I’m realizing that having a party is a good thing because drinks. And food.
Every year, my parents would throw me a huge birthday party at some popular kid joint: Chuck E. Cheese, Farrell’s Ice Cream Parlour, Pizza and Pipes and other places you could easily catch a cold just by breathing in and out.
And every year, I would dread my birthday.
My social anxiety would whack me upside the head and I would wring my hands for weeks in nervous anticipation for my impending doom.
All the girls from my class would be invited and there would be laughter, balloons, cake. Most of these kids never spoke to me at school, but of course, during my party, they acted like my best friend and there was something very Dynasty about it all. If only we were wearing Nolan Miller gowns and throwing glasses of champagne at one another.
I hid behind my mother, biting down on my lip, a nervous tick that would carry into adulthood.
The ultimate humiliation would be the outfit my mother would buy me from Sears for my special day. What could top that lovely white Evonne Goolalgong outfit that made me look like a molting and perhaps dying parakeet? That would be the Gloria Vanderbilt purple Victorian blouse with ruffled neckline and matching purple skirt with white tights.
Yeah, my birthdays were a particularly hideous time.
Any thought of any type of party became a catalyst for knots in my stomach and sweat on my brow.
I was a mess.
My dad always forced me to drink Sprite or Mellow Yellow (so gross) to feel better because for him, those were magical elixirs that could fix anything. More like sugar bombs that made everything worse.
But I’m in my 40’s now and I have to get over this shit because the media is telling me that I need to cherish my days – the end is coming sooner than I may realize.
So this year I’m throwing a party, the type of party where you send out invitations, people get dressed up and there are things like finger foods and uncomfortable small talk.
I tell Carl my plan and he’s genuinely happy.
We’re celebrating Shakespeare’s birthday, I say gleefully.
He’s a dog. The happiness has left Carl’s face.
I know that.
But Shakespeare doesn’t care about birthdays. He’d rather chew on our blankets, Carl says as he picks up evidence of our little chewer’s voracious appetite.
Whatever. I’ve already done invitations and everything.
What? You just told me about this party. Carl looks at me in disbelief.
I know, right? I went to Basic Invite, dropped Shakes’ pic into a design, added all the deets and ta-da! I mean easy. You could do it.
What are you trying to say? he asks.
I just said it. That leaves me more time to eat this pizza.
When are these invitations going out?
Soon. We get them in five days. What color envelopes do you think I should order?
What colors can we choose from?
Well, there are forty rad colors, so…
No one says rad any more. Carl obviously hates 1989 and Gleaming the Cube very, very much.
This invitation thing is so easy. I mean, maybe I need to re-celebrate all my past birthdays, minus the mean girls. And I can wear Dynasty-type gowns with ridiculously big shoulder pads. And fight with someone in a large fountain.
What kind of party are you throwing? My next party will be for me – I think I’m going to send out announcements that proclaim I officially have grey hair that is color-resistant.
Is it too early for champagne?
Disclosure: This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Basic Invite. All opinions and photos of Sir Shakespeare are mine, yo.