5 Things You Don’t Know About Me


1. I love when people on roller-blades fall.

2. I don’t care all that much who wins in 2008, or what party they’re from.

I just want everyone to like and respect us again.

3. Once a woman came into a restaurant where I worked and had dinner all by herself.

At the end of her meal, she asked the waiter to put a birthday candle on her dessert.

Fifteen years later, I still feel really sad about it.

4. I think it should be illegal for men to get their eyebrows arched.

5. I live in Paris and I’ve never gone up the Eiffel Tower.

And I don’t really want to!

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  • Lylia
    March 11, 2007 2:10pm

    Mr. Lebovitz,
    This is why I love you.

    P.s. that list and the fact that I thought that I was the only one who went to Paris to go to the movies. It’s a Sunday here in San Francisco…if only I could wiggle my nose and be in Action Ecoles waiting for the film to start.

  • March 11, 2007 2:20pm

    Not having seen the woman, maybe she was treating herself to a special meal and taking good care of herself. That is what I will choose to believe. Sometimes it is good to celebrate with friends, but I like to do things on my birthday by myself for myself.

    The one time I’ve been up the Eiffel tower was in winter. So beautiful, and less people. I thought the view was totally worth it, despite the cold. I don’t feel a need to go up it again, but I am glad to have done it once.

    p.s. D & I are getting SO excited for your book. Can’t wait!

  • March 11, 2007 2:59pm

    I don’t think you should feel sad for the birthday cake lady. I take a few minutes of every birthday to be alone and celebrate. Maybe that lady was very happy and content.

    Now, toppling roller-bladers, that is ALWAYS hilarious. There is no alternate interpretation there.

  • March 11, 2007 3:37pm

    I love lists like that. Like five things you should probably never tell about yourself.

    -1. I eat horse – it makes like THE BEST steak tartare.
    2. OK, I’m stopping right there.

  • March 11, 2007 3:48pm

    Ben: I see ‘Hamburger au cheval’ on restaurant menus and I wonder how many tourists come and see the word ‘hamburger‘ on the menu, and say, “Oh look! Thank goodness they have hamburgers…I’m going to have one.”

    And they have no idea….

    I’ve never had it myself.
    (At least not that I know of!)

  • Kirin
    March 11, 2007 8:49pm

    #3 says a lot about you.
    Go ahead try the cheval burger, how bad can it be? No worse than eating snails I bet.

  • Judith in Umbria
    March 12, 2007 1:36am

    1) I would too, except my mommish self would go fix them
    2) Even more,I want to respect us, too
    3)Don’t feel sad. She’s someone who seizes life no matter the conditions. That’s better than being with some turkey.
    4) Do they really? Non movie stars? oh!
    5) me either, nor Statue of Liberty nor Empire State.

  • Sandy
    March 12, 2007 9:44am

    #1…me too! I have 6 kids and I hate it but I giggle when they get hurt (I am not happy but it makes me giggle then my husband gets MAD!!)
    #2…me too! But If Hilary wins I am moving to France!!
    #3…awww that makes me sad too. Once a little neighbor boy came and stood by my son who was eating his lunch on the back porch. When finished the little boy said of his leftovers…”Can I have the crusts?” I replied..”No, that’s disgusting” and threw them away…(without offering this poor child a sandwich …what the heck was I thinking?????) I still feel guilty when I remember it 20 years later……
    #4 ewwww
    #5 I didn’t go up, saw it from the ground and the airplane…good enough for me! :-)

    Did that stuff ever flush??? :-)

  • Bob
    March 12, 2007 11:04am

    I resisted la Tour Eiffel for a long time also. When I finally relented, it was worth the effort. Not to mention Altitude 95!

  • March 12, 2007 11:34am

    Oh David, if only you had known me the first yaar I lived in NY. You could have followed me around every day and laughed at me flailing on my rollerblades!

    I still laugh too. I just laugh when people fall or trip or even wobble a little. I’m insidious.

  • March 12, 2007 12:22pm

    1. I love when people on roller-blades fall.

    Oh, schadenfreude, how happy you make me and how guilty I feel afterwards.

  • a
    March 12, 2007 12:43pm

    that totally doesn’t mean she had nobody to celebrate her birthday with. in fact i’ll bet if she actually had nobody to spend her birthday with she would have been too insecure/sad to ask for the candle. she was celebrating by herself.

  • March 12, 2007 1:11pm

    I actually laughed out loud when I read #1. I hate when people write lol, because it’s generally not true, but in this case I really was laughing. The way I see it, the taller you are, the harder it is to rollerblade… I’m 6’2, and when you put me on rollerblades I’m huge, and have no balance as my centre of gravity is thrown waaay off. I’ve met the ground quite a few times when attempting to rollerblade.

  • March 12, 2007 2:29pm

    re: #3: On second thought, maybe she was just faking the whole thing. After all, I treated her to quite a stunning platter of desserts, I felt so sad about it.

    Perhaps I was had?

  • simona
    March 12, 2007 4:13pm

    Hamburger au cheval ( a cheval) isn’t it a hamburger topped with a fried egg? A hamburger of horse meat wouldn’t rather be be a “hamburger de cheval ( de viande de..)”?

  • March 12, 2007 4:47pm

    Last summer, I was roller blading on a beach path and wiped out in the “doggy beach” area. All these dogs came running over toward me after I fell. Their owners? Too busy laughing.

