May 182011

For as shitty and stressful the preceding days and hours were, the party itself shaped up to be pretty rad. The rain never escalated past a drizzle, and even that only lasted the first twenty minutes. The rest of the day, for the entire four hours, the sun shone. It was a goddamn Christmas in May miracle. Bill and Jessi, who had driven to Pittsburgh that morning from Michigan, said this was because of some crazy Christian grandma they encountered at a rest stop who was urging her grandkids to pray to Jesus that it didn’t rain.

So thank you, religiously-bullied children. And Jesus, too, I guess.

Please note the one (1) Star Wars tablecloth. This was supposed to be the kids table, but no kids sat down. Ever. They’re probably still not sitting, wherever they are.

I. The Parents

The aspect of the party I was most freaked out about was dealing with the preschool parents. Of course Henry wasn’t there when the kids began arriving, because he had to go pick up Blake, leaving me to greet the parents on my own. Jacob was the first to arrive with his aunt, who seemed young-ish and not too much of a threat, so I broke the ice by regaling her with the trials and tribulations of the Jaguar.

Actually, I think that was my opener for at least 80% of the conversations I had that day. Clearly, the twenty-minute pavilion drama was intense enough to make a strong impact on me. If I ever go on a game show, that’s how I’ll be annoucned.

And here’s Erin from Pittsburgh! She loves uncooked tortellini and once nearly lost a rented park pavilion to a man driving a Jag.

Guess who came next? Momesis and her daughter! The husband was also in tow and I tried desperately to peg his profession. It’s something douchey, I know it. Luckily, I only had to talk to them for < 30 seconds before Momesis suggested checking out the playground. Jacob’s aunt went with them, leaving the pavilion parent-free. I exhaled real dramatically and yelled to Janna, Bill and Jessi, “THAT WASN’T SO BAD RIGHT? I DIDN’T DO SO BAD?”

It’s hard to believe I was once a socially capable, popular girl who loved to invite perfect strangers to parties.

Because I make Henry go to all the preschool birthday parties in my place, I don’t know many of the parents. Some of them I see briefly in the mornings when I drop Chooch off and pick him back up,  but some of the kids are there for a full day so I never see their parents. Like Caitlin’s mom, who asked if Robbie and I were Chooch’s parents. I guess I should be flattered that I look young enough to be linked to 20-year-old Robbie, but it was still pretty awkward.

Not awkward at all was when Blake arrived and Chooch, spotting him from the playground, shrieked, “Hey, it’s my brother! My brother’s here! Come meet my brother!” and all the parents turned around in time to see this kid traipsing down the hill toward the pavilion, decorated with tattoos, piercings and gauges in his ears large enough to transport the thickest, meatiest German schwarzwurst your obsolete Deutsche Mark can buy.

I relished that moment. You’re in my world now, bitches.

I think the only thing I really said to any of the parents was, “Have some food! Here is the food table! Hey, did you have any food? Did you know we almost didn’t HAVE any food here at ALL? PLEASE EAT SOME FUCKING FOOD BEFORE I MAKE YOU CHOKE IT DOWN.” (And seriously, thanks to Janna, Kara, Gina, Kristen, Kaitlin and Jessi for helping me out on that front. I mean, not choking food down the throats of anal-retentive preschool moms like it’s some epicurious suburban housewife porn, but for making food and placing it atop the food table.)

But hey, props to Momesis for setting the precedent: all the moms arrived with their kids, put the gift down at the gift table, and then accompanied their child to the playground.

Except for:

II. The Stripper

Mom to Chooch’s girlfriend Bria, she arrived with her long copper-tinged platinum hair in loose curls; hot pink, skin-tight tank top; borderline inappropriately short jean shorts.

And Sketcher mules.

Bria ran off to join the other kids, but Stripper (whose name I didn’t catch but I’m sure it was Kandeeeee) hung back in the pavilion with the rest of us.

“Sorry, I’m not a morning person,” she said in a definite smoker’s voice. “I work nights.” Her hands were in her back pockets and her pelvis was jutted out just enough to be suggestive. I think it was aimed at Janna.

Last week, I ran into her when dropping Chooch off for school and she was wearing Applebottoms. She probably listens to Flo-Rida and Nelly on repeat while twirling down the stripper pole her husband installed in the kitchen.

Henry, stripper authority extraordinaire, argued that she was probably just a bartender (in a strip club) and now I’m certain he’s had her dance on his jock while he shoved fistfuls of Faygo coupons between her tits. But when my friend Bonecrusher arrived, I didn’t even have to point her out before she said, “Oh, totally a stripper.” I trust the judgment of anyone wearing a naked Burt Reynolds belt buckle over Henry any day.

III. Camera Died

The camera peaced out sometime between the failed pinata experiment and singing Happy Birthday. I whined about it, made Gina check to see if she had her camera in the car, and then kicked Henry’s shins approximately 5.3 times before settling on using my iPhone, which is really all I use anymore anyway so I don’t know why I was crying about it. To bring the attention back on me, me, me I guess. OH POOR, ERIN. ALL THE BAD THINGS HAPPEN TO ERIN.

