Archives for posts with tag: party

march_for_our_lives

Today is the March for Our Lives. Across the country millions of kids, moms, fathers, sisters and brothers who are sick and tired of being mowed down at school by crazed gun men with semi-automatic rifles are going to march nationwide in support of sensible gun control laws.

And where will I be? Hosting a sweet 16 birthday party for my daughter at a trampoline park. When I booked the party I totally zoned out on the fact that it was the same day as the march. By the time I realized it, I couldn’t reschedule.

So here I am, a mother in the Resistance, buying balloons and cutting birthday cake when I should be carrying a sign, while fighting the NRA and this shit-show of an administration.

Ugh.

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In response to the daily promt Hideout

cemetery

My friend John used to throw some decent parties when we were in high school. He always managed to get beer…little nips of Michelob, I think…and there was always an abundance of Donna’s Pizza. You would think that would be enough, but as teenagers, it never seemed to be.

His house was around the corner from a cemetery, and after one of these parties a bunch of us were hanging out at the end of a street that butted up against the cemetery. We were probably being loud and obnoxious to those residents trying to sleep on a warm Saturday night, perhaps with their windows open, because before we knew it, the cops came down the street.

Well, we all scattered like flies. The only place I could run was into the cemetery. It was dark, and I was unfamiliar with my surroundings, so when I saw a giant tombstone with large bushes on either side, I ducked behind it and laid flat on the ground.

I could see the patrolman’s flashlight arcing back and forth as he walked through the cemetery. I spent the next 15 minutes trying to calm my frantic breathing, praying that one of Leonia’s finest wouldn’t find my hiding spot, and make me the “example” of a teenage night gone awry.

It had also not escaped me the fact that I was laying flat on someone’s grave. In the dark. All alone. I’d seen “Night of the Living Dead” and “Children Shouldn’t Play with Dead Things” a few times too many, and I will admit, it creeped me the hell out.

I was also being eaten alive by mosquitos, and swatting at them was not an option, not as long as I could still see flashlights and cops’ headlights.

What seemed like an eternity ended with the cop car pulling away, having not located a single one of us. I stayed put for a few minutes and then slowly crept out from behind the tombstone, brushing dirt off my t-shirt and scratching at my sweaty, itchy legs.

I was afraid to go back to John’s house – I was afraid to go back out from the way I came in, sure that there was a dragnet of sorts set up to catch me. So I just walked home. On the way I ran into another kid who’d been chased away and we compared notes, happy to have escaped the clutches of the law.

The next day, via my orange teen phone, John and I laughed over the incident, proud that we had not only had a fun night, but had outsmarted the cops to boot. But I’ll tell you, we avoided that street in the future.

After a night spent laying on someone’s grave I was smart enough to not tempt fate.

Nude PartyCertain blog posts of mine get more traffic than others. One that gets hits every single day is my post about my years at the nude beach in Sandy Hook. So, I thought I’d touch on the popular topic of nudity again, and tell the story of the nude party.

Back when my husband and I were engaged, I was invited to a “lingerie party” by some guys that I used to play volleyball with. I got the invite because these two guys knew that I had frequented the nude beach at Sandy Hook, and we knew some of the same people. When I asked what a “lingerie party” was, I was told you come dressed in your undies or a fancy nightie.

Yeah, that might happen.

The night of the party, hubby and I were just sitting around the house doing nothing. I broached the subject of the party, thinking there was no way in hell he’d want to go, but I have to say, the idea kind of appealed to him. It took a bit of persuading on my part, but at 10 pm on a cold December night, we drove to the address given to me and knocked on the door.

We were ushered in by a middle aged red head who looked like Pinky Tuscadero – she immediately made a pass at me. After a polite, “no thanks” we walked into the kitchen in search of my volleyball friends. The first thing I saw was a pair of naked ass cheeks. The guy turned around and had his package nicely encased in a satin, rainbow, zebra G-string. It was at this point that I wondered if I had made a huge mistake. I wasn’t sure how hubby was going to react to this.

We’d been here less than 30 seconds and I’d already gotten a lesbian come on, and seen a guy in nothing but a G-string. But hubby had a smile on his face. I guess we were strapped into our seats…it was time to enjoy the ride.

