99 Problems And Glitches Be All Of Them
Today is Jenny Tay’s birthday. I’ve invited her to join me for drinks at the Long Bar to rejoice at its re-opening and throw peanut shells on the floor in celebration. Unbeknownst to her, a group of conspiratorial friends are gathering at Standing Sushi Bar across the street to surprise her. Unbeknownst to me, Jenny has never been to Long Bar before and being the millennial that she is, feels uncomfortable littering. And unbeknownst to us both, the Raffles Hotel is undergoing renovation. So we both get slightly lost, fighting our way through unglamorous scaffolding and signage to get to each other. Not cool.
Fortunately this allows me to suggest we call our friend Nan to ask if there is space at Standing Sushi Bar for lunch. I emphasise how the reservation is for two, for Jenny’s benefit. Nan says loudly that she isn’t sure if she can fit us but will call us back to confirm. Apparently stymied yet again by this new glitch, I ask Jenny to google where she might like to eat if Standing Sushi Bar doesn’t pan out. In fact, Jenny recalls there is a McDonald’s at Odeon Towers which is launching some new fish & fries recipe.
Meanwhile Nan sends me a photograph of the cake that has been delivered to Standing Sushi Bar. It is smashed, due to mishandling by the delivery boy. I suggest she loads on 33 birthday candles to disguise the glitch. She calls to tell me the reservation is confirmed and to come quickly. I say we will come now and inform Jenny we do not have to celebrate her birthday at McDonald’s.
Moments later, Nan calls again in a panic. Apparently the candles burn down extraordinarily quickly; soon we will have neither candles nor cake. She says she will have to replace them with just one candle.
Lying In Wait At Standing Sushi Bar
Nan meets us at Odeon Towers to hustle us towards Standing Sushi Bar. I assume our accelerated pace is due to barbecued cake. Indeed, Nan looks stressed, but she’s still standing up to the challenge.
Jenny is surprised to even see Nan who explains she’s helping out as Standing Sushi Bar is short-handed. We all murmur our appreciation that she is taking time to seat us despite her troubles.
As Nan leads us into the private room of Standing Sushi Bar, Jenny’s friends and family jump out to surprise her. As she takes it all in, they hand her the cake, now re-decorated with just one candle, and sing her a song. Laughingly, she tears up in surprise and it’s hugs all around.
Over lunch, we take turns to tell Jenny how much she means to us and why we have taken time off our busy Monday to be there. We start with Chong & Carolyn from Carrie K and Jenny leaps forward for an emotional hug. Next, Cheryl Wee, a health & wellness expert, thanks Jenny for her mothercraft advice and for always being there for her. Then Rachel, the darling behind Love Bonito, states plainly that Jenny is a genuine friend with no agenda, and gets a huge round of applause for saying what is in our hearts. We end the round with Darren, Jenny’s husband, who hands her a card signed by us all. The card of course is from sweet Jaime Lee, of the Paper Bunny.
Standing Sushi Bar Stands Up To The Challenge
What makes it easier for everyone to mingle is the fact that the food is delicious. Although the Standing Sushi Bar staff are always on hand whenever we need anything, Nan is able to anticipate our needs before we even voice them. That makes such a difference. On looking back, I think the restaurant choice was key to the success of Jenny’s surprise luncheon.
Even Jenny’s one-year-old daughter enjoyed herself throughout lunch. Surely this is a testament to how smoothly things went at Standing Sushi Bar. Incidentally, we discover that Skyla likes bursting through cloth doors but doesn’t fancy corn much.
Happy Birthday, Jenny!
As we’ve all had manic Christmas and Chinese New Year celebrations, not to mention piles of work, many of us haven’t seen one another in ages. For instance I haven’t seen much of Grace since she launched Neue Fitness. In fact Winnie, from Bynd Artisan, was in the midst of moving house when she came over to celebrate Jenny.
So despite Monday blues, ill health and work stress, I was glad we all fought it off to meet today. But of course we did, because it was in honor of our sweet friend. Happy birthday, Jenny Tay!