My husband and I don’t have kids, so the only birthday parties we attend involve Jell-o shots, inappropriate gifts and complimentary cab rides home (barf bags not included).
So when we got an invitation for a 2nd birthday party for our friends’ twins, we were excited, but a little nervous. We didn’t know what to expect.
About an hour before the party, I headed to the store to get the gifts, as is my usual custom for birthday parties.
Since the kids are turning two, I didn’t think a bottle of wine and a month’s subscription to online p0rn was up their alley. Or maybe it was. I wasn’t judging.
I texted their mom and asked for gift ideas, to which she responded “books.” Um, okay.
I didn’t want my friend to know that I had no idea what a two-year-old reads, so I decided I would figure it out myself.
I wasn’t sure if they would like Wuthering Heights but I thought Grapes of Wrath might be up their alley. After all, what two-year-old doesn’t love grapes?
It was also clear she was color blind, as no color viewing person would die their hair the color she chose.
She walked me around and showed me several options, although I noticed she was getting more and more nervous with each suggestion. It was as if her life depended on it, or at least her job.
Maybe that was true, as I suspected she may be on her last chance at the store if her hair color and sweaty pits were any indication. She just didn’t scream “employee of the month” to me.
However, the inner voice in my head screamed “Cling tightly to your purse“.
After choosing a few books. and paying way more than I should have for them, I headed home to pick up my husband so we could go to the party.
We arrived for the festivities the same time as our friends C-squad and Kvothe. I eyed their wrapped gift to size up whether our gift was better than theirs. Duh. Of course it was.
We arrived at the house and walked in to an explosion of party decorations and streamers. I looked for the stripper, but realized it may still be a bit early for that, as I wasn’t sure strippers were even awake at 1:00 on a Sunday afternoon.
Obviously they would come later.
We stood around and chatted for a while, hovering over the appetizers. I wasn’t so much hovering as hoarding the appetizers, and chastising anyone who came within a 4 foot radius of the chocolate pretzels. I knew I wasn’t setting a good example for sharing, but I didn’t care.
We ate lunch and as soon as lunch was over, realized it was time for cake. Honestly, I was eyeing the cake the entire time, and just went through the motions of eating the lunch.
We were sitting at various card tables around the dining room and our table was definitely the bad kids.
We started chanting “Cake, cake cake” and pretty soon the kids were chanting it too. We were proud of ourselves for starting a trend.
My friend Sally Albright (not her real name), cut the cake and passed out the pieces. She cut an especially large piece with extra icing, plopped it on the plate and gave it to me, telling me that piece had my name on it.
Apparently my name was Fatty because that cake had about a pound of icing on it…just the way I liked it. The slice weighed down the plate and I nearly dropped it because it was so heavy.
Although I had started working out with a trainer, I hadn’t been going the last few weeks and my biceps weren’t feeling the burn so much as they were feeling the tightness of my sleeves.
I really needed to get back to the gym, but not now. There was cake to eat.
I downed the cake and the pound and a half of icing. I also may have eaten the icing my husband scraped off his plate too.
It would be rude to be wasteful, and I was nothing if not considerate…and gassy.
After the cake came the opening of presents. I worried what the kids would think of our presents of books, but when I saw they were more excited about the boxes the presents came in than the presents themselves, I knew we were in the clear.
Had I known that, I would have raided our storage unit for moldy boxes instead of spending 30 minutes with the awkward sales associate with orange-ish hair and a nose spray addiction (I was pretty sure she was holding…Afrin).
After a few minutes of crying, I wiped my tears and joined the party.
I thought about where my life was going. I went from all night birthday parties with liquor and lap dances to middle of the day parties with crayons and cupcakes.
But I truly had a great time at the birthday party, and when I left, I was sober and capable of driving myself home.
I also knew where my shoes were, which was a first for me. Maybe getting old isn’t so bad. I still get birthday cake at parties, and then I get to come home and take a nap.
I just have to be awake in time to catch 60 Minutes and the early bird special at Denny’s.