Maybe just a little whining. My birthday celebration on the "outside" went off without a hitch. I felt somewhat like a psychiatric patient on a day pass, but I did get a sharp knife with which to cut my meat, so I guess a more apt simile is like a soldier on furlough. Ironically, instead of feeling normal and free, I felt mostly conspicuous. Maybe because we sat all alone in a private dining room. Maybe because I had to grill the waiter about the water source. Maybe because Marty looked at the shaved parmesan cheese on the grilled asparagus and thought I shouldn't eat it. Maybe because I had that little bottle of Purell eyeing my every move. Clearly, I am a Special Needs restaurant patron. I know Marty's watching me out of the corner of his eye to see if I develop adverse symptoms which might be traced to my big night out.
And I really shouldn't underestimate the public minefield, or the havoc that might be wreaked from ingesting a small amount of imported Italian cheese. I was reminded of that yesterday when I learned of the deaths of two transplant patients I "know" on the LLS discussion boards. It's a jungle out there, and I should never be complacent.