¡Ai! ¡Ai! ¡Ai! ¡Arriba! ¡Arriba!
Get up and celebrate, fools! It's Cinco de Mayo! Which, of course, has large and lovely implications in other parts of the world, but around these parts, it means eat, drink, and be merry!!
Today is also my brother's birthday, and we always had a blast celebrating his birthday on Cinco de Mayo. We always went to Chi-Chi's to have an "authentic" Mexican dinner. We would gorge ourselves on free chips and salsa (still one of my favorite past-times), order massive dinners, and then "surprise" my brother with the same thing every year. My mom would always get the waiter or waitress to bring the whole staff over to sing happy birthday. But at Chi-Chi's, it was super-special, because first they would plop a large sombrero on his head and place FRIED ICE CREAM (I hope you have tasted this magical dessert. If you haven't, please do yourself a favor and scamper to your closest restaurante Mexicana and GET SOME) in front of him before singing a "Mexican" Happy Birthday song.
Not to brag about the awesomeness we had at our fingertips or anything, but Chi-Chi's ALSO took a Polaroid picture of the birthday boy with his sombrero and fried ice cream -- for FREE. In every picture, my sister and I are crowding in, getting in his face, singing loudly and looking very excited (probably mostly about the fried ice cream in my case).
I think this is one of the reasons I SOO love the birthday singing in restaurants. Seriously, is there anything better on your birthday than having strangers clap for you and someone bring you a FREE dessert? I think not. Sadly, this is not a part of my birthdays because my husband thinks it is "embarrassing" and "strange" and just because he doesn't like strangers staring at HIM on HIS birthday, he deprives me of such pleasure on my own. But I digress.
Back to my brother and his Cinco de Mayo festivities. We continued this tradition late into his teens, and probably would have done the same thing this very year if Chi-Chi's hadn't had the audacity to close and my brother hadn't had the audacity to move across the country.
Happy Birthday, bro. I hope you have someone singing to you in a Mexican restaurant tonight. To the rest of you: Drink a few extra margaritas and Coronas for me!