The house was filled to the brim with folks in varying levels of dress or undress, if you will. I case you are curious, hubby and I were fully clothed. I think we were the only ones. Some gals were wearing teddies and negligees. Others were topless with just panties on – hubby liked that part. And the men? You name it. Speedos, G-strings, boxers, or total nudity. There was a naked woman with a massage table giving massages in the dining room. And there was one guy whose body was totally shaved.

Totally…

I couldn’t quite place what was odd about this fellow at first glance. You knew there was something missing, but it was hard to pin-point exactly what it was. Then hubby said, “Did you see the guy with the shaved balls?” So that was it! I’d seen all sorts of men’s bits and pieces at the nude beach, but never a dude sans pubes.

We decided to head to the basement to get a few beers. A semi-clad foursome were playing ping pong. There were tables of food lining the walls. A naked guy with a top hat was pumping the keg. It was a wee bit uncomfortable getting a beer because he was holding the tap right in front of his crotch. It was impossible to not get a very good look at what he had to offer. But I was thirsty, so what the hell.

Hubby was hungry, so I said to him, “Why don’t you eat something?”

He looked at me uncomfortably and said, “I would, but the table’s at dick level. I’d hate to think that while reaching for the chips some dude’s balls landed in the potato salad.”

I about died laughing, but he was right. It did make the idea of sampling any of the food somewhat unappetizing.

We really didn’t know anyone except for my volleyball hosts, so we just mingled and watched the party unfold. Folks who had arrived in some sort of attire were shedding what little they had on as the night progressed. While I’d frequented the nude beach years before, it was odd to see folks naked sitting on the couch, or reaching into the fridge. Somehow nudity seemed so natural at the beach, where you really wear next to nothing anyway. But in the house? was all so…domestic, and so very naked.

At one point we went to the second floor to see what was going on – lots of folks were going up and down the stairs, so we figured we’d nose about – besides, I wanted to find another bathroom. I wish we hadn’t. Seems like the upper floors were reserved for those with a taste for swinging. There were all sorts of sexual shenanigans going on, and we high tailed it back down stairs toot-sweet.

After a few games of ping pong and a few more beers we decided to leave.

We drove to the diner for some wee hour of the morning cheeseburger platters and rehashed all that we’d seen. We were both glad we had gone; it was better than just sitting at home doing nothing. Some times those spur-of-the-moment decisions to do something really pay off. And I was proud of hubby. He’d taken a step into a lifestyle that he might not have been comfortable with, and had not been judgmental or jealous. Instead, he had gone with the flow and enjoyed himself.

And we had one hell of a story to tell as a result.

9 inch Pizza_BoxLast week my daughter attended an after school function where you could buy pizza for $1 a slice. It wound up being overcooked Papa John’s pizza that was cut into 12 slices rather than 8. (In other words, a rip off.) I’ve blogged about my kid’s crappy palette before. They actually prefer Domino’s or Papa John’s to good, New York style pizza. But the doughy disappointment offered to my child at school is a far cry from the pizza parties I experienced as a child.

Our town had 3 pizza parlors, and all of them were good. Benny’s pizza was right across the street from the elementary school, and you could get 2 slices and a coke for $1.50. Leonia Pizza was by far the best in town, and you could choose between regular or Sicilian style pizza. Then there was Sergio’s, which catered more to the middle and high school crowd because it was on that side of town. Their pizza was good too, but the dude that ran the place was kind of creepy in a perverted way.

Yes, it was great to go out at lunch and grab a couple of slices, but the best was when you had a classroom pizza party. This usually came as a reward for being well-behaved, doing well on tests, or maybe just because the teacher was craving something more than tuna on rye encased in Saran Wrap. Regardless of the reason, this special lunch-time treat was worth all the work you had put in to earn it.

You did a lot of clock watching on pizza party days…the morning dragged as anticipation built. But before long, there would be a noon-time knock at the door, and the delivery man would bring in a stack of white boxes, and the smell of cheese, oregano and oven-baked crust would permeate the room.

