Saturday, August 6, 2011

40th anniversary party (m)

They say all's well that ends well.  I will tell you upfront that the party ends well. 

The beginning, however, is rough as the people we hired to help serve are hideous.  The lead woman breezes in at 5:10 (vs 5 p.m. sharp) and spends the first 5 minutes asking me about gloves.

Claire:  Excuse me, M, would you like me to wear gloves?
Me:  Gloves? What do you mean?
Claire:  To serve.  Some people insist I wear gloves.
(Perhaps it was her emphasis on the word "I" that made me wonder if she had a communicable disease.  To play it safe, I decided she should wear gloves.).
Me:  So wear the gloves.
Claire:   Excuse, M, do you have gloves for me to wear?

Honestly, this goes on the whole evening.  How do I want the napkins folded?  Accordian pleats?  How do I want the cake cut? Squares or rectangles? Do I want the champagne in the glass flutes (which I rented and had ready at the bar) or in plastic cups?  She drove me crazy.

The second party server person arrives 15 minutes later and leaves the job for 20 minutes when a guest hits her car. 

The bartender comes with a puss on his face, explaining he was roused out of bed at midnight the night before and told to show up for the job.  The original bartender fell off a ladder the day before.  This guy is a sous-chef at The Four Seasons, not a bartender.  We had to Google the recipes for the signature cocktails.

I get so nervous I break my favorite platter.  It was the only Christmas gift I ever got from T's side of the family.  I loved that platter. Right after the platter breaks, my brother, P comes into the house and says: "T says it's raining outside!"

Of course it is, I think.

I grab my nephew, Chris, and drive to my neighbor Joan's to get the ice cream bon-bons out of her freezer.  I take my sweet time doing this, preferring to sit in her garage versus going back to the bedlam at my home. 

The break does me good.

When I get back, (the rain never materialized), the servers are up the curve, people are eating and drinking and laughing.  I take a cleansing breath and look around.  Everyone seems to be happy. 

My brother and sister-in-law are genuinely surprised.  My brother keeps thanking me for the party.  He makes a gracious speech to his guests.  My brother Phil--the best man 40 years ago-- does a wonderful job with the toast.  Aunts X and Y stay awake all night and Cousin Patty makes a rare appearance outside of the kitchen to join us on the patio in time to hear the tribute to her and the cooking she's done for the party.

One of my nieces does a slide show of the wedding pictures.  Everyone laughs at the photos of the wedding party, circa 1971. We are dressed in a rainbow assortment of colors (pink, blue, yellow).  The maid of honor and I got the yellow, the worst possible choice for my olive skin.  The paper daisies placed in my updo were the coup de grace.

The best part of the evening is when one guest tells me I look better today than I did 40 years ago.


  1. Anonymous5:57 PM EDT look fantastic! Ab

  2. Anonymous7:58 PM EDT

    they are right, you look fabulous! way to go!!!