Monday, October 03, 2005

Not A Party Until Someone Cries

Emily’s birthday is now officially over and all I can say is Thank you, Jesus. I have permission to say that, by the way, from a bone fide Don’t Mess With Me strong black woman of very good Christian standing. Her name was Willow and I used to work with her when I was about 22 and a bank teller. She was a tough, single mom with two kids and no help, who then adopted her orphaned & troubled niece and nephew. She was the no-nonsense mother figure of the entire office. When something went well, she would heartily thank Jesus and we would all feel a little better, both the believers and the heathens. The first time I said Thank you, Jesus I wondered if she’d be offended since my relationship with him was, well, non-existent. She said “there’s no harm in that, baby” because she still figured Jesus was standing right there helping me balance my teller drawer whether I believed in him or not. She then granted me lifelong permission to say Thank you, Jesus whenever I felt it appropriate. So I don’t want to hear any lip about using names in vain, okay? Because I could still find Willow, and believe me, you do not want that kind of trouble.

So anyway, Emily had a fine time at her party once we sobered her up and convinced her to attend. She’d been to another girl’s sleepover party the night before and of course she did not actually sleep. She was a wreck the day of her party. She tried to get into the spirit of things, helping with the decorations and so on, but we finally just had to send her to bed. She slept soundly for hours but then couldn’t wake up for the party. Emily is not especially known for being a sunny riser anyway, much less so when she's strung out from pulling an all-nighter. I’m pretty sure the first guests could hear her screaming “I don’t want a party!” and “Make them go away!” as they were arriving. So it was a bit of a slow start. Fittingly backwards, though!

All of the parts of the party Ken & I handled went very well. The backwards cake was adorable & delicious, the upside down decorations were festive, the pizza arrived just as we finished with the cake, the kids were delighted with their baddie bags, they had fun doing the backwards scavenger hunt, etc. Emily had a good time, enjoyed sharing her birthday with her friends, and generally reveled in being the birthday brat, which means being the ultimate center of attention for a day. Unfortunately though, and unbeknownst to me, a few of her little party guests had spent the last year becoming Mean Girls. There was so much drama at this party I’m sure there’s a Desperate Housewives joke in there somewhere, but I’m just too exhausted to try and find it. We had every soap operatic story line and plot twist a bunch of 10 year-olds could possibly pack into two hours. There were melodramatic tears, secret hidden tears, whispery side conversations, hurt feelings, a public snubbing, shocking revelations and enough generally bitchy little girl behavior to make me never want to do this again. I spent half my time consoling, cajoling, counseling, and soothing the wounded, which is a lot like a normal day, now that I think about it, just on a larger scale. But my part went great! Did I mention the cake was really cute? And oh my god, those baddie bags were a hit. And now it's all over for another year. Thank you, Jesus.


Jane said...

Interestingly apropos (yes, I know there are aksawnt thingys and carroty thingys in there but I've never been able to find them)because my daughter sat in the back of the car the other day and for the umpteenth time, INFORMED me that she wanted to throw yet another party. She proposes these things five times a year. We end up having one huge blow-out for her birthday, costing hundreds of dollars and man-hours (usually put in by women, not men). Afterwards, she complains that there were too many people there and NEXT year, she will only invite her best friend. Eleven months later, 20 invitations go out as usual. So anyway, I EXPLODED in true martyred mother form and told her I did not ever want to hear the words, "I'm gonna have..." come out of her mouth again and that anything in that vein should commence with the most humble of begging,pleading, cajoling, worshipping and flattery rather than imperious demand.

Joan said...

Yeah, I miss birthday parties too.
It's better with boys, really it is. With Michele, I took a picture of her in tears EVERY year. Not the case with Bry. But now parties are mostly about going to arcades and electronic game related stuff. No fun there. Give me an old fashioned theme based party. Our Harry Potter party ROCKED. And what about our birdday party (no misspelling there). Or the Chinese party we had? I could write books about them. I can't wait for grandkids... But yeah, Lisa -- I recognize those dynamics too. What was in your baddy bags? Great job, great mom. Sue: are you taking note? (She's having Aaron's party this weekend!)

Shelby's Mum said...

Baddy bag contents:

1 sock, man's size large
1 tiny box of Nerds candies
1 kiwi
3-4 Scooby Doo playing cards
1 baby bottle nipple
1 sheet hole reinforcement circles
1 doughnut
1 tiny can of Play Doh
2 spears asparagus
1 light blue spongy hair roller
1 Leggs Egg of knee-hi's
1 comb
1 fish stick, cooked
small handful of Q-tips
1 water bottle cozy

All presented in plain brown lunchbags, with names printed on them, backwards, of course.
There were also girly folders, but they wouldn't fit into the bags. I planned to hand them out as the kids were leaving, but forgot. I managed to unload one onto Sue, though. Now we're down to 11.

Susan, of course said...

I was wondering about that folder. I've been carrying it all over town with me today, pretending it belonged to my imaginary daughter!

Joan-Aaron's Harry Potter party is going to ROCK also!

Shelby's Mum said...

Sue, your imaginary daughter ROCKS!