Grabbing a slice was an art form in itself. Unlike the prefab, decidedly stiff stuff my kids call pizza, the slices I was accustomed to required two hands to pick up. In order to successfully transfer the pizza from the box to your plate, you needed to grab the crust’s edge and then slide your other hand under, cradling the crust down by the point in your palm (or fingertips, depending on how hot the pizza was).

If you carelessly snatched a piece, the slice would more than likely flop down, which resulted in the cheese sliding off your crust and into the box, and which, if you weren’t quick, would be confiscated by the person standing next to you – mmmm extra cheese!

I was never one to fold my pizza. I thought by folding it, you ate it twice as fast, and I wanted to make my pizza last. Then there were the girls who blotted the pizza with napkins to get off the excess oil. Why bother eating it at all if you’re going to do that? Besides, I knew that I’d drained a lot of the oil by the translucent circle left on my paper plate. Sometimes you got a slice with a giant bubble on it, which never bothered me. Then you had kids who didn’t like eating the crust – I was one of the ones who did.

Which ever way you wound up eating it, pizza parties were a blast. You got a break from the lunch room, and the monotony of the usual brown bag midday fare. And after you cleaned up your plates and resumed the school day, your belly full and slowly digesting, you could still smell the evidence of your noon-time feast.

The rest of the day would sail happily by. And there was usually at least one oil stain on my pant leg.

The hostess with the leastest was put to the test yesterday – it was the day of my youngest daughter’s Halloween Birthday Spooktacular party. You may recall my angst over this party from a past post. Well, it’s the day after the party, and with the exception of hurricane Sandy, I am relieved and satisfied.

The days leading up to the party were tense to say the least. At the beginning of the week the forecast for Saturday was great. 70 degrees and only a 10% chance of rain. Then, it all changed with the insertion of hurricane Sandy. I have not thrown a party in the last 5 years that didn’t involve bad weather. I figured the law of averages was on my side. Yet, even with Sandy creeping towards my bouncy house, barbecue, and pumpkin painting, I refused to worry.

See, a lot of kids were coming. The last party I threw for my youngest 2 years ago only yielded a handful of kids. It was a few weeks before Christmas and it was a horrible day with freezing rain. I wasn’t sure if the lack of guests was due to the weather/impending holiday, or because my little baby girl was – well – a dork. When we decided to throw this party I was worried that nobody would come. I was happily mistaken. 14 kids RSVP’ed a yes, and 12 kids showed up, which was the perfect amount.

The day dawned cloudy and drizzly. My stomach was in knots, but I refused to believe Mother Nature would bend me over yet again. The bouncy house showed up an hour before the party was to start, and the kids and daddy had fun giving it a test run. By the time the guests began to arrive, the birthday girl was fully warmed up. And boy, did they arrive. It was like the red carpet at the Oscars – car after car waiting to pull up and drop their kids off. I joked to hubby that we needed a valet.

You know, I was worried that the kids would be clicky or bored but none of that happened. At times they were all together. At times they did different things – some in the bouncy house, some playing ping pong, other riding scooters. We painted pumpkins, had a best costume contest, and served some burgers and dogs. That is, AFTER hubby went to get more propane. It never fails. I run out of propane at every party.

Before I knew it, it was 4:30 and the parents came to pick up their kids in the same tight frenzy as they dropped them off. For 10 minutes straight we were distributing goody bags, handing out painted pumpkins and thanking parents. I had survived. I had aching feet, a twisted ankle and was nursing a glass of wine.

Then it was round two – oldest daughter’s halloween party. Thank goodness it was just down the street. We did her makeup and delivered her to the senior high school horror fest. I went home and got in bed. At 10:30 the phone rang – she wanted a pillow and her flip flops – it had turned into a sleepover. sigh. I had to shake away the sleepies and drive the 4 blocks to deliver her sleepover survival kit.

I woke up to windy skies and the keen need to get D batteries and canned goods. Sandy is coming. Virginia should only get high winds and rain, but we are sure to lose power. I hate losing power. I hate it.

Yet, the party was a huge success. Hubby was a massive help – he really stepped up to the plate. And to think a month before he wanted no part of the whole affair. I just feel a sense of relief and satisfaction. We pulled it off. Everyone had fun. It was a wallet drain for sure, but to see my little girl run and play with reckless abandon was just about worth the clams we had to shell out.

