Friday, March 14, 2008

The Party (Part 1)

"Giving a party is like having a baby --- its conception is more fun than its completion, and once you've begun it's impossible to stop." ~ Jan Struther

We had a lot of food..... vegetable tray, fruit tray,
olives, pizza, hot cheese dip, hot meatballs...
Mom wanted to have a party for Dad's 80th birthday. Stephen and I thought this would be a great idea and he said he could come home for it, if we moved it up a week before Dad's actual birthday. So it was agreed that the party would be February 9th, and then Stephen left. This was thought up and decided upon back in November of last year.

With Stephen gone and me busy with the garage and furniture and steps, the party conception was left to Mom. She poured over her cookbooks to pick all the things she was going to make and had ideas for the cake and even the tablecloths and punch.

Stephen and I both thought she would want it limited to the people in their Sunday School class and a few of the new neighbors. Nyssa worked with Mom to compose a short poem for the invitation and I made a mock-up on the computer.

Ah, the invitations! This is where it started to go astray and get out of hand.

..pimento cheese and crackers, pinwheels, chicken salad sandwiches,
and bacon wrapped dates.......
I printed up 30 invitations, thinking this would be plenty. Mom started off fine, but then she got into her.... "we must invite this couple, even if I know they can't come" and she completely forgot what happened at their 50th anniversary party. Then she had over three hundred on the guest list because she just KNEW that "no one will be able to come". What happened? We had over 275 RSVP's in the affirmative and ended up with almost 250 people at the dinner!

So, I printed invitations and printed invitations and ran out of ink and after getting more ink.... I printed even MORE invitations! After she was finally finished and secure in the knowledge that no one had been left out... we had 135 invitations! I reminded her that these were mostly addressed to couples, so that meant 270 possible guests. I reminded her that the usual rule of "only 1/2 of invited guests usually show up" did not work in our family. But all to no avail... and 135 invitations were mailed. It was only when I reminded her that the 50th anniversary party was held at a large church with a LARGE PARKING LOT and that this party was being held in a subdivision, with limited parking on the street, that she finally became concerned. But, it was too late... the invitations were in the mail... the die was cast!

...meat and cheese trays and bread for making sandwiches, zesty pastrami
roll-ups, spinach dip and chips, punch and.....
Posted by Picasa
Mom thought that most of those out-of-town invites wouldn't come, but when two of Dad's brothers and their wives decided to fly here from Illinois... well, I knew it was beginning again. The phone started ringing and the guest list started growing and growing and growing... until we had 100 guests expected. Yes, it was a come and go party... but still. One hundred people over three hours is still 33 people an hour and many would see friends they hadn't seen in a long time and would stay and where would we seat them? Finger food recipes that feed 16 just weren't going to do and where would we put the extra food and the ingredients of all that punch? (We broke down and got an additional "refrigerator only" fridge to go in the laundry room for the overflow food.) Who was going to make all this food? Who was going to keep all this food on the table and the punch poured and served? (Thank goodness we have three very sweet and wonderful ladies who were absolutely magnificent with this!!)


(To Be Continued)