The Recent Paterfamilias has been bested. The Recent Paterfamilias has been outdone. And the Recent Paterfamilias does not like this. The Recent Paterfamilias says, “I do not like this!” He says, “Damnit!” “Damnit!” he says. And again he says, “Damnit!”
But, perhaps, the Recent Paterfamilias should explain.
The Recent Paterfamilias’ loyal readers will almost certainly recall his retelling of his own daughter’s birthday party preparations, tribulations, and, of course, the post mortem after the fact.
Well, this past weekend, the R.P. and family en totale attended a single birthday celebration for three of the R.P.’s daughter’s baby friends. It’s was a birthday party for non-related, but otherwise de facto, triplets. It was, essentially, a birthday party in triplicate.
A brilliant idea, this: All our kids were born around the same date. Let’s consolidate forces and stage a single party for our three urchins, only with three times the adult mental acuity, three times the creativity, and three times the physical strength necessary to accomplish all that’s needed when mounting one of these colossal baby party affairs.
Again, the R.P. says, “Brilliant.”
And they went all out, these parental party planners, and they did it on a strict budget, too, which is increasingly more impressive, the more that I think of it.
There was a theme (a carnival theme), and they’d strung out pennant banners and balloons along the park fence which cordoned off the party area. (And did I fail to mention that the party in question was held in Central Park? In the middle of Central Park? The logistics alone of getting everything to the middle of Central Park and setting up and executing this thing, on any budget whatsoever, is enough to impress most, if not all, other parents and most, if not all, professional party planners). There were games. There was a potato sack race (although only one actual race took place). There was a beanbag toss into a beanbag receptacle (which was commandeered by the adult males after the urchins on-site cleared out, and, over beers, bets were laid and beanbags were tossed and bets were lost and more bets were laid and more bags were tossed and more bets were lost and so on and so forth and this is just one more example of how men will lay bets on just about anything).
And, apart from the spread (which was impressive), it was really the presentation and the delivery and the execution of the thing that really set it apart.
Now, I know I’m really gushing here, but when a Paterfamilias is bested, he often can help but glow histrionic.
There was a color theme (red). There were three matching, and equally homemade, but hardly identical, cakes (all in the shape of the number 1). And all the other minor details had been attended to: personalized beer cozies, squeeze food packs for the baby set, pinwheels (which, of course, are fun for babies and tall people alike), and then there were swag bags, not only for the babies, but also for the mothers (complete with lotions and bubbles and inflatable beach balls). And it was all done on a very strict budget!
The Recent Paterfamilias does not like to admit it (and certainly not in a public forum), but he was impressed.
So, naturally, the Recent Paterfamilias now finds himself wondering how they (the parents of these three urchins) are going to top all of this on baby birthday number two. (And, frankly, he’s a little relieved that he set the bar so low per his own daughter’s brouhaha that all he has to do is launch a little better than average brunch on a pleasant little Sunday afternoon, and it will never be compared to a brilliant baby get together that some people will remember, and think about, and write about, for years and years and years to come).
Alas, there is much solace to be found in being so solidly half-assed.