Gayle Madwin (queerbychoice) wrote,
Gayle Madwin

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Susan's Birthday

Today is Susan's birthday. She is now an old lady of 43! I gave her some books (by Jung Chang, M. F. K. Fisher, Nega Mezlekia, and Aung San Suu Kyi), a DVD of the complete Fawlty Towers TV series, a sun-tea container, some socks, and a new pair of tennis shoes. She decided to have birthday cake before dinner rather than after dinner, so I pushed 43 candles into the cake I had bought her and attempted to light them all. Susan helped me light them, but some of them still burned almost down to cake level by the time we finished lighting them.

We went out to an Indian restaurant for dinner, because Susan had been craving spicy-hot chicken vindaloo. I have zero tolerance for any degree whatsoever of spicy-hotness, so I generally avoid Indian restaurants, but Susan said she would be able to recommend foods there that I could eat. The restaurant was a tiny little place in which the woman serving us seemed to also be the chef. We had four shared appetizers - papadom, veggie samosas, aloo paratha, and garlic naan. The papadom came first, with two different sauces to put on it. Susan tried them both and told me the red sauce was sweet and the green sauce was minty. I tried them both and concluded that the red sauce was spicy-hot and yucky and the green sauce was spicy-hot and yucky with vegetable-flavored yuckiness mixed in. I declined to eat any more, so Susan ate mine. Then the veggie samosas arrived. Susan said they were good and that I could pick out the peas (because I hate to eat anything green). I said they were spicy-hot and inedible, so Susan ate mine. When the aloo paratha arrived, I found it to be spicy-hot and inedible also, but the garlic naan was all right. So I ate garlic naan and drank mango lassi. The mango lassi was absolutely delicious, so much so that I thought I would look for it at the local Indian grocery stores in the future - except that it turns out to contain yogurt rather than a rice drink as Susan had claimed, and it did somewhat bother my lactose intolerance, so I guess I shouldn't look for it after all. Susan tried my mango lassi and hated it, because she hates mango flavoring.

My chicken biriyani contained an awful lot of vegetables for me to pick out, but I was relieved to find that it was not spicy-hot; it was flavored only with tomato sauce. It was edible, though not delicious. Susan's chicken vindaloo, however, was apparently not spicy-hot at all either. She even gave me a bit of the potato from it, and I confirmed that it was in fact not spicy-hot at all. She was disappointed by this, and attempted to express her disappointment to the server/chef by saying that it didn't have the spicy kick she had been expecting. The server/chef misinterpreted this as a compliment and exclaimed that she had tasted it and made sure it wasn't spicy - she was apparently convinced that because Susan is white, Susan couldn't possibly actually want her food flavored the way she had ordered it. Susan was too cowed after this response to try again to request spiciness. I was extremely amused by this, not least because the restaurant's racial stereotyping would have been entirely accurate if they had only applied it to me - in fact, they apparently didn't racially stereotype me enough, since so many of the appetizers were too spicy-hot for me to be able to eat them. We agreed that it is practically impossible for anyone to be any more white than I am, at least food-wise. Well, and skin color-wise, too. Poor Susan, stereotyped as having the same food preferences as me, just because her ancestors are from the same continent as mine.

Now Susan is feeling a bit ill from eating too much, no doubt because she had to eat my share of all but one of our appetizers. I probably should not be so amused by the fact that her birthday dinner went awry.

And now, on a completely unrelated note: Look at Stardust and Ganymede sleeping next to each other! We have such adorable pets.

Tags: gifts, susan
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