I’m Choosing to Torture the Kids…It’s Only Fair.

It’s a fair rule I think that on your birthday you get to do whatever you want…within reason and mostly within the law.

With that in mind, I’m choosing to torture my kids today.

No, I’m not going to force booze and wine down their throats. I’m going for the next best thing:

I’m dragging them to a Jazz Club in San Francisco. They could think of other things to do. But, they know the rules about birthdays.

There I’ll pour booze and wine down my own throat and the kids will satisfy the two drink minimum via Shirley Temples, Roy Rodgers or whatever else the kids are drinking these days. But the best part is the great fun I’ll have hanging with the wonderful wife and exposing the kids for the first time to the transporting and sublime nature of a real night club (sans smoke) where real jazz  is played.

While I can imagine there might be a few folks out there who take as kindly to this idea as some of them did to the idea of exposing my children to small sips of wine at a young age, I really can’t imagine what would provoke me to care about this particular brand of NannyPrude.

That said, here’s the plan. The wife has something planned for late in the afternoon that involves loading us all up in the car and heading south to San Francisco. That’s followed by an outrageously good dinner at a fine SF steak house where I will closely study what is likely to be a 25 page wine list filled with esoterica and wines ranging in age from 3 to 30 and beyond. But first, it’s important to start off with a Manhattan straight up. After all, a certain civilized approach is necessary before the gorging, isn’t it?

I’ll instruct the waiter not to trim any fat off my steak since that glint of fat attached to the scorched medium rare flesh is really what makes it all worth while. The creamed spinach will come in a fine, silver serving tray (is there a better way to expose kids to the joys of spinach?).

And I’ll get to down my Manhattan, imbibe my fat-lined steak, indulge in the best (the only?) way spinach can be prepared, savor my old wine and watch my family carry out their purpose in life: make me smile.

Then it’s off to Pearls to see the Collective West Jazz Band and spend an hour or so trying to explain to Trey and Hayley the difference between "Big Band", "Be Bop" and "West Coast Cool" and why jazz always sounds different and better in a club than on an iPod.

I’m not sure it’s an altogether good thing to allow your kids to see you so fully pamper yourself. But their presence is necessary in this case. Ginny is used to and quite good and encouraging me, so I’m covered their.

Surprises. Manhattans. Great Wine. Fat-lined and marbled steak. A platter of creamed spinach. Jazz. More wine. Kids. Wife. Yep. Must be my birthday.


11 Responses

  1. Randy - February 20, 2008

    Happy Birthday Tom! What a great way to celebrate, with family and music and booze. Also nice to see jazz making a comeback in San Francisco.

  2. NickG - February 20, 2008

    Happy birthday and enjoy! I made the same choice for my birthday a few months ago. I dragged my kids to the Village Vanguard in NYC to see the Kurt Rosenwinkel Quintet. My 14 year old son thought it was OK. My 11 year old daughter fell asleep halfway through the set, and pronounced the music “boring” afterwards, but Mom, and especially Dad, enjoyed it immensely.

  3. el jefe - February 20, 2008

    Natal tidings Tom!

  4. Tim Vandergrift - February 20, 2008

    Happy birthday, Tom!
    It was Prime Rib, Pichon Lalonde and Coletrain for my birthday, so I’m right there with you. But I like a Perfect Manhattan (half sweet and half dry on the vermouth).
    Many happy returns.

  5. Tim Vandergrift - February 20, 2008

    Man, the only problem with posting a comment here is the inability to edit. ‘Coletrain’ indeed.
    Coletrane. Coletrane. Coletrane.

  6. peaches - February 20, 2008

    Happy Birthday Baby! Yes, we will spoil you immensely. You deserve it. You are a wonderful, hard working (and very handsome) husband. I will not expose how old he is, but I did rob the cradle.
    -love your bride

  7. Christina - February 20, 2008

    Happy Birthday Tom!

  8. TH - February 20, 2008

    Peaches, better watch out on the streets of San Francisco…some guy will try to steal him away…
    Serious question: Won’t the kids be utterly bored and turned off by jazz? Shouldn’t this just be a Peaches and Herb evening??
    Whatevah. Enjoy!

  9. Jack at F & B - February 20, 2008

    With only 3% of the US population enjoying Jazz music, it always surprises me that Jazz lovers don’t “get” this.
    You should have taken them to the DNA Lounge in SF last night to hear AndOne.

  10. Mark Koppen - February 21, 2008

    Sounds like a dream date, Tom – my mouth was watering thinking about that big porterhouse. Happy birthday!

  11. Joe M - February 22, 2008

    Bringin’ up the children right – that’s what I like to see.
    Happy birthday.

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