Birthday Bash (self-inflicted) Blues

by Debra Chappell

It’s late afternoon on the “day after” a helluva night before! Some of our good friends threw one heck of a 60th birthday party for the hubby last night.  Me being the empathetic sort, felt obliged to support him wholeheartedly in his effort to show his appreciation and gratitude.  Needless to say we are both now firmly ensconced on the sofa in front of a roaring fire nursing well-deserved headaches and fragile nervous systems along with our hot tea and honey.  We fled to our mountain cabin this morning to escape the roaring in our ears and pounding at our temples, but somehow it’s all seemed to follow. 

Man oh man, what a fun party!  You have to do it every decade or so don’t you, just to remind yourself why you don’t do it more often.  I’d post pictures but fortunately for the man of the hour and most of those present, I left my camera behind somewhere in the carnage.

By the time the guest of honor arrived, the thing was in full swing so of course he felt obliged to catch up by chugging a perfectly wonderful and otherwise-to-be-savored Cabernet Sauvignon followed by a Moet Chandon shooter!  Not to be outdone, I quietly but effectively drained at least a bottle of Viognier on my own during the festivities.

The thing about celebrating with close friends who know you well is that no one lets you off easy.  If your depressed about the new decade you’re entering, it’s unlikely you’ll catch a break much less get any sympathy.  From one of the ugliest polyester plaid sports coats you could ever hope to see, to cases of Depends, Ensure, Polygrip, and a ‘prescription’ of honkin’ blue pills from Dr. Dan that ultimately proved entirely ineffective, the gifts were hilarious and we all laughed until our cheeks hurt (both sets).  The birthday boy hauled in enough wine to sink a battleship and as many cheesy gag-gifts as could be stuffed into a Walmart shopping cart.

Our gracious friends Cathy and Gerry deserve The Medal of Courage for hosting, and Cathy’s British themed Champagne cake was a wonder in both design and taste and capped off a truly remarkable evening.  In the aftermath and while washing glasses that seemed to multiply under the suds in the kitchen sink, some of us (who will remain nameless) went on to share what seemed to be the remains of every last open bottle of Chardonnay.

With so much wine and other assorted alcoholic beverages left over, we vowed to throw another big bash soon so it all doesn’t go to waste.  But as I sit here in the setting afternoon sun and dim light of the fire, flinching at every little crackle from the fireplace, retching at even the thought of a stuffed mushroom, and struggling to focus bloodshot eyes on the laptop screen, it may be at least another decade!