We realized the next day, after tearing apart the house, that the charger and spare battery is sitting in my estranged mom’s garage from when my brother and I failed at an Easter photoshoot. So since our card reader is also broken, I haven’t been able to get the few pictures I did take off the camera yet. And the Internet cheers. I GUESS THERE WILL JUST HAVE TO BE AN EXTRA POST FOR THE PICTURES.

The Internet groans!

IV. Star Wars Theme-fail

The only signifiers of this being a Star Wars party was the one (1) Star Wars tablecloth, plates and napkins that required the purchase of 3D glasses to properly enjoy, and a Darth Vader pinata (more on that later). My relationship with Star Wars is pretty casual at best, so aside from grilling burgers and calling it Ewok meat, I didn’t really have many ideas. I haven’t watched any of the movies since high school, which was how I would spend most Christmases after running home from my grandparent’s house in tears because I wasn’t getting enough attention/my dad was being mean to me/my brother Ryan got bigger gifts than me: sitting alone on the couch with a luke warm TV dinner, watching Star Wars. Comforting, yet pathetic.

Henry’s niece was supposed to come up with some Star Wars-themed games, but apparently that didn’t happen because I don’t remember seeing any games being played that didn’t involve 5-year-olds chasing each other with stray 2×4’s decorated with nails and crime scene tape. (This really happened.) So thank god for dangerous police evidence and the playground, am I right?

IV. Cake

Wait, we also had a cake with a Darth Vader candle. The cake itself was just an outer space theme because I was thoroughly underwhelmed at the picture of the Star Wars cake on the bakery’s website (only bakery I will buy a birthday cake from, I should add). Henry suggested just ordering a sheetcake and then cutting it into the shape of Darth Vader’s mask and then re-frosting it. Yes, because let’s spend $70 dollars on a delicious cake only to shit it up with store-bought frosting. Good thinking, Betty Crocker.

This cake was my idea. It turned out fine without Henry’s input. 

And it had almond batter with raspberry cream filling. Better than a wedding cake.

Or at least comparable.

I take cake-ordering extremely seriously.

My friend Ron asked me if Henry and I made the cake and I impregnated the atmosphere with my laughter. If Henry and I made the cake, it would be lopsided, splattered with blood, and one of us would be buried beneath the floorboards. (99.9% sure it wouldn’t be me.)

Oh, and it would taste like saw dust baked with dried-out vomit and mutual hatred.

V. Work Friends!

This is still something that’s kind of new to me: I invite people from work to my parties, and they come. This makes me think that in the past, it was less of me being uncool and more of my ex co-workers being squares.

“You invited Barb?” Chooch said to me in a tone drenched in annoyance. She said it was the most welcomed she has ever felt at a party! And Bill and Jessi brought her up later when we were hanging out after the party. I think the word they used to describe her was “nice,” perhaps even “friendly.” Yeah. They should see the signs she makes and the emails she sends out to the entire department at work, in her patented fits of rage. My favorite was the one addressed to the person who not only dropped a pretzel on the floor in the kitchen, but then stepped on it and left it there. It made me feel scared, but also glad I wasn’t the pretzel-stepper.

That night, I said to Henry, “I really need to stop referring to these people as my work friends, when they’re clearly just my friends.”

I’m going to end this party installment on that note, since it’s all gross and sappy and completely unlike me. Plus, I’m tired of typing and I need my other pictures.  There’s still balloons, presents and douche cups to look forward to. Try to sleep tonight knowing that.

  11 Responses to “The Main Event, Part 1”

  1. This made my week seem much better. haha Actually this sounds like my son’s birthday parties… Except for the part that there are no kids and it’s just adults and he didn’t actually start to care until 2 years ago. haha Now I’m a little terrified for his upcoming birthdays in a couple of years where I have to invite kids… He’s spending the next 2 school years in Michigan with his dad and step mom, so I don’t have to be terrified yet… I also remember the year he asked for a star wars themed birthday… with a pink bunny cake, and I had to make it, because I always make all of his cakes/cupcakes because in his words “no one knows how to bake cakes mom” hahaha

    • Aw, I’m glad it made your week seem better, but it was actually a really great day. :(

      • hehe I’m terrified of groups of people, which is why I never go to the mall or other shopping places and avoided all eye contact with parents when Sascha was in school here. >.< Plus I never have anything in common with them. -.- Which is worse.

  2. It sounds like a pretty fun party so far. I would have enjoyed all the people watching opportunities. I need cake now after looking at that picture. NEED IT.

    • It was! I need to find a way to stop stressing out so much. Everyone told me it would be fine, and it was better than fine in the end. I wish you could have been there!!! :(

  3. Um…naked Burt Reynolds belt buckle?!? How did that part of the story get skipped over!
    Now that’s all I can think about :(
    I love how stoked he looks in front of present mountain!

    • OMG you would love Bonecrusher (her real name is Jen but I can’t ever NOT use her derby name). She made him a zombie Batman doll!

      You two are probably the coolest people I know!

  4. As usual, loved this post. And thanks for not blowing my cover here at work. People just don’t need to know that I actually CAN be nice!

  5. Can Chooch have more bdays so we can read more stories like this? Love the “your in my world now, bitches” line.

Say it don't spray it.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.