I’m sure others have experienced it, but it’s always an event: The birthday “party” for a child.
I use quotes around “party” because it’s really not a party so much as a “gathering,” especially when the child is under, say, 15. In this case, I got the opportunity to hit the happenin’ scene of the four-year-old birthday.
Now, let me be clear: The four-year-old in question (my girlfriend’s niece) is actually quite cool (except for the fact that every time I see her she runs up and tags me in the nuts). She’s a lot of fun to play with and when she visits I chase her around the apartment with a blanket over my head. (We like to call this “The Blanket Monster.”)
However, much as I like the kid and my girlfriend Jenn’s family, I’ve never been one for large gatherings, especially large gatherings of people I don’t know where the primary function is a “potluck.” That’s exactly what we had this weekend.
Whoever came up with the idea of “potluck” was either a genius or a damn idiot. I don’t even think I have to elaborate on that - if you’ve been to a potluck, you know what I’m talking about; if you haven’t, there’s no way I can possibly describe to you the interesting assortment of dishes that always seem to appear at these things.
Anyway, the “party” this weekend consisted of me eating sort of a potato-cheese concotion and some garlic bread (I’ve never been much for meatloaf, Vienna sausages, or salmon sandwiches in pita bread), watching the kid open gifts, and listening to people I don’t know talk about other people I don’t know in a way that makes me think that I should know what they’re talking about even if I don’t.
It was not quite as entertaining as the wedding reception I once went to that had the clown making balloon animals and the room full of handicapped kids doing the hokey-pokey. Maybe I’ll have to write about that sometime, though I’ll probably go to Hell for it.
FYI, that potato-cheese concotion stayed with me all the way through the hockey game I went to that night. Yowza.
And Jenn’s dad didn’t even wear his Shriner’s fez. What the hell kind of fun is it without the fez?