Sunday, May 20, 2007

Party Guy

Somewhere around 11 pm last right, just as my party was ending, it occurred to me that I was having a good time.

After worrying about everything from a nuclear disaster to an attack by flesh-eating zombies, I am forced to admit that my 50th birthday party was a smashing success.

The food was great, the company even better, and everybody got along. Obviously I got all stressed and bent out of shape for no reason whatsoever, thus proving yet again that I'm completely out of my mind.

This is news?

I'm sitting here in my computer listening to the overture from "Oklahoma!" on the radio while I can faintly hear the thump-thump-thump of the bands marching on Fifth Avenue in the Norwegian Day parade.

I love this parade and I'm not even a Norwegian, which rhymes by the way. It's a Bay Ridge tradition and one of my favorite signs of spring.

The Norwegian population around here has thinned over the years, but they still know how to throw a good parade.

The costumes are beautiful, kids are running all over the place, and, unlike St. Patrick's Day, the weather is actually decent.

I was walking home from the store this afternoon and I saw an elderly Norwegian couple navigating around a group of Arabic kids playing in front of the mosque on 68th Street. Times have changed.

I'm exhausted, barely able to type. The party ballons are still floating around my porch, inclduing the big 5 and the big 0, though, like myself, they're getting a little wilted.

I am so glad I threw this bash. Hang the expense, the worry, the effort--it was all worth it. I've never done anything like this before and I think it was high time I tried.

Do It Right

My 30th birthday, my 40th birthday were all low key affairs, with just the immediate family present. You have to do something big for the half-century mark.

Naturally there were a few rough spots. I was convinced we would run out of food and I would be forced to ring up a local pizzeria and tell them to empty their ovens and bring me everything they had, cooked or not.

I ended up with a ton of extra food, including a nearly full tray of sausage and peppers that's currently turning to a block of ice in my freezer.

I opened the doors for friends, relatives, and a few total strangers. I was like the Godfather at Connie's wedding, going from table to table talking with people, making sure everyone was having a good time. Only I didn't have to stuff cotton in my cheeks.

But it most of looked that way when it came time for me to blow out the candles on my birthday cake. My sister and some of her cohorts actually slipped in a few of those trick candles that keep coming on after you blow them out.

I kept huffing and puffing and the damn things kept on re-igniting. I didn't anyone made those candles any more. They're like joy buzzers and whoopie cushions. Nobody buys them in this day and age, do they?

I guess a good novelty item never goes out of style.

Everyone was laughing and shouting "blow! blow!"--which has a double entredre element I could do without--until it finally occurred to me that I was being hosed.

"I want to live to see 51!" I shouted.

Finally, one of the boys blew offending candles out and dumped them into a cup of water. Hopefully he buried someplace in the desert like nuclear waste.

The people really mixed well. It was strange seeing a co-worker speaking with a drinking buddy, or one of my relatives laughing it up with one of the Senator Street boys. People who hadn't seen each other in years were getting together again.

After 11 pm, some of the hardcore party people went to the bar and kept drinking, but I was pretty much toasted. I transported my various gifts and all that food back to my house and hit the sack.

I saw some of my guests at the parade today and several of them thanked me for inviting them, which kind of surprised me. I was afraid people were going to blow my party off and that anyone who showed up would be doing me a favor.

I still feel that way, but I think we showed people a good time, and that's a nice feeling, even for old bugger like me.

Ser deg senare!