Sunday, January 31, 2010

how I survived the birthday party (m)

If you were an alcoholic, trying to quit, do you think you could stand 2 hours at a bar where a variety of alcoholic drinks were pre-poured and available for the taking?

That's how it felt tonight at the 60th Birthday party.  I stood at the island in the kitchen where everyone had congregated and sipped seltzer water with platters of cheese, crackers, shrimp cocktail, oysters, mushroom puffs, asparagus wrapped in pastry, and proscuitto wrapped around pears with figs on top surrounding me. Oh, and bowls of cashews.  I tried moving to the living room to sit in front of the fire but NO ONE joined me.  Why would they?  They were having a ball eating and drinking in the kitchen.  There was nothing in the living room but furniture.

I had 6 glasses (tumbler sized) of seltzer and two pieces of shrimp, knowing full well I had to stop there since dinner was yet to be served.

My husband suggested I have a few oysters and, while I know they don't do damage points-wise, I really think they taste like post-nasal drip going down the back of your throat, so I said no.

I tried to engage in conversation.  One guy's brother studies climates from dinosaur times.  That was interesting for 5 minutes (mostly because I was trying to find out "why" he chose this field).  One guest, already drunk, joined in on one of my conversations and kept repeating key phrases he heard us say.  I glared at him and he left.  Two of my husbands' close friends asked why I chose to leave the company which took over my former company.  I think they had ADHD because I'd talk for 2 minutes and they'd get distracted.  I said "excuse me" in the middle of a sentence (one of my own, in fact) and left to get a refill of the seltzer.

Then, from across the room, I saw my exit strategy.  The granddaughters.  Two adorable tykes dressed in full party regalia, running around.  I told their mothers I would give them a break and look after the kids.

We went into the playroom and read books, played with the wooden trains, did flash cards (pictures of animals).  I stayed there as long as I could, came out to have salad and some beef and more conversation with the grown ups.

After the birthday cake, we left.

And that is how I got through the night.

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