  • Lesley
    March 12, 2007 5:29pm

    I’m in my early 30’s and have spent many birthdays alone; my birthday falls next to a big holiday and everyone is always out of town! No biggie for me, that’s just how it is. I enjoy spending the day doing something fun, followed by a nice dinner or theater ticket. Figure, if she was REALLY that sad and pathetic, she would never have left her house. :)

    I think you only do the fake “it’s his birthday today!!” routine when you’re with a large group of people who have had a few drinks. Er…not that we’ve ever done that. :)

  • March 12, 2007 6:29pm

    Yup, that about sums it up, No. 2, especially.

    That birthday lady had style and guts. But I would still feel a little sorry for her.

    Yes, how it the meringue in the potty? Update?

  • Robert
    March 12, 2007 7:23pm

    What if the birthday candle lady turned out to be a vacationing Eiffel Tower elevator operator? And what if she were actually a gent with illegally arched eyebrows? Would you laugh if he, driven crazy by the fact everyone may very well NEVER AGAIN respect us, threw himself down from atop his workplace onto a group of people wearing roller-blades? Not as far-fetched a scenario as one in which 2008’s victor will very soon reclaim any appreciable amount of lost prestige and respect for our country. “And I don’t really want to, (but) I still feel really sad about it.”

  • Tai-Tai
    March 12, 2007 7:59pm

    #1 Just a few days ago I got a picture of my son falling on his roller blades, he is mid air in the photo. He did limp a little after it happened but then he played some more street hockey.

    #3 The lady may have been on a business trip and could not celebrate with her loved ones. I think it is great she was able to celebrate alone. She is a special lady.

    #5 I think I might skip the Eiffel Tower too, I have a problem with heights. I was recently in Malaysia on a cable car, I got off at the first stop while the rest of the family pressed on. I shook, cried, and kept doing yoga breathing. When the family came back to my level, I jumped back in their car and said my prayers all the way back down. I was really happy to be back on the lower elevation.

    Also shortly after my daughter was born 18 years ago My husband,youngest brother (in high school at the time)went to the Boston Concert in Seattle. The boys talked me into going up the Space Needle with them and walk around the top outside. I walked around clinging to the wall then finally just went inside and waited for them at the elevator. Of course it was rainy and windy that night too.

  • March 13, 2007 2:43am

    Mimi: After 3 days, I’ve got the use of my bathroom back. And just in time, too; my housecleaner came yesterday and I don’t know how I would have explained it to her…she already thinks I’m nuts!

    Tai-Tai: I should probably have said that I think it’s funny when adult roller-bladers fall…except in Susan’s case, that’s just icky. I don’t think I would have laughed…

    Simona: Hmmm…good call. Perhaps that’s correct, and a good illustration of how a misplaced (or misunderstood, as in my case) can make a big difference.

    But for the record, I think I’d rather have a hamburger made of horsemeat than one topped with a fried egg. Ick!

    So…I did a mini-search online and found ‘Hamburger à Cheval’, which is ‘hamburger on horseback’, presumably any kind of burger topped with a fried egg.

    Then I found this recipe, for making Mr. Ed burgers. That definately looks like the old mare to me.

    Funny language—

    They say ‘tarte au chocolat’, which is a tart of chocolate.

    But it’s hamburger de cheval for a hamburger of horsemeat.

    Oh, la vâche!…I’m so confused, I feel like jumping off the Eiffel Tower…

  • Lorna
    March 13, 2007 5:34am

    Great 5 things…as for the 3rd on the list….I’ve had a year here and there where I was surrounded by troll people. That may have been this woman’s situation..and I agree that it’s better to celebrate alone than drag a troll to a good restaurant. They don’t make good conversation, don’t have any manners, and you get stiffed for their bill:)

  • Alisa
    March 13, 2007 10:59am

    Simona is right about the ‘Hamburger au cheval’ And the idea of that has kept me from ever ordering it. Why???? Why would you put a fried egg on top of a hamburger. Why???

  • March 13, 2007 1:34pm

    Do you know how sad that story makes me? I’m being serious here. Really.

  • March 13, 2007 4:47pm

    Wow, I agree that seeing someone spend their birthday alone is pretty sad. I think it is incredibly sweet that you still remember that. I am sure that person would really appreciate your remembering them. It’s those small things that make the world a kinder, gentler place.

  • Mel
    March 16, 2007 12:05pm

    Wow, I’ve been that birthday woman every year but one out of the last decade. I never thought to ask for a candle, though… (;

  • March 18, 2007 5:52am

    Love these 5 things–I laughed, I cried (well, I pouted), I’ll be coming back again :)

  • March 21, 2007 1:34pm

    LOL – you’re a funny guy David! Re. #1 – having just retutned from my first ever skiing holiday, I laught when snowboarders fall :o) And I must say that I love going up the Eiffel Tower – I’ve been up 4 times already (and I don’t even live in Paris – talk about the other extreme!) Would be nice to have it to oneself though – the crowds can be hugely off-putting. And re the woman with the birthday meal – one of the most memorable meals I ever had was dining on my own in the Four Seasons in Atlanta. My company had sent me from London to Atlanta for a night on some bizarre mission and I didn’t have the energy to look much beyond the hotel, so I ate in. I sat at a table right in the middle of the room and didn’t have to worry about whether my partner wanted a starter/needed red or white to match his food/got annoyed at the service – I could just sit there and focus on the food and the scent of the huge arrangement of stargazer lillies at the entrance (my favourite flowers). I rememebr having absolutely glorious scallops and a glass of really lovely Californian chardonnay. Halfway through the meal, one of the waiters (not mine) came over and said I looked so happy and peaceful on my own, a little oasis of calm in the middle of parties of people. So a little piece of me actually envies the birthday lady!