I’ve been suckered into throwing another birthday party.

Ok, maybe not suckered, but definitely persuaded & cajoled. A little.

A few weeks back my youngest and I were browsing through a Halloween treats and ideas magazine while waiting in another notoriously long line at Food Lion. After looking at all the adorably cute things you can make for Halloween she said, “I wish I could have a Halloween party.”

I’ve always wanted to throw one – have the kids come in costume, bob for apples, play some games, decorate the house. I don’t know quite when it happened, but ever since we bought our own house back in 2001 I’ve grown increasingly fond of decorating it for Halloween. Now I am feeling the need to take it to the next level by throwing a party.

My youngest’s birthday is in mid December which is a horrible time for a birthday party. Most folks are busy shopping every weekend, and have spent enough money on their own kids and family that they don’t exactly feel like shelling out any dough for my kid’s birthday present.

We had a party at a local Bounce and Play joint a few years back. The December day was cold, rainy and slick. We invited around 14 kids, and only 6 showed up. Out of those 6 only 4 brought her a present. One mom didn’t pick up her child until 45 minutes after the party was over and offered little apology. It sucked.

But I figured a Halloween party might be the answer. it’s only 5 weeks ahead of her real birthday – and really, who has to know? Hubby thinks it’s dopey to have her party that early and is therefore boycotting the party – for now. But I suspect that is only temporary. He’s got good ideas and is great with kids – in time he might come around and lend a hand during the party.

The bouncy house has been reserved. Yesterday I designed the invitations, and they will be delivered/handed out by Friday. And now the panic is setting in.

I’m not a party thrower by nature – I’m a worrywart by nature. Therefore every waking moment since I uttered the words “sure you can have a party” have been filled with dread and unease. It’s 6 weeks away and I already want it to be over and done with.

My main worry is attendance. If I knew for sure that a majority of the kids would show up, my panic level would subside dramatically. Folks don’t RSVP very well anymore so it’s likely I won’t get an accurate head count ahead of time. I hate the idea of that Saturday afternoon coming and my doorbell not ringing. It will kill me, absolutely break my heart if my baby only gets a couple of kids to show up.

I’ll be happy if 6 out of the 12 come. I can make that into a party. But if only 3 show up? I’ll be mortified. Plus I’ll have to listen to hubby say “I told you so” for a decade at least. He’s still complaining about our oldest girl’s first birthday party in 1996.

I’m sure you’ll see more on this topic in the weeks to come. This will consume me until roughly 4:45 pm on October 27th. Then I will pour myself a big gulp glass of wine and just relax.

In one week my work is throwing the biggest party of the year. It’s to celebrate the publishing of their biggest issue where most employees have to work 12 hour days for 2 weeks straight. I don’t work for said publication. I work for the red-headed stepchild publication that nobody cares about, but I am invited to the party anyway. So are roughly 300 other people.  And they bring people. By 8 pm it’s a mad house

The first year I got the impression that kids were not allowed. So at 15 & 8, we left our girls at home deciding to only stay a few hours. The party had inflatable slides, flashing rings, circus performers, and KIDS. Yes, many guests brought kids ranging in age from 4 to 13. I was bummed, but decided to just enjoy a night out.

The second year, I again left my kids at home. The party had more inflatables, more performers and more KIDS. Right then and there I vowed that I was going to bring my kids the next year, end of chat.

So today, as they finished sending the big issue to press, a client called asking if she can bring some of her under age employees (17 or so) to the party. She was told no – the liquor law requires that all attendees are of legal drinking age. So, I actually speak up, which is rare for me. I said how the last two years there have been tons of kids at the party, and that I was planning on bringing my kids this year, but only staying for about an hour.

I was not told “no” outright, but I got the impression that it wouldn’t be wise to show up with a 17 & 10 year old in tow. It really bummed me out. I had told my girls I was taking them this year – they were really looking forward to it.

Now my dilemma is, to go or not to go?

The Pros? A night out with Free wine.

