Wednesday, November 21, 2012

My birthday fanboy moment

I mentioned in my last post that Matty had organized a really nice birthday celebration.

He showered me with lots of smaller gifts during the day so I now have a couple of really nice sweaters for the winter, a new wool hat, a very colorful scarf to go with my new winter jacket, some sexy underwear, and a beautiful sterling silver necklace!

Then Matty took me out to dinner in the heart of downtown Boston. He had already said it was a "dress-up" restaurant, which is a huge deal for Matty since he almost never, ever leaves the house without his baseball cap!

I was a little worried when we walked out the door to leave and he's in his nice navy blue suit with his light blue and cream-colored tie... and his Red Sox cap! Not wanting to embarrass him (or me later), in a very polite voice I said something like, "Don't you have a Red Sox cap that's a bluish color?"

Without missing a beat, and flashing the sweetest smile, he said, "Aw, I'm not going to wear the cap inside. I wouldn't embarrass you like that."

So, whew! In all honesty I wouldn't have minded if he had worn it in. Being the gentleman he is (when the occasion calls for that), he would have taken it off before greeting the maƮtre d. And without the cap on while we're in the car, I would have felt I was being kidnapped by some unknown bad person.

Well, being taken out to dinner for one's birthday is something that happens to a lot of people. But being taken to a restaurant where the Chef is an idol of mine is just icing on the cake! But wait. That's not all!

Before I get to the good part, I should say this is a Chef I've been following for a while now. Not in a stalking way, but she's a pretty well-known Chef and has been featured in local as well as national magazine and newspaper feature articles. I also recently got to see her interviewed on a television show. And I recorded it! (Is my "fanboy" showing!)

Oh, and get this. Her style of cooking is something that really interests me. I want to learn more about it because her approach is something I'd like to play around with and maybe develop my own unique variation of. I've tried to explain it to Matty without his eyes glazing over (LOL), but it's essentially taking some pretty traditional dishes and experimenting with combinations of spices and flavoring that aren't usually associated with those dishes. Anyway, it's something I feel inspired by.

So on to the big surprise! When Matty called the restaurant to make reservations, he explained that it was my birthday and I was currently in college but planned on going to culinary school to become a chef someday. And that I had been following Chef's professional career and was inspired by her cooking style. He said it would mean a lot to me if Chef could possibly stop by our table just to say hello.

Matty had already told me he was taking me to this particular restaurant, which that alone was enough to make the celebration very special. But he didn't tell me Chef had agreed to stop by our table to say hello! I'm such a fanboy of this chef that if he had told me this ahead of time, I probably would have hyperventilated and fainted the minute I stepped inside!

So while we're eating our main course, Chef walks to our table and says something like, "Hello, I'm Chef ___, and just wanted to wish someone named 'Bradley' a Happy Birthday." Thank all that is holy I didn't have a mouth full of food because I surely would have choked to death or spewed the food in my mouth all across the table, or worse yet, all over her!! And then fainted!

I didn't realize I was on my feet when I extended my hand and said, "Hi. I'm Bradley. Nice to meet you. And thank you."

She gestured for me to sit back down (Matty assures me I didn't come across as some dorky fanboy) and she asked about our dinner. How to you form an intelligent and coherent thought when your idol chef asks your opinion of their cooking? Without coming across as a punk fanboy?

Thank goodness I had already talked to Matty about what flavors I thought she used for our dishes but I didn't want to get into fanboy gushing, so I just said everything was perfect. THEN she said, "Matthew told me you were planning a culinary career. Here, let me give you my card. It's really nice to meet you both. And Happy Birthday again."

I think I said something appropriate in response. Matty assures me I just said, "Nice to meet you, too. Thanks again."

I've been on a fanboy cloud since Saturday night. And I have Chef's card!! Well, it's the restaurant's card, but it has Chef's name on it. That counts, right?

I was talking to a friend about whether I should follow-up with her. I thought just sending her a little "thank you" note might work, but then again I don't want her thinking I'm some kind of stalking fanboy -- the "fanboy" part is right but I don't want to do anything cheesy.

My friend said just a short note would be a nice gesture, and a good way to network, even though she's not going to remember me 5 or 10 years down the road. Unless..... maybe I could send her a note every month, and maybe call her occasionally, and go back to her restaurant frequently, and.... Nah. That's not fanboy excitement -- that's definitely just stalking! LOL!

So, I'm just sending her a short note and will leave it at that. But the card she gave me, the one which she touched with her very hand, is getting laminated and framed!! Am I a fanboy or what? ;)


  1. Wow Matt! You are seriously awesome! But dude, how are you going to top this? lol. Brad, my cheeks hurt from smiling. How amazing. You should absolutely keep in touch periodically. She didn't have to give you her card. She probably saw a sympatico soul in you. Second best birthday present I've ever heard of (I got married on my birthday- a bit biased lol).

