night, drive to Inglewood, and wait 40 minutes for a table. She, like that last biscuit that you can’t quite stomach but you wrap up in a napkin and throw in your bag for later, is a keeper.
ANYWAY. All that fanfare is for this crudely rendered, notebook sketch of our date. Ta-da.
This little guy was a commission. I was paid in BBQ sauce.
The Sartorialist has great pics to sketch from!
Advice to Laura from 3 hours ago: If you could barely finish 1/3 of that meatloaf last night at dinner, DON’T THINK that you can polish off the remainder today at lunch without wanting to die. You’re going to want to die.
Well worth it, though.