The Cons? Free wine. Standing alone drinking free wine. Having to drive home after standing alone drinking free wine. And my girls who sit alone at home bummed that they can’t go.

And why am I standing alone? For one I’m not all that friendly with anyone at work. I like them, and they like me, but there is a significant age/coolness gap. I think they won’t mind talking to me for a minute or so, but they want to party with someone who shares the same decade as them. And lets face it – I’m like so four score and twenty years ago.

Hubby has to work, so he’s out with the exception of a 20 minute drop in.

I just don’t think it’s worth doing the hair, make up, and trying to find anything I might look remotely good in to stand around alone with a glass of wine looking like a loser.

I might go for a half an hour or so. I might go and see if I can get the girls in and if I can’t then we can just walk up the street where hubby works and watch the free concert. Or I might just stay home and play Battleship with my girls.

Nobody at work will miss me. And wine is fattening anyway.

Today I had to take my daughter to a birthday beach party being thrown by her 11 year old classmate. I was kind of not looking forward to it for a few reasons. For one, I had dragged the kids to hell and back yesterday and sort of wanted Sunday to myself. And secondly, my bathing suits and I are not on speaking terms yet, and the thought of parading around in my gigantic old lady swim dress in front of hoards of people I’ve never met was not particularly appealing to me.

Yet, my bright side took over and accentuated the positives. It’s a beautiful day, and I could be doing far worse on a Sunday afternoon than sitting in a beach chair reading a book while my child has a rip-roarin’ time in the lake. So, tossing my bathing suit aside, I put on some shorts and a cover up and headed to the designated beach.

We were among the first to arrive, and I set up my chair and got ready to read. But I never even got to crack open my book. Right away the birthday boy’s mom and her friend engaged me in conversation and put me right at ease. I was asked if I wanted to come up to the coolers to get a drink. Sure, my whistle could use some wetting.

The mom told us how she had water and lemonade in this cooler, and the adult drinks were in that other cooler. Huh? What? Adult drinks? At a kid’s party? Hell yes…my kind of people. The moms and I quickly popped open a can of Stella Artois into red Silo cups and headed back the our beach chairs.

The sun was hot and the kids were playing and I had a cold, imported beer in my cup. This day was looking up. Though the moms quickly abandoned me, I really didn’t mind. They were old friends whereas I was a newbie and more guests were arriving. I was happy to soak up the sun and watch the kids play.

It wound up being a great day. I had a few beers, ate a couple of hot dogs and got to talk to a few parents, one of which I adored, and exchanged numbers with. I also wound up getting wet, but for a very heroic cause.

One of the inner tubes got blown away by a gust of wind and landed in the lake past the ropes. I quickly walked over, threw my sunglasses on the dock and jumped in to save the straying flotation device. My mad breast stroke was no match to the wind and current, and before you knew it, I had snagged the tube. However, while I was swimming back towing the very large inner tube, I realized how hard my heart was beating.

Hmmmm. Yeah, I didn’t want to wear a bathing suit, which pretty much means I’ve put on a few pounds over the winter. A few more pounds to be totally frank. And here I am playing life saver to a fucking inner tube. As I tried to paddle to shore I wondered if 911 dispatch knew how to get to beach #4 at Lake Monticello.

There were at least two more times that one of those damn inner tubes jumped the rope and tried to escape. But I let them float away while others swam after them. And you know what? Every parent that had to swim after it came back huffing and puffing, so I didn’t feel so bad.

When we left I had an invite from the birthday boy’s mom to come to taco night and had exchanged phone numbers with another set of parents. Here I began the morning dreading putting on a bathing suit, but all in all, it wound up being a pretty good day.

Once again the powers that be taught me to shut up, smile and let the day unfold.

Tonight I am throwing my daughter a slightly belated birthday party. Her birthday is in August, but we couldn’t decide on a decent party idea – hubby was dead set against a sleep over, and other ideas were either too expensive or just didn’t pan out. As it got closer to Halloween, we opted for a sweet sixteen spooktacular. The plan is to hang out at the house, eat some food and then head out to one of two haunted trail walks.

