Monday, September 04, 2006

House party

Pirate children

God, there's nothing so satisfying as throwing a decent party.

There is no reason the house party we had on Sunday should have worked at all. We were so completely unprepared: somehow I had NO idea how many people were showing up.

How many people was 66. Granted, that's including us, and including the 5 infants - but my god! 66! I've been to smaller weddings. We ran out of potato salad, we ran out of mac & cheese, we ran out of buns.

Two of the 5 infants

I should have known I was in trouble when, this week, I had the sudden realization that I was scheduled to work the day of the party. I was only extricated from that snafu thanks to the magnanimity and flexibility of my co-workers, whom I totally owe big-time.

But it just got worse: we hadn't bought ice or juice boxes, so at the last minute I had to get my cousin to go buy them. I forgot about the veggie burgers in the downstairs freezer, so the vegetarians went hungry (sorry, Aimee!). And nobody could find the beer.

The first two sets of guests were roped into moving furniture and cutting up tomatos and limes - luckily, the first two sets of guests were the kind of people who arrive, go straight to the kitchen, and ask, "What can I do?"

Makes all that garden work seem worth it

Big Man totally cleaned up on birthday presents - after he and his friends had the orgy of opening them, I squirreled half away in the closet for christmas. No child needs that many new toys all at once.

But I made Bob's Rum of Love, and it was a big hit. Mom, who is not much of a drinker, took a sip of mine and immediately confiscated it for herself. I had to warn her it was solid rum - I have never seen my mom completely drunk and I didn't want her falling down the deck stairs.

And I made pulled pork - made up the recipe as I went along and it was good! But that's why we ran out of buns. Why I didn't ask someone to run to the store for more buns, I don't know, the whole thing is a blur.

And I must say, we have the most terrific friends. There were about 18 kids under ten. They swarmed the front yard, the back yard, did Play Doh on the deck, jumped on the playroom bed, did puzzles, took turns, made up games - all the things you love to see kids doing. And at all times there were grownups playing with them or chatting together while keeping an eye out.

The best part, though, is part and parcel of our unpreparedness. Bob's brother Joe and his wife Jeannie came up Saturday night and spent the night with the kids so that Bob and I could spend our anniversary night at a hotel. It was great, I must have slept 10 hours uninterrupted.

So when we got back here we were so relaxed that I failed to work myself into my usual bitchy nervous hysteria ("People will BE HERE in TWO HOURS!"). That hysteria gets things DONE, but it also makes my husband hate me, and furthermore prompts me to start drinking early, which means I'm often embarassingly loaded at my own parties. Oh man I hate that! Far better to run out of buns.

After everyone left and our kids were asleep, Bob and I sat on the deck and marveled at it. It's so gratifying when the house that you've put together to your (dubious) taste and convenience works for other people too.

I think that it was the house's party. The house made up for our flailiness. We knew we lucked out when we found it, it didn't need any work to speak of, it has a big kitchen and a front porch and a fenced back yard. But jeez we had no idea that it could throw a party all by itself with a minimum of preparation. That's pretty impressive, for a house.

Here's the video:

Well ok Eric found the beer.