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Feb 20, 2011 11:17 PM

OK, this is awkward: a birthday dinner when all of the guests don't know its your birthday.....

One of my husband's sisters called tonight: she and her hubby got a great last-minute package deal and are coming out to Vegas from the east coast later this week. It was rather unexpected, and we already had plans to be away starting Saturday...and I work late on Thursday. DH will get more of a visit than I will due to my work schedule, but obviously I want to see them as well...we only see each other about once a year if that. So, it was agreed before I even got in on the conversation: we'd all go out Friday night. DH was reporting the phone call to me and then says: "oh, that's your birthday, isn't it?" Now, birthdays aren't THAT big of a deal to me, and we already celebrated two weeks ago when DH turned sixty...but still, I was looking forward to champagne and a nice dinner at home cooked by my favorite husband/cook. Instead I need someplace on or near the strip with a celebratory feel, plenty of vegetarian options, middle-of-the road in cost, NOT a steakhouse, and that won't embarrass me horribly if DH should let slip that its a special day (no waiters singing, in other words!). Ideas? And would you let them know it was your birthday ahead of time so you can celebrate or just avoid possible embarrassment and tell hubby to try and keep his mouth shut?

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  1. everybody keeps their mouth shut, if DH's sister knows and makes a fuss, great. otherwise nobody says nuthin'. dummy up. and then ya tell 'em what it all meant and make them feel like crap since they didn't know to guess. (sorry - I'm a descendant of bad P-A types)

    or on Friday quietly chuckle because they don't have a clue of why you're happy to be treated (even if it's "Dutch treat" - that part should be on DH) and on Saturday unplug the phones with a valid sounding excuse and hunker down in the kitchen - hey! a two-fer!.

    I barely remember my sisters b-days much less their husbands. and I think I'd freak them if I did. so I'd guess she doesn't remember yours.

    1. How about Vintner Grill? You might even ask for an outdoor table. I think it's pretty festive and they have a fair number of vegetarian options I believe.

      Vintner Grill
      10100 W. Charleston Blvd., Las Vegas, NV 89135

      1. Why not let the restaurant know? Lots of places will comp you a dessert.

        1. janetofreno, since it's your hubby's sister, I would defer to his capable sense of priority to handle the what ifs and his wish to make you happy. If it were me, my SIL would know (even if it meant a gentle reminder) that there visit coincides with my birthday and that would lead to a conversation as to where we would all enjoy a meal that would make everyone, including the birthday girl, happy.

          2 Replies
          1. re: HillJ

            lol....he was the one that asked me for suggestions...and I drew a blank. The one place I could think of was Charlie Palmer's for the cut of the week...but since his sister is vegan and her husband vegetarian that just didn't seem like such a good choice :-)

            1. re: janetofreno

              Then ask your inlaws to pick a that would include choices for them and a nice birthday dinner for you and hubby. Ask them to do a bit of research :)

          2. I would feel terrible if I were a guest and did not know it was the host's birthday. By all means, tell her in a matter of fact way, something along the lines of "oh what a treat to see you guys on my birthday!" They may feel obligated to buy a gift, but this is far, far better than feeling awful because they didn't even know.

            7 Replies
              1. re: Isolda

                yep, also agree with this - they will feel AWFUL if they find out later. You can totally mention it by the by like Isolda said, and you should do.

                1. re: Isolda

                  well sure if you want to do the right thing, but where's the fun in that?

                  but the reaction of "what perfect timing and that's a place we've heard a lot of good things" is probably best in the long run.

                  1. re: hill food

                    I guess the first question we all should have asked is "Do you LIKE your sister in law, or do you want to make her feel guilty?" :-P I sort of get the impression that she's a nice person, though.

                    I had a secret birthday once. Everyone was snowed in, so birthday plans had to be canceled. I trudged to a bar in the neighborhood so I wouldn't be sitting in my house alone, but didn't tell anyone it was my birthday because I thought it would be obnoxious. It was all very depressing.

                    1. re: jvanderh

                      jvdh: oh I remember something much more pathetic, but this isn't a pissing contest. I'll make you cry some other day.

                      1. re: hill food

                        These threads aren't pissing contests?!?! Do people know about this?? :-P

                        No, but seriously, lay it on me. No one likes to be pathetic alone.

                        1. re: jvanderh

                          mine too is in winter, new town, no real friends there, broke with a new job that paid once a month and due to the pay cycle wasn't going to see anything for about 3 more weeks, and I had the flu.

                          ok I can imagine worse.