These Halloween walks are insanely popular with the teens.  The woods are filled with chainsaw wielding ghouls who are usually friends of theirs from high school. I hate these things personally. I went on a haunted trail a few years back with my oldest and I hated not knowing when folks were going to pop out of the woods at you. My plan is to sit in the car and read while the girls wander the night and get their yearly scare. Besides, an out of breath middle aged house fraü following behind might make this pack of 16 year girls look ultra lame.

Now this awesome party idea is on the brink of ruin. Yesterday it was close to 80 degrees. Today? 44 degrees with a chance of snow. That chance of snow translates into a very good possibility of freezing cold rain.

When I saw the weather report last night I was frantic. It’s bad enough I  have to drive to the middle of nowhere at night. I hate driving at night, especially along these roads that are twisty and turny and filled with evil deer. But the thought of driving at night in freezing rain to get to a haunted trail walk that will be canceled if it is raining does not appeal to me.

And of course no alternate plan like bowling or movies holds the same attraction as rambling through the ghoulie infested countryside. I thought I was doomed until I remembered that UVA holds a really good haunted house event, and it’s mostly inside.

Mostly.

It still means finding parking (very hard around campus) and walking halfway across the university, and waiting out in the cold until it’s your turn to go in.

Whose idea was this anyway? I can’t wait until I’m in bed tonight.

Pardon me, but it's hot as balls in here.

On Friday night my employers threw their annual big bash to celebrate a large “best of” issue. Last year the party was a lot of fun, but having just been recently hired I didn’t really know anyone, and my husband and I just talked to each other and drank way too much.

Last year the party was held at a newly refurbished ice rink in town. The rink was big news at the time – doomed for closure, someone bought it at the last minute and saved jobs and for some, a vital community resource. The space was large and cool – very cool. We were standing on pro-deck over a sheet of ice. It was a welcomed treat in the August heat.

My employers never use the same venue twice, from what I understand. This year they held it in an old Coca-Cola factory. My husband could not come with me, as he was scheduled to work that night, so I invited my sister and a few other folks to be my “peeps.” Fact is, I was planning on inviting them whether hubby could come or not. The more the merrier, and it is a pretty exclusive/fun party to be invited to…free food and drinks. What’s not to love?

I spent an hour curling my hair and putting on makeup. I haven’t spent that much time getting ready for something since my wedding day! The results were rather good though. I had a Farrah-esque wave going on, and about 1/3 of a can of hairspray to hold it in place, plus a large dose of sparkles. I was donning a long, black skirt and a black top, with a nice pair of sandals. Not to fancy, but not too casual either. Damn! I looked good!

As I arrive at the party venue, my heart sinks. It’s all open. No air conditioning. It’s really humid out. This won’t be good for my hair. I then spot the 8 port-a-potties lined up in the parking lot. No indoor plumbing. No mirror with which to fix and re-arrange my drooping Farrah curls. At this point, I can’t even attempt to put my hair up as I am brush-less and hair-tie-less (why did I opt for the smaller purse???)

On top of that, someone  involved in choosing the venue didn’t do their homework. Apparently the fire marshal showed up and told my bosses that the building is only allowed to hold 350 people at one time. There were over 1,200 invited. I saw marshals roaming the crowds all evening – when they could elbow their way through, that is. I wonder how many fines were issued.

Right then and there I made the decision to leave this party early. Had I known about the conditions, I would’ve dressed way differently, and I certainly would not have even plugged in my curling iron let alone spend an hour styling it. As the sweat began to trickle down my back, I headed for the drink station for a glass of vino. Might as well begin to drown my sorrows now.

By the time my gang arrived I was sweaty and droopy and was beginning to resemble a glazed ham. Didn’t I start off this night looking like Farrah? We had fun though. The music was good, and we ate a few sliders while trash talking a bunch of skinny, scantily clad bimbos trolling for dudes with money.

I left by 9:00 pm. The joint was hitting it’s zenith by then, but the coating of sweat and melting hairspray covering my body was unpleasant, and I just wanted to get home. I envisioned a blinking neon sign hovering over my head: PARTY! pooper. PARTY! pooper.

All I know is if I am still at this company by next year’s shindig, I’m asking lots and lots of questions before I choose my outfit. And I’m bringing a couple of hair ties just in case.