June 23, 2008
Ok, so it is not really MY party. But I (and someone who shall remain nameless) are planing a retirement party for my mother. It is by no means an overly difficult task, but here are the five people are making it far from simple.
1) My co-planner - She is great. Really, she is. However, she seems to have trouble remembering that in addition to living two states away from the party location I have a FULL TIME JOB. And, that job does not include party planning. I don’t really have time to discuss every minute detail of the invitation ribbon, the font size or if the forever stamps are just too ugly to use on a festive occasion. In addition, after my day of full time work, I don’t really want to spend an average of 45 minutes discussing why it is that people no longer RSVP and have no sense of decorum. Which brings me to #2….
2) People who do not RSVP – I don’t know what it is about picking up the phone or jotting a quick e-mail that is so unbearably difficult, but if you are invited to an open bar, four course, sit down dinner, the least you can do is pick up the phone and say, “sure, we would love to come” or “actually, we have better things to do”. The only thing worse than #2, is #3….
3) People who RSVP with more guests than were invited – I am sure that your child is the best behaved child in the whole wide world. And yes, I am sure that the 53 other guests of the event would be just CRUSHED if you little angelic looking demon spawn were not in attendance. However, if you will take a moment to consult the envelope, the hosts or general common sense it might occur to you that your child was NOT invited to this adults only event. We do however, appreciate your self centered ridiculousness, out right sense of entitlement and basic hissy fit since it has given me something other than the needy nature of my co-planner to be ticked about.
4) The loudmouth – the one who felt the need to call a mutual friend to find out what they were wearing to the party only to discover that they were not invited to the party and then send me an e-mail saying ” oops, sorry I goofed, but you are going to need to do something about this”. Why, WHY do I need to do something about this? I did not call her to consult on the type of hose to wear with a beige dress? I did not need positive re-enforcement on the choice of my footwear for a given occasion. I actually manage to keep my mouth shut when invited to an event that others may or may not have been included in. We now have 54 people attending a party only 50 were invited to. Classic.
5) My brother- now, I love my brother. As far as siblings go, we are pretty close. But every once in a blue moon I seriously wish he had been born a girl and I had a lovely party literate sister. Here is a typical conversation between me and brother.
ME: so, are you bringing your girlfriend to the mom’s party or not?
BROTHER: mom already had a party.
ME: No, that was her work party. This is a family & friends party.
ME: so, are you bringing your girlfriend?
BROTHER: I don’t know. Why?
ME: I need a count for the tables.
ME: So I can figure out how many we need and order the centerpieces.
BROTHER: Why do we need centerpieces?
ME: So there is something on the table.
BROTHER: Sa, isn’t there going to be food on the table?
June 20, 2008
Today was a tough day. Not necessarily a bad one, but a toughie. It was not my last day at my job, but it was the day of my goodbye party and the last time I would see some extremely special people and it was hard. It got me thinking about former tough days and where this one ranked and so, I thought I would share my top five list of tough days* (in chronological order)
1)Loosing the cross country county championship in 10th grade. – We were favored to win and I ran my heart out (breaking my own personal record). It was our captain’s last year and I adored her. Even at 16 I genuinely wanted the victory for her more than for myself and when it came down to a tie breaker, I felt like I let her down. If I had passed one more person, if any of us had passed one more person, we would have had it. It was the day I discovered that sometimes doing your best just is not good enough and that sometimes, like victory, failure is a group effort.
2)The day I found out my high school boyfriend had cheated on me – I know, this one should have been a no brainer. He was a year older than me and already at college. To be perfectly honest he was out of my league to begin with. But, he genuinely seemed to adore me and I genuinely seemed to believe him. It was the day I discovered that just because someone tells you they love you, does not mean they won’t hurt you and we don’t all live happily ever after with the captain of the lacrosse team. It was my first heart break and somewhere, beneath the marks from my sports bra and deep under my rib cage, I know there is a little scar.
3) The afternoon my parents came up to New England to tell my brother and I my dad had cancer – As fate would have it, my brother got into his first choice college where I happened to be going to graduate school and we were living about 20 minutes from each other. My parents told us they wanted to come up to take us out to brunch to celebrate some birthdays. When they walked in I could see that my mom had been crying. My dad sat at my round kitchen table on one of those chairs that swivels around, looked me in the eye and said, “your dads sick kiddo”. It was the worst combination of seemingly innocent words I had ever heard and it was the day I discovered my father was human, fragile and mortal.
4) The day my brother got into some trouble I could not get him out of – The details of this story are my brothers to tell, not mine, but it was serious trouble. It was the day I discovered that just because I had four years on him, did not mean I could protect him forever, and that you can’t wish someones pain away.
5) Moving my best friend out of her house prior to her divorce – We sat in a room going through pictures and piles and shoving 6 years of her life into whatever boxes and bags we could find. I had been there when they met, the day they got engaged and stood beside her when they took their vows. I felt like I could have, I should have, done more. It was the day I discovered that love is not always enough, but some days, friendship is.
So, where does today rank on my list? I don’t know yet. I know that there are times in your life when you know something has changed and even if it has changed for the better, you can never go back. Today was one of those days.
As a side note: As I have stated numerous times before, I am not a writer. I am more of a venter or an observer. But today, while driving home crying, listening to sappy love songs on 105.1, I had the urge to go home, sit at the computer and write about what I was feeling. It was the first time I wanted to use this blog as an outlet rather than as a sounding board and that felt good. So, maybe it was not such a bad day after all.
*Note- death of friends and family were intentionally left off of this list. As anyone who has lost someone they love can tell you, the experience is no where near a ‘bad’ day.
May 16, 2008
Due to last weekends travels, this weekend I will be celebrating mothers day with my mom. Here are five of my favorite things about her, or at least the first 5 that came to mind.
1) She calls me sar-bear and somehow, it does not sound like she is equating me to a 300 lb hairy beast.
2) When I was 15 she called me at work to say there was a family emergency and she was coming to pick me up. When she arrived she informed me that there was no emergency and she was taking me to a Tom Petty concert. That night, the only person cooler than Tom Petty was her.
3) When she slips me $20, she calls it ‘pin money’ and insists I spend it on something frivolous
4) When she bakes, she measures water by the eggshell, the same way her mother did.
5) She has the best advice and always waits to be asked before she gives it.
May 13, 2008
After all that airport time on Friday, I did get to spend some wonderful time with my nieces and nephews. Here are my 5 favorite things about being an Aunt.
1) Play time – organized games, pick up games and made up games; dress up, performances and pretend
2) Story time – stories they tell me or I tell them, with or with out books, pictures or logical endings
3) Nap time – their desire to be tucked in or snuggled beside, the quiet request to have ones back rubbed or special blanket given
4) Our time – time away from mom and dad when I get the real story behind how a rock collided with their brothers’ forehead or why they did not want to share their special angel wings
5) This time – the moment where I think they will never be cuter, funnier or more brilliant than they are at this very second and knowing that second won’t last.