My Ho's big birthday blowout happened last night. The evening was remarkably low-stress, thanks mainly to the fact that my kind and generous sister Meghan (to whom I am now indebted big time) let me have the thing at her house. Because her house is bigger and nicer than mine, and also because she has one of those husbands who likes to clean.
(I had thought those were an urban myth until I saw him doing it with my own two eyes.)
The details--the food and the drinks and the party supplies--all came together nicely. The balloons and decorations were in Chicago Cubs red and blue, the cat was black, and the fake ivy (which was everywhere) and the miniature replica of the Wrigley Field scoreboard were green.
The cake caught the immediate attention of my niece, Madge, who dragged a chair to the table from halfway across the room so that she could get up close and gaze adoringly at it. "Oooooooh..." she purred, "That's a cool birthday cake!" And it was--with the red Wrigley Field marquee sign ("Home of Chicago Cubs") reproduced in icing on the top. Again and again, we reminded Miss Madge that she could look, but mustn't touch. She obeyed for the most part, although at one point I did see her carefully pluck a single colored sprinkle off the side. Even so, her restraint was admirable.
My Ho’s friends are interesting and social enough that the people from work mingled comfortably with his old college chums, who got along swimmingly with the members of my own family. Even my brother-in-law’s friend Steve, who crashed the party after seeing all the cars in front of the house and popped in to see what was happening, fit right in. My Ho's Youngster, after a long day of helping my sister Molly's aspiring-filmmaker boyfriend make a music video, made a cheerful, if weary, appearance.
And that, I think, was the best part. Seeing My Ho so happy to be surrounded by all of his favorite people, who were there to celebrate his birthday.
He makes it very easy to do nice things for him.