Monday, March 18, 2013

Party Anxieties

Next month my husband is turning 40.

Shocking for him, I'm sure, to have made it this long.  A bit shocking for me, as well, to be married to an old pawpaw.  =)

And we are having a party for him.  ***If you were not invited, this was NOT a slight against you.  Mr. Michael has informed me that he plans on drinking.  Quite a bit, probably.  And as the drinks will be flowing freely all night --- and we are more than happy to offer our upstairs, our couch, and any unoccupied floorspace to anyone that does NOT need to drive --- if I didn't invite you it was simply because I did not think you were the kind of person that might enjoy such shenanigans.

Crap.  Now I'm worried that maybe I've hurt someone's feelings.

. . .Perhaps I should mail out an "I didn't invite you because the place is going to be crawling with pirates and I know that you don't care for those types, Matey!" flyer? 

Which is precisely why I detest situations such as this.

NOT throwing a shindig for my boo.  No, I'm perfectly fine with that.  After all, he's ancient now, so who knows how many more parties he's going to get?  ;0

No, MY major concern would be in sidestepping the social landmines that inevitably come up in this kind of situation.

. . .Have I accidentally hurt someone's feelings?

. . .Have I made someone feel badly?

. . .Have I made someone feel that maybe I don't care for them???

Good Lord.

These are the kind of things that keep me up at night.

And that's just the minor issues before we even GET to the party!

I'm having a LOT of anxiety about it right now.

So I decided to try to allay some of these fears by browsing the interwebz and getting some ideas.

This, in itself, turned out to be a VERY BAD IDEA.

So now I'm just sitting here, with a glazed and horrified kind of look on my face, sipping my coffee and seriously considering curling into the fetal position and just rocking back and forth until this is all over with.  With any luck, I would still be in that position when the party started to happen, and hopefully some kind partygoer would walk by and stick a crab puff in my mouth.

I'm kidding, of course.  (We won't be having crab puffs.)

But I AM trying to get a handle on this. . . so maybe I just need to list my anxieties one by one, and then tackle them one at a time.

Here goes.

My List of Party Concerns, and Other Current Terrors

1.)  People are coming in from out of town. 
We are VERY happy about this.  But what it MEANS (if you are me) is that this is the first, and possibly only, time that these people are going to visit us.  So my house doesn't just have to be 'clean'. . . it has to be Ready-For-My-Southern-Living-Photo-Shoot-Spotless.

. . .

So for the last few weeks, every time I notice a dribble down the front of the cabinets, or how grubby our baseboards are, I just have to go to my happy place and sing a song and nibble on some cheese until I get distracted and forget about it.

. . .and I think that's probably enough talk about THAT.

2.)  We would like to have a Photo Booth.
You know --- a place for guests to stop and take a few pics.  Party memories.  FUN!!

And Great-Egads-Holy-Jumping-Dieties. . . the price to rent a photo booth is roughly equal to the budget that we have allotted for the entire party.  Wow.

So who cares?  I'll just MAKE ONE.  I'm fairly clever, and TONS of scrappy.  I'll just put one together using household items that I already have on hand.  Easy-peasy.

. . . And so now I have watched about five different Make Your Own Photo Booth videos on youtube, and the idea of staying in the fetal position for the next couple weeks is sounding better and better.

3.)  We do not have a theme.
Months ago, when Michael first expressed interest in a 40th birthday bash, he said that we could do a Care Bears theme.  That Care Bears would be fine with him. 

And I was ALL ABOUT IT.  I was TOTALLY on board.

I was thinking about how lucky I was to have a guy that was going to walk around all night wearing a birthday hat with Friendship Bear on it.


And then I browsed our local Party City, only to discover that they don't carry Care Bears party decor.  (I asked.)

When the helpful Party City lady told me that they didn't HAVE Care Bears, I briefly considered making a stink.

In my head, it unfolded something like this:

Me:  "You don't HAVE Care Bears?  . . . YOU don't have CARE BEARS??!!  YOU ARE A PARTY STORETHIS IS MY PARTY THEME!"

The lady:  "I'm terribly sorry, ma'am, but Care Bears just aren't that popular anymore.  Is there anything else I could help you find?"


The lady:  ". . . Perhaps we could help you find another theme?"

Me:  "He doesn't WANT 'another theme'!!  He is MY special guy, and HE WANTS CARE BEARS, and now I have to tell him that HE CAN'T HAVE CARE BEARS!!!  Would YOU like to tell him that he can't have Care Bears?  Would YOU like to be the one to take a dump on his dreams??  WOULD YOU, MADAM??!"

And the whole scene ends in a brilliant kerfuffle, with me doing some really bad-ass, Scott Pilgrim-type moves.  Then I walk away in the morning sun, singing songs about vengeance, and how friendship is magic.

(That might be My Little Pony. . . I can't be sure.  But my dear one has not expressed an interest in a pony theme.)

4.)  I have NO IDEA what I am doing.
And this is where we get to the heart of the matter.  Aside from the baby's first birthday party (which was fine, because he was only 1, and didn't know what a birthday party WAS, and thus had no expectations), I have never thrown a party before.

I don't have a CLUE how to do it.

Hell, I'm not even that great at GOING to parties. . . I usually just try to stuff my mouth with food, make friends with any pets that might be roaming around, stick like glue to the few people I know, and take frequent bathroom breaks so that I can take deep breaths and try to convince myself that I haven't deeply offended anyone's religion, sports team, or children.

(It's tough being me sometimes.  We have issues.)

But I can't DO THAT at this party.

At THIS party, people are going to expect me to be a hostess.  I will have to pretend to be charming.  I will have to mingle.  I will have to know what is going on. 

I will have to act as though I am not about to pee in terror.

I will have to make sure the crab puffs don't go bad and poison all of our guests.

(It's really just the kind of situation where spontaneous combustion is about the best I can hope for.)

And so, in a frenzy of hopeful desperation, this morning I decided to browse pinterest and see what I could find in the way of party ideas.

. . .And that is why I am typing this from the fetal position, in the middle of our kitchen floor.  (Thankfully, the baby keeps bringing me gummies, so I will not starve.)

Pinterest is really just not intended for people like me.

I think the people who throw parties on pinterest are. . . insane?  Bored?  Really, really talented alien body-snatchers?

Who ARE these people???

These are people who probably throw parties all the time.

These are people who have little signs for every little tortilla chip they serve that says "Chip" in fancy calligraphy letters, and then goes on to provide a brief history of the chip, as well as an amusing little limerick.


These people have fancy decorations for everything, and probably spent as much on their party as I will spend on my next car.

Oh wait, nevermind.  They just made those decorations with some simple ribbons, sequins, and a glue gun.

And the ice sculpture only took three hours, a degree in engineering, and the steady hand of a surgeon.

I REALLY hate those people.



. . .

Okay, okay.

That anger is probably misplaced.

**Deep breaths.**

I'm sure the party will be lovely.

I love my husband, and I just want him to have a good time with his friends, drink some cocktails, listen to some music, and have some snacks.

Besides, it's the thought that counts, right?


(You could not BE MORE WRONG.)

That only applies to Christmas!!! 

So I guess I'm lucky, because I'm no longer even worried about the party at all now. 


NOW, the big questions are:  WHY did he marry me???  . . .What skills do I HAVE??? 

. . .And is it possible to drink coffee while in the fetal position???

I am SO screwed. . .

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