Thursday, April 14, 2016

She Said She Felt Special. I Think She Lied.

A couple of months ago I was at my parents house when my Mom brought up the fact that her birthday was fast approaching in April.  She stated that since she would be turning the big 65 she wanted a party.  This was significant for two reasons.

  1. She has never asked for anything birthday related in all the years of my life.
  2. I had no idea how old she was going to be this year.  That's what FB stalking is for.  Yes, this includes your own Mother.
  3. Birthdays just aren't a big deal in our family.  I texted my Brother a rotten e-card on his birthday in March.  Which is more than I did last year.  Which was nothing.  


A week or so later when I brought up the idea of a party in front of her and Dad, she was quick to change her little birthday-loving tune with a demure "Ohh no Doodle-Anne, (the super awesome name my parents have called me since childhood) I don't want a party".

To which I responded in a 165 decibel screech, "THE HELL YOU SAY, SIMPERING HARPY!  You want a party?  I'll GIVE you a DAMN PARTY!"

Just kidding.  Years ago I've found it's SOO much easier to go along with what people say, then do just as you'd planned to do all along.  It's a win/win.  That person thinks you totally see their point of view and agree 100%, and I get to do exactly as my little conniving heart desires. 

Anyhoo.  After lots of research and planning.  I decided to take a look at my budget.  After looking at my budget, my list of party must-haves suddenly had a lot of crossed off items.

So long pony rides.
Adios mariachi band.
Maybe next time portable photo-booth.
Peace out pinata.  

Wait.  No.  Eff that.  I'm keeping the mother-loving pinata dammit!

E1 offered up his pad for the venue.  His space is in a very industrial part of Salt Lake.  There's a lot of metal, exposed duct-work, a recording studio and a garage door that opens up into a graffiti decorated enclosed courtyard.  The geriatrics would be horrified.  I immediately booked it.

The day of the party, April 1st, was sunny, warm and basically perfect.  Until I left the house. 
I stopped by the bakery to pick up the specially ordered cake I'd paid for a week in advance.  The gal asks my name and searches the shelves.  She heads to the back.  She returns to the front.  She searches some more.  She asks if it could be under a different name.  Nope.  Just mine.  She starts digging through receipts and I offer to get mine out of the car.  She declines and continues to dig.  She finally tells me the cake was never made.
I stand there and stare at her in silence while mentally, a thousand angry words are hurled through the air and bounce off her forehead leaving little red dents.
She says they can make another one but it won't be the cake, filling, or decoration that was previously ordered.  A WEEK IN ADVANCE.  I tell her I'll be back in four hours to pick up the travesty.  

Between the cake fiasco, dropping the birthday banner and watching the wind tumble it through a few mud puddles and then looking on as the giant number 5 balloon unwraps itself from it's weight and floats off into oblivion, things were not going well. I wondered if my Mom would be okay with the single remaining number 6 balloon.  I mean really, what's a few years, give or take a few 60?

The guest list mostly consisted of members of her Mormon church.  As these sweet souls braved traveling out of their comfort zones, staying up past their curfews and risked getting lost in an area they've most likely never set eyes on, I'm touched by their dedication to honor my Mom by showing up to share in her celebration.

That's when I get a call from my Brother.  "Yeah, hey Dawn.  I'm trying to find the party and I'm in some weird alley.  There's like, a lot of metal all over the place.  I'm not getting out of the car".
Brave brave Brother of mine.

It was Dad's job to lure Mom there with some convoluted lie.  Eventually he knocks on the door.  I shoosh everyone and motion for them to gather around.  With my fingers, I count down from three.  At one, I fling the door open and everyone screams "SURPRIIIIIIISE" right in Dad's face.  I can practically see his hair blow back from his scalp.  He stands there with eyeballs wide and a stunned look on his face.  I'm not entirely sure why.  He knew what the plan was, and yet. 
It took about a second for my mind to register the fact that Mom, the birthday girl, was not present.  It's right about then that she pokes her little head around the corner to peer into the gloom where a second, less enthusiastic "Surpriise" is emitted from within.


The party turned out just fine.  My Mom danced.  My Dad put on a humorous slideshow (yes, a legit slideshow with a screen and slide projector and all) that had everyone laughing.  Everyone ate cake and didn't throw up.  (It was NOT good)  Mom beat the shit out of the cupcake shaped pinata and once it was down, proceeded to curb stomp it like she'd just watched American History X.  

All while Satan looked down with the dead eyes of approval.  Happy Birthday Mom.


  1. Did you sneak out soon after for a quick glass of merlot?

    1. I had a magnum of merlot hidden in my pants. Everyone thought I was just really excited to be there. And a dude.

  2. The part about your mom curb stomping the piñata made me laugh my ass off. Not literally but still.

    1. It made me laugh watching her do it. I'm happy to hear your bottom is still intact. Cause that would look weird.

  3. "All the while Satan looked down with the dead eyes of approval."
    "To which I responded in a 165 decibel screech, "THE HELL YOU SAY, SIMPERING HARPY!"
    Sentences like this are the reason I've missed your writing so, Vixen! So very glad to see you back at it, you pirate hooker, you!

    1. That e-mail nudge you sent the other day gave me the motivation to post, seeing as how I was going on 6 months of silence. So, thank you!!!

  4. Sounds like a success to me! Every party should have pinata stomping involved.

  5. I hope there is video of the pinata-stomping, somewhere, which can later be set to mariachi music.

    1. Looks like I'll need to invite you next time since I clearly failed at thinking ahead to that kind of video magic.

  6. HELL YES, pinatas!!!

    Dead-eyed satan would approve. :)

  7. This was a wonderful read, I was laughing by the end. That's the way things always seem to go - so screwed up and yet somehow all turns out ok, or at least no one complained if they didn't. It looks like a pretty cool party to me! My Dad wanted something like that for his 75th b'day and his "devoted" daughters talked him into a family picnic affair instead. Whew, dodged the bullet on that one! :-)

    1. Well done! I'm pretty sure by the end of it all, she was wishing for a nice, normal family only picnic.

  8. This sounds like it was quite a time. I kinda' wish I had been there! I have no doubt that a fun time was had by all...especially Mom. Annie from ~McGuffy's Reader~

  9. This was so funny!
    I'm with you. If a family member gets a card on (or even after) their birthday, they're lucky. I'm not wild about facebook telling me Every. Single. Birthday. BUT...I'm glad it reminds me about my family.