headed down to attleboro for my brother's suprise 30th birthday party. my sister-in-law and her best friend did a great job pulling the party together, and my bro was truly suprised - no mean feat when you've invited 40+ people. the bash was at a local restaurant that had a pretty decent function room out back, complete with dance floor and bar. my sister-in-law got bro there under the ruse that they were going to another friend's birthday party. the look on his face when he walked in and everyone hollered 'suprise!' was priceless... he's mr. cool, so seeing him flustered is one for the books.
sis did a bio-pic sort of poster, with goofy pictures and funny captions, detailing the saga of bro's life, including the failed 'wanna be a rock star' stage, and (of course) obligatory cute baby pictures. we hung it up behind the gift table, and it was a big hit.
speaking of gifts, bro's friends really outdid themselves. no, really. i've never seen such raunchy 'old man' gifts. you started to get the idea when someone handed steve a drink with a nipple cover on it. sort of like a baby bottle, but ... well, i'm sure you can picture it. i'm not sure i can even do the rest of the joke gifts justice. sis was especially proud of her gift, which wasn't a joke. she hopped on e-bay and got an autographed Eddie van Halen picture; as she pointed out, it probably would have been even cooler if she'd given him the picture 10 years ago, but it was still a great gift.
the party as a whole caught me off guard; i had been expecting a small dinner group in the restaurant, not a hall with a DJ. so i hadn't really geared up to meet and greet, or chat with people i barely know, which i really have to be in the mood for. it was also hard to field questions about mom, who didn't feel like she could make it to the party, altho i'm sure she wanted to be there. since i couldn't muster the energy to switch on Marketing Mode™, i just made myself useful all night, clearing tables, refilling pretzel bowls, taking pictures, negotiating with the DJ, and walking around with the babies. this last was an odd form of refuge, as i'm not too keen on babies. but there were 5 month old twins at the party. even tho there were plenty of people who wanted baby-time, i still got to hold them a fair amount of time. their noise tolerance was pretty low, and they needed to get to sleep, so as it got later, i'd take them out to the lobby, one at a time, where it was quieter and darker. holding them on one hip and rocking them (you know that funny little hip sway you always do when you hold a kid?) seemed to keep them calm and happy. also kept me calm and happy.
i've still got a crick in my neck from the other night. i figured i'd scored the better sleeping accomodations, since i'd be in a real bed, while my sis and brother-in-law would be bunking down on the living room floor in sleeping bags. silly me. when you're sharing your bed with a squirmy six year old, there is no such thing as a good night's sleep. it's amazing how hard a little kid can shove - i woke up at one point with my nose next to the wall. somehow, shoving back didn't seem like the right thing to do... altho i was tempted. oh, yeah... my niece didn't wash her feet before going to bed, after running around the function hall all night barefoot. two words: stan-kee! thank god i didn't see how black and grody her feet were until the next morning.
why does it seem my weekends take more out of me than my work weeks lately? the only theory i have is that work is a refuge of orderliness, and i'm using it to cope with some of the chaos in my personal life. so, come weekends, i'm at loose ends because there's no structure.
well, it's a theory, anyway.