When I was six I had this big birthday party. Now, six was an age when you invited most everyone in your class to your birthday party (or, at least it was if you went to a small private school like I did). I wanted a big birthday bash and, even though my parents were not inclined to such things, I was a veritable font of ideas of things we should do. I wanted a treasure hunt with a secret map, I wanted plenty of party favors, and, most of all, I wanted paper on all the walls and lots of crayons so that everyone could draw pictures on the walls without having to fight over a pad of paper and stuff. I was very proud of the drawing-on-walls idea, and the party was a big hit. Or, at least I had fun. Hey, I was six, that was what counted.
For years, this was my idea of a good party. Subsequent birthday parties were lower-key affairs, as my parents, not the most social people to start with, steered me towards what they perceived as more fun events with fewer, closer friends. In college I rediscovered the ability to throw a party, but I always knew that it was that one birthday when I was six that really proved I could throw a party with the best of them.
And then my Wonderful Girlfriend showed me how to really party.
It was not a big birthday for her — not the big three-oh, and her 21st passed a few years back — but she still wanted to do it right. A lot of people, they would’ve hired a DJ and gotten a keg and said, hey, that there is about two-thirds more effort than 90% of the parties out there so I’m good. Not the Wonderful Girlfriend! Yeah, she had a DJ and a keg, but they were just back-up. See, every table had a centerpiece — these great galvanized buckets full of ice and bottles of Corona. And each bucket had a bottle opener tied to it! And there was a dance floor, and there was an entire Mariachi band, for all your musical needs. Oh, and if you were paying close attention two sentences back, there were *tables*, bunches of them, all with chairs too, rented for the party. It’s important to have enough tables and chairs when you’re having about 120 guests in your back yard! Plus the adequate lighting around the dance floor. That was key too, as the party started early — while it was light out, so that the kids could bust up the piñatas and get their candy — and the party ended late, so that the parents could drink and dance the night away.
And that’s not even talking about the food. She got a taco cart! With three kinds of meat! A real, authentic taco cart. Now that’s planning. To say nothing of sodas, jamaica, and, my favorite, nopales.
So there’s an example of how to do a party right, an example to which I must now rise. Yes, I’m now plotting away at a party that will show how us white folk can do it. Bwah-hah-hah. Bwah-hah-hah-hah-hah. Just you wait, my pretties, oh I’ll show you what kind of a party I can throw!