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Tuesday, October 27, 2009

A Reason for Celebration at Tres Agaves

It drives me crazy that my boyfriend is younger than I am. Just by four months, yes, but it’s excruciating waiting an entire 130 days for him to catch up to me. Why? For one, I’m dodging his sarcasm left and right. Cradle Robber and Old Lady are two of Darren’s favorite nicknames for me between April 1st and August 9th, while the rest of the year I’m blissfully free of these labels. Maddening! I want to tell him, we’re not in elementary school (when four months can seem like four centuries). In grown-up time, four months is – four months. Have I mentioned Darren and I are barely in our mid-20s? Can you image what life will be like when I turn, say, 40 or 50?

The 130 day waiting period has never been fun for me – except when I was newly 21. My, how the tables turned that year.

* * *

In April 2007, a large group of my friends huddled around a booth at the campus pizza shop and bar, where I sipped my de-lish cocktail and eyed a 20-year-old Darren. He gulped a diet Coke.

Eat my dust, sucker.

I was officially permitted to drink at a bar. Yay! And no matter how hard Darren tried to bring me down with his Old Maid comments, he couldn’t. I hate to admit it felt pretty good watching the bartender take his fake ID and send him home, while I stayed out chugging Bud Lights with my friends. Because I was legal. And he was not.

* * *

So when Darren has a birthday, I go all out. Because not only is his birth cause for celebration, but the end of my being tormented by his sarcastic commentary is a good reason to knock one back, too.

This year, for his 23rd, I surprised him with dinner at Tres Agaves, our favorite Mexican restaurant in the city. His parents flew into town that morning to spend the day with him and play House Hunters with us. We drove from condo to condo, searching for the perfect "investment."

“Oooo,” Darren uttered in slow motion as we drove to the next loft, his eyes flickering as if he had a more brilliant idea than the light bulb. “Let’s take my parents to Tres Agaves for lunch. They’ll love it!”

“I don’t know,” I said, although he was right. His dad can’t resist Mexican food.

“What?” Darren looked shocked. (I never refuse Tres Agaves. Ever.) “There are happy hour specials during games, and the Giants are playing now. I’ve always wanted to go for happy hour,” he said.

“We’re going for dinner,” I blurted, annoyed.

“Can’t we eat somewhere else for dinner?”

“No.”

“Why?”

“Because it’s your birthday and –”

“And I get to choose where we go.”

“No, because it’s your birthday and you're not allowed to ask questions. Or else you won’t have a birthday.” Because your surprise will be ruined.

He got the gist.

Later that night, the four of us moseyed into the restaurant. We’d nearly taken our seats at the table before Darren realized a large crowd of twelve had gathered around it – for him. To celebrate his 23rd year. “Surprise!” our friends shouted in discord.

After dinner, Darren told me it had been the best birthday of all time. And I said if he ever wanted another one, he’d better cut the Craddle Robber nickname crap. Forever.


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