This year, rather than buying the typical birthday gift, I opted for throwing Jason an "experience birthday weekend," instead. The weekend started out with dinner for two at a swanky restaurant downtown where we like to celebrate very special occasions - usually our anniversary. We were able to squeeze our reservation in right before the end of Indy's Devour Downtown Winterfest, which meant taking advantage of high-class food at a much lower price tag. (For those in the Indy area who missed the Winterfest, check out the Summer Devour Downtown in June where premier restaurants downtown offer special $30 menus).
Of course, Jason insisted that there wasn't anything really special about him turning 32. After all, it's not as if he just turned 30. I beg to differ. Turning 32 means you've kicked the pants off of turning 30 - twice! But regardless of your stance on the numbers game, one thing is certain, a night worth remembering is a night worth celebrating, indeed. And a night where you find some unexpected whimsy? Even better.
These jewel-toned hanging lanterns made from really heavy materials, like velvet, remind me of the Mad-Hatter and Alice in Wonderland. Maybe it's the hatbox shape. I love the varied shapes, the staggered lengths, and that they seemed just out of place enough to catch my eye, but somehow just right. (Sorry for the poor picture quality. We were trying to snap pictures of them in the few moments when tables were empty. Velvety hanging lanterns: quite whimsical. Interrupting someone's nice dinner with your flashbulb: uh...not so whimsical.)
The lanterns setting the tone, the rest of the evening felt as if I had slipped out of my everyday and down into the rabbit hole where even the most common of things seems unique. A miniature tart for one (or two),
a sink and back splash that serve as art,
a rug (and back splash) that match my shoes,
and some beads from the table to remind me that it wasn't all a dream.
But my favorite part of the evening? The uninterrupted conversation inspired by our surroundings. We discussed our top three dining experiences: the first time we ate at a place like this (on someone else's dime as an award for Jason's job performance seven years ago) acting as if we were two kids just handed the master keys to FAO Schwartz; the anniversary dinner where we opened an envelope (and a package containing a pink dress wrapped up by a sales associate in our absence) announcing that we were having a girl; and the time we rented a moped to drive to dinner while at Key West and left the restaurant with two to-go boxes containing desserts tucked into the compartment under the seat while we toured the island.
Our talk gradually came around to how special all those evenings, and the one we were spending, were. How, perhaps, the most special thing about them is that they don't happen every day. I left, warmed by the restaurant and the time spent together, but warmed also knowing that once we stepped outside, we were heading back to our very common life.