We ordered a total of four pitchers of sangria and 22 different tapas. We passed plates and pitchers around, sampled everything we wanted, laughed, told stories, and generally had a good time.
On leaving the restaurant, I made everybody pose two times. Once "normal", and once "goofy". The goofy one is reproduced below. I know that they can be annoying in some ways, asking to do something stupid for the purpose of being documented.... but honestly the photos were people are being silly always end up being the ones that make me smile years later.
After dinner we went to my house for cake and ice cream. I bought candles, a tube for writing in frosting, plates, and ice cream -- but I felt silly buying my actual birthday cake, so I made M do that. He was happy to do so, and appeared on saturday with a delicious and pretty cake. Yay! He then took care of setting it up, lighting candles, distribution, and general party management. A couple others jumped in and helped with the cake distribution. M was a great host, allowing me to just bask in having so many friends visiting my house, drinking out of my coffee mug collection.
Much merriment was had, all of us squeezed into my livingroom (which can comfortably seat four, but will accommodate 13, as it turns out!). We laughed, told jokes, stories, enjoyed yummy treats of cake, ice cream, and an unexpected arrival: baklava! Such a fun time, and I'm glad so many people were able to come help me celebrate having survived another year. I love birthdays, because I love having an excuse to surround myself with people I care about and who I know care for me. It reminds me why it's all worth while.
The only downside was not being able to invite everybody. Hopefully next year I'll be living in a new house, one that can hold more people, and I have bigger gatherings! Thanks to everyone who made it.