Since yesterday was my sister Michelle’s birthday, for today’s Throwback Thursday, I’ll tell you what happened a few years ago on a different birthday of hers.  Michelle lived in Virginia at the time, and drove to Florida with a friend who dropped her off with me, so the two of us could travel to New Orleans for some concerts that we were photographing.

The day her friend dropped her off was also her birthday, so I made arrangements for them to meet me at our favorite Mexican restaurant where I had several people on hand for a little surprise party.

We pulled off the surprise just fine, and Michelle was even more surprised when the restaurant wait staff brought her a huge sombrero to wear while they sang “Happy Birthday” then left the hat with her so we could all get photos.

But the surprise was on them when afterward, Michelle walked out to my car wearing the expensive sombrero!  I was mortified!  “Why’d you take that?” I asked her as I hid my face in embarrassment.

She shrugged her shoulders.  “I dunno.  They gave it to me for my birthday.”

When I explained that it was not a gift from the restaurant, she was equally as embarrassed!


Michelle & Me

Speaking of embarrassing restaurant birthday traditions, last night, I arranged for a bunch of friends to meet us at the Roadhouse where, unbeknownst to any of us, the staff brought a saddle mounted on a sawhorse to the table, made Michelle mount it while they sang, and forced her to swing a napkin in a circle over her head while the whole restaurant gave her a rousingly loud, “Yee Haw!”

Now THAT was funny!  (And no, she didn’t try to keep the saddle… or the napkin.)

She said it was only slightly less embarrassing than the time we took her to Bubba Gump’s for her birthday a few years back and they made her stand on a table and hold sparklers while the staff sang and danced around the table.

Talk to me:  What’s the most embarrassing restaurant birthday tradition you’ve ever witnessed?  What’s your favorite restaurant to visit on your birthday?

25 thoughts on “Olé!

  1. When my brother and I were younger, we used to go to Salt Lake where our cousin would introduce us to her friends. Many concerts and other events in those stories. We used to tell the restaurants it was her birthday, even if it wasn’t, just to embarrass her. She wore many hats over the years.

  2. Listen carefully young Rachel…next year and thereafter as it happens do not even think about…not even for one moment…taking her to a surprise party at the tiger enclosure at the zoo for it could all go so horribly wrong!

  3. In my family, the ordering of a special birthday song simply is not allowed although it may have happened once or twice when my kids were real young. For my daughter’s birthday every year we go to Legoland and end up eating at a P.F. Chang’s out there in San Diego. I casually mentioned that it was my daughter’s birthday and they brought her a complimentary dessert of some sort of banana and ice cream thing. I wonder why that was only last time and not the times before….?

  4. Oh my. I always tell people not to make a fuss over my birthday because I get embarrassed so easily. I would have been beet red over those. 🙂 happy birthday (belated) to your sister. 🙂

  5. When my friend turned 18, we took her to a male stripper club and they lined up to give her a birthday kiss. when one kissed her, he’d get back in line and so on. She was beat red! haha ❤
    Diana xo

  6. I hope your sister has enjoyed all these embarrassing birthday moments! Does she arrange similar things for your birthday? Sister bonding!

    We make goofy birthday crowns for our immediate family on our birthdays, and we do birthday phone calls where we sing “Happy Birthday” (sometimes in weird voices). No special birthday restaurant, but always a home made cake. 🙂

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