I had a birthday on Saturday; a special one.
Oh, it didn't have a zero at the end – I don't tend to celebrate those ones much, but it was special to me, and I wanted a party. I mean – why not?
But I have learnt a few things over the years.
You see, I love to give parties. I love the organisation, the cooking, the preparation, the hosting – I even like the clearing up afterwards – but it has been brought to my attention that my family don't like my parties because they don't like the person their wife/mother turns into when she's under stress.
So, I decided that this party was going to be stress free, and that whatever happened, it would be perfect. Even if it didn't look like what I would normally describe as perfect.
There wasn't a guest-list, I just invited everyone on Messenger. When most people were doing something else already, I decided a smaller party was perfect.
When I managed to burn both my birthday cakes, I just used more icing to cover up the black bits and they were perfect.
I opted for simple food and when I didn't have quite the right ingredients, deemed my variation on the recipe, perfect.
When I wasn't ready in time and my guests arrived, it worked perfectly to ask them to blow up balloons and to deck the room with birthday banners. I asked some of them to prepare salads while I went upstairs to change.
Unexpected guests? Perfect.
Hijacking a friend's spare bedroom for those unexpected guests who unexpectedly needed overnight accommodation? Perfect. (At least, my friend said it was perfectly okay and I think she meant it!)
That Saturday morning my husband had turned apprehensive eyes on me. "I feel a bit worried that I haven't done anything to help you with this party," he said.
I smiled serenely. "You don't have to do anything," I said. It's all perfectly under control.
And it was – because I didn't try to control it; I just let it happen.
So, yes – it was a low-key party. It worked because everyone had a chance to talk to everyone else, and found out they rather liked them. Apparently, I have "really interesting friends". Or so these interesting friends kept telling me; citing the other interesting friends they had talked to...
All I had to do was keep the food coming and open another bottle of prosecco every now and again.
Hand on heart? Yes, I did miss the organised schedule of my former parties. I did miss the elaborate and themed food, the table decorations, party entertainment and games.
But it was rather fun to relax, sit back, and watch it all unfold.
It wasn't anything like any other party I have held.
But – it was perfect.
I wonder what else I could find in my life that is perfect – just the way it is.
(And – the earworm: https://bit.ly/1ztErbJ)
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