Monday, March 21, 2005

The Social Obligation Trifecta

The short and sweet version: The weekend was, more or less, quite a success.

Now the long and possibly soporific version. Since chronological chronicling of events is so pedestrian, I'll skip around.

First, the shower. As anyone who has sat through stupid parlor games and 3-hour gift-opening marathons knows, showers can be among the most deadly dull experiences known to womankind. This one, though, was classy and elegant. And in typical MK fashion, the guest of honor was the epitome of graciousness and humility. A lovely afternoon.

Second (but really third in the linear sense), Sean's birthday party. We were a little concerned about how this guest of honor would behave at his party -- he has had a recalcitrant stomach ailment for about a week and had been very quiet and lethargic for much of the weekend. By the time guests arrived, though, he had perked up a bit and turned on his almost-3-year-old charm to medium wattage. I THINK he had a good time, albeit in a kind of solitary way. While the other children there played with each other, Sean stayed by himself and played with his own toys.

He loved his Thomas the Tank Engine cake, insisted (pleasantly) that we all sing "One of These Things Is Not Like the Other" instead of "Happy Birthday" (the only person who knew all the words to this song was my sister Kathie), and even shared some of his presents with the other kids. We now have a full stable of Thomas trains, tracks, playsets, books, and DVDs. All of which are strewn about the family room at the moment. (I console myself by thinking that for about 2 hours before the party, my house was immaculate.)

Third (that is, second), MK's bachelorette night on the town. Keep in mind the salient point of this story -- that MK had a fabulous time.

There were 12 of us, slightly less than the 30 that had been invited. We started with dinner at a charming Italian restaurant; good food, wine flights, low-key conversation. I have a tiny problem with alcohol: it puts me to sleep. Between the food and the wine and the glacial pace of the service (dinner was a 3-hour affair), I would have been entirely comfortable with putting my head down on the table and taking a nap. So by 11:00, when we were heading out to the next phase of the night, I was ready for bed.

A quick walk in the chilly air revived me (actually, I think several of us had been lulled into a near-comatose state). The bar we went to was packed, but we found a space on the dance floor, got us some more libations, and danced the rest of the night away. Well, some of us did. I did dance quite a bit, but I was so tired that I could barely keep my eyes open. And that's no mean feat, either, given the ear drum shattering volume of the music.

The word you are looking for is "fuddy-duddy."

I was actually very irritated with myself -- couldn't I possibly have worked up just a little bit more energy? I don’t know why, but bars suck the life right out of me. I hate the smoke, the noise, the crowds. Even when I was younger, I avoided bars. When I'm in that environment, I think I send off "Leave me the hell alone" vibes.

Fortunately, a lot of the other women with us are sociable, fun people who know how to have a good time. And in fairness, I wasn't a complete wet blanket. I was just more than a little relieved when 2 a.m. rolled around and we headed home. I got back to my house around 3:30; I can't remember the last time I was out that late. I felt so old.

The best part of the night for me was watching MK dance her heart out -- she is a great dancer and was completely uninhibited that night.

To paraphrase a line in the Thomas the Tank Engine video we've been watching ad nauseam: "And so, exhausted but triumphant, Suzanne returned from her long weekend to her regularly scheduled life."