What I saw: R’s birthday party, at her mom’s boyfriend’s apartment on the upper west side, in Manhattan.
What I wore: Eileen Fisher black pull-on stretch pants that are neither too long (because I buy them in “petit” so they’re above-ankle length), too tight, or too loose, so they’re basically pajamas, but better because you can wear them outside and people don’t ask you if you’re sick; that weird new green blouse-top with a grey floral pattern; black Fluevog heels (which were appreciated by three people at the party); new tiny fancy turquoise cross-body Furla handbag that the Bacon Provider got me for my recent birthday; mascara, and, for part of the night, a party hat.
|Always wear a seatbelt, even if you’re a bouquet.|
What I did beforehand: took off my party shoes and put on boots and leather gloves to go cut flowers for the hostess.
Who went with me: I went alone, but when The Graduate arrived at the party after I did, it seemed he hadn’t realized I’d be there.
How I got invited: via email, from R’s mom; it was supposed to be a surprise. It was not.
Why I went: when we first moved to NYC, in July of 2011, R (a college friend of The Graduate) went out of her way to introduce us to her family, take us to the opera, invite us to the Adirondacks, and make us feel like we actually knew people.
Where I sat: between R’s mom’s boyfriend and her old roommate (who may have been accidentally responsible for the lack of surprise).
|The hats lit up. I have food in my mouth.|
Things that were sad: I have fresh home-brewed IPA to share and forgot that I meant to bring some until I was half-way there. Also, I was in the bathroom when they sang “Happy Birthday,” and there were five opera singers in attendance. Lastly, I forgot my goody-bag, and it had a Toblerone in it.
Things that were funny: party poppers, party hats, Charades (I successfully delivered “The Geography of Sub Saharan Africa” and “Inception”).
|One of the primary gestures of Charades|
Things that were not funny: the dog hid the whole night; the cars I had to avoid, weaving on the Saw Mill Parkway on the way home; waking up the next morning for an 8:30 lesson.
|He kind of always looks like this|
What it is: in the United States, people often celebrate the anniversary of their birth with a party. Traditions include, but are not limited to, a birthday cake with candles, the singing of a traditional birthday song, games, a piñata, the giving of gifts to the person having the birthday, and party favors for guests. When my children were young, we had many birthday parties at home, including one with a magician, another with the Reptile Man, and, a particular favorite, a spaceship party where the kids decorated a refrigerator box in the back yard and we had a countdown and blastoff.
Who should go: my brother once told me that you should invite everyone to parties. This is a completely unrealistic rule that I try to follow as much as possible.
|The Graduate had fun|
What I saw on the way home: as I waved goodbye to R’s mother, I accidentally hailed a cab.