Tuesday, 17 May 2011
All partied out
This time of year is all about parties for me. No, I'm not sipping champagne in some fancy Manhattan locale, if that's what you thought (as if). I've spent the past few weeks both organising both Littleboy 1's birthday and helping to organise a local fundraiser.
The birthday party was probably the easy part. I gave The Doctor the task of creating the Angry Birds cake, and he did a great job (see picture). Never mind that the purchase of the Angry Birds keyrings, at vast expense from a dodgy website, seems to have resulted in our credit card being stopped because somebody fraudulently used his details.
As for the party itself, we had bravely decided to have it at home - an unusual thing in this area, where most kids' parties take place at themed venues, where everything including entertainment, pizza and cake is thrown in, but the price can be upwards of $500. Instead we hired a magician, re-erected the boys' trampoline and prayed for good weather. The signs on the day were not good - a damning forecast of heavy rain. We spent the morning hurriedly clearing the decks of our house, making space for 20 kids. I had already made up pass the parcel in anticipation of lots of indoor games being required.
But, 30 minutes before the first guests arrived, the skies cleared, the sun came out and the sodden trampoline was dry enough to bounce on again. We were away. The party was a success, with everyone playing mainly outside - I practically had to drag them in to play pass the parcel, a game American kids are not really familiar with but seemed to enjoy hugely. They ate their pizza outside on picnic rugs - another aspect I am sure was eccentrically British, but seemed to go down well. As they left, one little girl informed me it was the 'second best party' she'd been to - the best being her own. I took that as a vote of confidence.
Meanwhile, the other party I'm involved with has been causing huge stress. These fundraising Galas are huge in the States, and I had no idea previously what was involved. Basically the occasion always has an honoree, and that person's friends and family are encouraged to come along and spend a lot of money on tickets, raffles and auctions. There is also a 'book of the night', in which people are encouraged to take out ads saying what a wonderful person the honoree is and congratulating them. Muggins here - a volunteer with the organisation - ended up being the editor of this tome, and has spent the past week dealing with all the fun involved in producing a magazine with a team of volunteers who don't really have time to do it, people sending in ad copy via fax at the last minute and other ads mysteriously disappearing. Add to that a diva designer who threw a strop and resigned via email, and you have about a week of sleepless nights. And that's on top of my real job - the one I get paid for. Sigh.
Oh well. I shall be more than ready to don my cocktail dress come the weekend and party. At least this time I won't have to worry about kids injuring themselves on the trampoline...it'll just be the irate adults whose ads never made it into the book.