Monday, January 21, 2013

The Ron/John/Josh Birthday Party

Dear John,
First, happy birthday! I'm so, so glad you were born. And I'm glad I got to be with you for more than half of those years.
Ron called earlier this week, about coming over here to celebrate both of your birthdays. I thought it was a great idea, and said to invite any of the crowd that he wanted to. So by the end of it, we were supposed to have 13 people here - 9 adults and 4 children. We ended up with 11 - Brian and Bekah couldn't come. The house was packed! And a good time was had by all. Jethro hung out with the adults and Hunter played with the kids. Now the animals are just exhausted.
I was thinking about something tonight. You remember the kind of hippie entertaining we did when we were all just out of college - a bunch of people go to somebody's house, you sit on the floor because there's not enough furniture for everybody, you eat whatever somebody has and some of what other people have that goes with it, drink hot tea, and talk. And you know how folks in their mid-50s are supposed to entertain - invite people to a sit-down meal, at a real table, where the hostess fixes everything and people are well-behaved and sedate, have quiet dignified conversations, mosly about business or children, then go home. Well,, somehow we never did outgrow the old way, and these friends haven't either. Nobody has a penny, and that's alright. We love each other. And that's what matters. If all I had was cereal and milk, that would be fine. It's not about the event - it's about spending time with people.
And It certainly isn't about impressing anybody. All I had enough of was that old set of weavewood trays that Pizza Hut discontinued in the 1980s. I had three different sets of bowls out, two kinds of spoons, and for glasses we used the UK cups that we saved after home football games, and the cups they gave away at Wrigley Field when the expansion teams were created. We all crowded into the living room, leaving very little floor space, which the dog and cat were happy to fill up for us.We had people and animals crawling all over each other. And we had a great time.
And so, I finally figured out why it feels so comfortable to me - this is the way we used to have friends over, and the way we still like to. It feels good to me. And it seems to feel good to everybody else, too. I guess we never did completely grow up, did we? And if growing up means having to have a big sit-down dinner, the I just refuse to grow up. So there.
Happy birthday. I love you so very much,

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