Mashed Potatoes

My birthday is on July 25th (make a note!) 

When I started working at Starfire, I met Steve, whose birthday is on July 26th. 

We started a tradition of celebrating our birthdays together.  It’s terrific because we spend the three months leading up to our birthdays reminding everyone about when our birthday is.  In fact, we basically celebrate our birthdays until mid-August, and then we start talking about it again in March.  There’s no shame in it, just birthday brotherhood!

The first year we celebrated, we decided to get together for lunch.  I asked Steve where he wanted to go and he said “KFC.”  I asked him if he was sure and named about 20 other restaurants that were much nicer and more deserving of our inaugural birthday meal.  He stuck to his guns, and so on July 26th, 2002, I picked Steve up from his group home and we went to lunch at the KFC in Western Hills.  We got the lunch buffet and Steve came back with a giant plate of mashed potatoes.  He had a biscuit and one chicken leg, but the plate was mostly mashed potatoes.  He sat down and talked about how much he loved mashed potatoes, I told him that fact was apparent, and we had lunch. 

I remember taking him home that day.  I pulled up and walked him in the door and he told the staff at the home that he had mashed potatoes and I made a comment about how it was a big helping, intending it as a joke.  The staff there told me that he had wrecked his diet, and that Steve was supposed to be restricted to a half cup of mashed potatoes (I think he probably had about 4 half cups of mashed potatoes at lunch!)  I was so happy that Steve ate those mashed potatoes. 

Here’s a picture of us this year at the Reds game. 

We went on the Friday after our birthdays, and Steve said it was OK to bring my son (who ruined our pic with his silliness) with us, since he’s into baseball, too.  We didn’t have any mashed potatoes, just a diet pop and a hot dog.    But we didn’t get home until midnight because the game went into extra innings (they lost!)  I called at 9:30 to let Steve’s home know that he wanted to stay for the whole thing and they complained about a shift change, but couldn’t dissuade us from our mission.

It seems we’re always getting into some kind of trouble on our birthdays.  It’s probably not the trouble that most people would even consider being a problem, but Steve lives by a different set of rules that limit his mashed potato intake and how late he stays out.   Next year, maybe we’ll go to a sports bar and get a beer (GASP!!!)

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2 Responses to Mashed Potatoes

  1. Barbra says:

    I’m glad Steve had those potatoes! I was in a meeting onee that was a joint workshop and group home meeting for a gentleman. He made one profound remark that I have always remembered: ” There’s so much to have to work on”. Why did we give him so many goals to work on? Why didn’t we ask him what( if anything) he wanted as a goal. We talk alot about self-determination and choices and yet take away the most elemental choices. Why can’t Annie have cake if she wants instead of a salad?
    Heaven help the person who tells me that I can’t have another helping of chocolate pie!

  2. Leah says:

    What an awesome story about indulgence! I love mashed potatoes, too! Who doesn’t?!

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