  2. Oh that Matty! I'm just a big pile of mush over here because that's just awesome. We knew Matt was good at surprises but this? To show you how well he knows you, to orchestrate this whole thing...yeah, I bow down to your awesomeness, Matt! Brad, I'm so very glad your birthday was amazing. All birthdays should be. And I hope you gave Matt an appropriate reward for a job well done! ;)

  3. Wonderful birthday story! Definitely send a note, I'm sure she'd appreciate it. From my experience, as long as you aren't a stalker, most people tend to appreciate hearing that someone appreciates their efforts - famous or not. :)

  4. That's lovely - glad you had a wonderful birthday :) And a short note sounds right :)

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  6. YAY! :D I'm so happy for you, Brad, and way to go, Matty! The "note every month" made me LOL! :D

  7. Now that's a great birthday. Two things put a goofy smile on my face - hearing how perfectly Matt spoiled you and listening to your passion in becoming a chef.

    It's pretty powerful to see someone following their chosen career path. Your passion for the culinary arts and excitement in meeting your chef were palpable in this post. I'm so happy for you. And maybe Matt could go into business planning birthday surprises for the less imaginative - he's good.

    On a final note, fanboy away! We're all a fangirl/fanboy for someone. (It's possible I let out a squee when I got a return email from a favorite author, especially since my original email was just the gushing of a crazy person.) I'm sure your note will be much more dignified than mine. :)

  8. Hope you had a wonderful birthday Brad. And what a fabulous present Matty arranged! I think a note thanking her is totally reasonable. She wouldn't have given you her card if she didn't want any contact with you. Glad you had such a wonderful time!

  9. I am glad you had such a wonderful time at that restaurant. It really did look like an amazing place. And what a wise friend you have, lol.

    Wouldn't it be great if some day you are the chef going to the table of a young person wanting to be a chef someday. I am sure that it will happen.

  10. Kudos to Matty for making your birthday so special! I'm so happy to hear you had a wonderful day.

    I agree with everyone else that a thank you note would be a very sweet way to show your appreciation for Chef's hard work and talent. I'm sure she would love to hear from you at various points along your journey in becoming a chef. Who wouldn't want to know they've inspired someone to follow in their footsteps? Well, maybe a criminal, lol. But seriously, don't be shy! Jay's right--she wouldn't have given you her card if she didn't want you to contact her.

    I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving! xoxo

  11. To meet the Chef who's cooking inspires you - wow what a great birthday surprise! Matty is the greatest! I agree with Ann Marie, Matt could succeed in a career as a birthday planner.

    Thanks for sharing your special day with us, Brad. Your post made me smile, especially the bit about Matty's baseball cap. LOL

    1. correction 'whose cooking' DOH.

      Happy Thanksgiving!

  12. I love your enthusiasm! Passion is always a key to success, whether in a career or hobby or relationship.

    And Matty -- wow! -- you couldn't have planned a better birthday! I'm impressed . . . especially by the fact you went capless. ;-)

  13. Awe! I'm glad you had such a fantastic birthday, B!

  14. cool! I'd be like that if I met one of my favorite authors or Gerard Butler!! Better late than never, but Happy Birthday!

  15. Hi Bradley,

    To answer your final question - yes, you are a fanboy, but so what?! At least you aren't a stalker, which was starting to worry me when you mentioned maybe sending a note evey month!

    As for sending it one time to let her know how much you appreciate that she took the time to stop by your table, that is totally appropriate, and a lovely sign of good manners.

    And Matty, you are to be commended for giving Bradley such a beautiful birthday. I am sure he thanked you properly! :)

    Hope you both have an excellent Thanksgiving!

  16. Hey Brad! I am glad you had such an awesome birthday.

    I think the note is a nice gesture, you would be surprised at what people remember. If she gave you her card, she must have been serious about getting in contact at some point in the future and it is correct that sending her some correspondence is good for networking. Make the note, short but memorable.

  17. "Well, it's the restaurant's card, but it has Chef's name on it. That counts, right?"

    Absolutely! That does count! ;)

    "Am I a fanboy or what? ;)"

    Let's see. Did you take a pic with her? :P

    Wow Matty...what an amazing surprise you organized once again!

    I am so glad you got to meet your Chef idol and had an amazing time with her Brad. Sure you will remember this special moment for a long time. And I do think she will appreciate a note thanking her for her kindness and her availability.

    *hugs to you both*

  18. Everyone needs a Matt in their relationship!!!

    Glad you had a wonderful birthday and good luck with the *stalking*.

    Hugs xx