Heh. I thought that'd get your attention. And while blogging can be all about ego stroking this post is going to have very little of the masturbatory quality about it. Unless you're turned on by my writing, in which case I'm terribly thankful and would strongly urge you to let your therapist know this, because your dosage needs to be increased.
My daughter had her 13th birthday party this weekend, a little early of the actual event. It's hell when your birthday lands on a school day. Me, I wanted to be the good dad and help make her entrance into her "teens" (I still break out in a cold sweat when I realise she's crossed THAT boundary) memorable so I decided that it'd be fine if she invited four (and no more than four) of her girlfriends from school over for a sleepover.
Yeah, I know. But it's her thirteenth, and that only comes once. So, I bit the bullet, and had my therapist increase my dosage.
I spent Wednesday through Saturday morning helping to prepare the gates for the barbarians. I cleaned house. Made sure there were enough places to sleep. Layed in what I thought was lots of food for the little 'uns, that sort of thing. Lots of clean sheets, plenty of soda and chips and dip, and a clear guideline from the financial overseer as to how much could be spent at the party store on decorations, how many movies (PG-13!) could be rented for the evening, and very clear instructions that I had to wrap presents. I'm still trying to figure out how THAT got in there, but there it was, the turd in my punchbowl.
Honestly? Knowing I had to face five (it ended up being three plus mine) teen girls overnight wasn't as frightening as knowing I had to gift wrap five books, two T-shirts, a bookmark, a poster, and three CDs. I was given a tape dispenser, two bows, a roll of electric green ribbon, a pair of scissors, one gift bag with tissue paper and two rolls of wrapping paper. I asked for but wasn't allowed Super Glue, duct tape nor a ripsaw. My loss.
The party was due to start at 4 on Saturday afternoon. This salient feature was clearly stated on the invites. So of course girls start showing up at 2, and all I can hear from the driveway is wheels spinning out from vans and SUVs roaring off down the street. So there I was in the bedroom, struggling to wrap presents (there's a reason white men aren't rappers) and...well, I got them wrapped without stuffing them all into the gift bag and ribboning the entire thing shut, let's just put it that way. And I didn't once rely on my staple gun.
And you know, for all my terrors and night-sweats leading up to the party it wasn't half bad. They scared the ever-living bejeebus out of the Pizza Hut guy at the drive-through pick up window. They picked out movies in Blockbuster in about seven seconds flat, and while I did hear more giggling than any man my age should be presented with they were astoundingly well behaved, fairly quiet (it was kept to a dull roar) and even though they stayed up until two this morning I was awakened at 7 not by the howls of fire truck sirens or the howls of a dog being carefully fed into the toaster but the quiet rustling of my daughter moving around her room picking up empty soda cans and candy bar wrappers. Utterly amazing.
I just want to say this, though: DAMN little girls can eat. I have never seen so few girls eat so much food. They drank 30 sodas, ate two medium supreme pizzas, an entire bag of Hershey's miniatures, a 10 count box of Pop Secret popcorn packs, a bag of Tostitos and two large jars of dip, most of the birthday cake, one of the cats and an entire can of my pipe tobacco. Well, okay, so I may be stretching it a bit on the sodas, but the rest? Gawd's own truth. I've never seen anything go through food like that, not even boys that age. Do parents FEED their children any more?
I'm glad thirteen only comes once. Now all I have to worry about is the first boyfriend, the first breakup, her first car, her first day at high school, her first day at college, and...
Oh gods shoot me now.