Birthday Dinner Chaos

September 1, 2012

OMG – why do I do this to myself? Why do I plan to have birthday dinner after a L-O-N-G work week and a particularly hectic one at that.

It all started a week ago – when I had my co-workers over for dinner and to sit out and enjoy my wonderful backyard, aka Narnia, as it has its own forest, in the heart of a big city. Dinner was wonderful – we had a lovely, relaxing evening…but as you can guess, there was flurry of clean-up activity prior to their arrival  (“I don’t care where you put that stuff – just dump it somewhere!”).

Two days later – I had a baby shower for a friend’s daughter. I was thrilled and excited to do it and it was also a lovely time  (again – a little more hollering on my part “get your wet towels out of the bathroom…10 minutes till guests arrive!”) even if I did have to bake the cake twice. That’s right – TWICE.  Now, I am not some novice baker – in fact, baking is one of the things I am known for – so why, oh why does my usual recipe fail me? I cool layer #2 of a very large cake and just as I am about to turn it out of the pan…it falls apart ,into several pieces! It’s cooked, it’s incredibly moist – but it is in at least 8 pieces. My family has never been so quick or  happy to help clean up a mess.

The next day, my youngest daughter started high school and although it went well, you know what preparing for any first day of school is like – especially high school! So when I decided to have her birthday dinner last night, at the end of this long week, I needed things to work out. To start the ball rolling, two of the guests could not make it due to a family emergency, which was disappointing but completely understandable. No problem – we would carry on. Happily, my cakes came out fine (yes -I was baking yet another cake) even if it was only an hour before guests were due to arrive.Things were running smoothly…then the phone rings – it’s  my husband letting me know that he and my older daughter have both missed their bus and will be a tad late. So now I am scrambling a bit –  I set the table, calling on my oldest son to help me pull apart the table to add a leaf.

Ok – table is now set, candles are lit, cake is frosted and dinner is simmering; the worst is over – I’ve finally gotten things under control and I’m pretty much ready for people to arrive – whew!

I walk into the living room for a final pillow-fluff-up and that’s when I see it. Ah – now the pre-party hysteria sets in… I let out a long, loud scream….the dog had vomited all over a large section of the new couch! And yes, I said NEW…as in, “haven’t had new furniture in 15 years” kind of new…and this vomit has been obviously there a while. Two of my kids are hiding out in the family room giggling at my shrill and maniacal screams…I mean, it’s bad enough that the couch is full of vomit – but now guests are only 15 minutes from arriving. I pull myself together and clean it up with lightening speed while silently patting myself on the back for paying the extra $100 to have it spray protected when we bought the couch (a scant 4 months ago). Ok – breathe….5 minutes left to swipe on a bit of lipstick and run a brush through my hair. I dash upstairs and once I reach the top landing, proceed to let out yet another blood-curdling scream….the cat has vomited too! Are you kidding me?

Scramble scramble,clean up, lipstick, brush hair then “ding dong” goes the doorbell.

I fluff my hair, take a deep breath and placing my hand on the bannister, I glide down the stairs as if I’m Grace Kelly, looking completely unruffled as I greet my guests while giving my husband, who has walked in right behind them,  that “serve cocktails now!” look.


One Response to “Birthday Dinner Chaos”

  1. Teresa Cleveland Wendel Says:

    Oh man. I thought I was the only one who had pre-party meltdowns.

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