Monday, March 20, 2006

La Fiesta de Boo

I'm sort of ready for this final 3rd birthday post because, quite frankly, I'm running out of ways to title them, though hopefully inspiration will strike between now and next year. And aren't y'all excited about another full week of birthday posts only 51 short weeks away?

All righty - here's the thing with me and parties. I don't really like them. So I always make a point to give people an out when I invite them to something, and really, no one is more surprised than I am when someone shows up. My wedding is the perfect example. We sent out a good many invitations because David and I grew up in the same town, belonged to the same church, went to the same college, etc. But for a couple of months leading up to the wedding, I was a completely atypical bride, assuring people across East Central Mississippi that really, it was okay, they didn't have to come, and I would completely understand if they had something more important to do, like cleaning out closets or washing cars. I even scheduled our wedding for 10 in the morning, because it seemed like people wouldn't want to wake up in time to be there, and maybe I could escape the bridal spotlight. Have I mentioned that I have issues about being the center of attention?

Anyway, since most of our family is in Meridian, and since Alex shows no signs at all of shunning attention, we invited all of our family to his party, though I had full confidence that no one would come. But you know what? They did. So many of them, in fact, that I had to make a mad dash to the grocery store right before the party so that we would have enough hamburger meat to feed the masses. Oh! That reminds me of a Tip For Entertaining: when you serve grilled hamburgers, consider using homemade pimento and cheese instead of your standard American or cheddar cheese slices. I stole the idea from one of our favorite restaurants, Jim N Nick's, and it was a hit. But you must must must grate your own cheese - none of the pre-grated business, no matter how convenient it seems. Enough about that.

So Alex loved the whole event, even though he did get a little freaked out when everyone cheered after they sang "Happy Birthday." Mama claims that she was the reason he settled down fairly quickly, but I think it had more to do with the Blue's Clues cake. White cake with buttercream icing, Merritt - just like you like it.

And the presents? Oh my word. It was sort of embarrassing, the volume of them. I came thisclose to putting a "no gifts" disclaimer on the invitations, but I knew David would tell me I had gone overboard with the I-will-not-spoil-my-child mantra, so I let it go. Everyone was so generous - great books, adorable clothes, fun summertime toys, a funky MSU painting for his room, money, gift cards, etc. - and I was really very humbled by the thoughtfulness of this thing they call gift-giving.

After he opened his presents, Alex and the other kids went outside to play (I think I've discussed in the past that, despite my best efforts to the contrary, our child loves the outdoors). And everybody else stayed inside and talked and drank coffee and laughed and drank coffee and visited and drank coffee because apparently the more caffeine you introduce into a family gathering, the more successful said gathering becomes.

Sister had laryngitis all weekend, which actually made her the ideal audience for my mother-in-law's 15 minute story about looking for a jacket at Steinmart, and I promise you that I overheard the words "turquoise" and "cutey cute" at least 10 times, along with "three-quarter sleeve" and, unless my ears deceived me, "sexy," which I believe was the final straw in Martha's decision to return the cutey cute turquoise three-quarter sleeve jacket. But I can't be certain.

All in all, it was a fine Birthdaypalooza '06 indeed. And it's over. Really and truly. I promise. No more talk of Alex's birthday.

Until next year.


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