Monday, March 9, 2015

It's my party and I'll throw a tantrum if I want to

I have somehow been roped into helping a friend throw a birthday party. It's a major party. One of those which celebrates a birthday with a zero on the end. As you may guess from the title of this post, that friend is Whingey.

Whingey and Mr Whingey asked me about three weeks ago to help. Because I organise events as a regular thing for one of my clients, they thought they'd pick my brains. They were tossing up between the following ideas:

  • Hold it at a posh licensed restaurant where guests would pay their own way, which could, depending on wine chosen, work out as $200 per couple (well, won't get many RSVPs to that one as we're all a bit cash strapped)
  • Hold it at home, somehow cramming 50 or more people into the small house if it rains or into the garden if it doesn't. Everyone to bring a plate and drinks (logistic nightmare suggesting what to bring to whom without insulting them)
  • Hold it at a local community hall and get caterers in. BYO drinks but charge people $25 a head to cover the catering (Slightly rude, asking for $)
  • Hold it at a local community hall with a spit roast and pay for the lot, except ask people to bring their own drinks (much better)

After two weeks of deliberation and poring over menu ideas they decided on the final one.  Thank heavens! The first one would have been a real drain on every guests' wallet.

Next was theming. Whingey decided that as she couldn't have the posh restaurant she'd do the opposite and have a 1970s party with people turning up in costume. All good so far. I did the invitations up and they are very much peace, love and flowers.

Until now Whingey has left most of the organising to me, Mr Whingey and another friend. However, Mr Whingey, who has taken to dropping by after work for a drink to look over party arrangements as Whingey doesn't let him drink midweek, rang me yesterday. "Invite us over to discuss the party before dinner," he begged. "I'm bored."

So I did, and Whingey didn't let him drink and she didn't drink and she started to look carefully at the spreadsheet I'd done up and started picking it at. Well, I expected that.

We are having table names rather than numbers, with 70s icons as the names, i.e. Gough Whitlam, Robert Redford. Whingey immediately decided she'd rather have band names or musicians etc so the red pen went through my list.

Her other friend and I decided we'd have a fun 70s trivia quiz as an icebreaker, with one of the topics being sport. Sport got vetoed too, as Whingey has no interest in sport.

When we got onto discussing the music for the evening I really wish she'd had that glass of bubbly I offered; she's always less grumpy after a drink. Mr Whingey likes his early 70s rock, particularly prog rock. All his suggestions were banned immediately. When we all teased her that he would slip a song from one particular band in, she snapped, "Do you want me to walk out on my own party on the night?"

G and I exchanged a glance. We were both thinking the same uncharitable thought: Yes, because then everyone who has worked so hard on this can actually enjoy themselves without worrying about you snapping at them if things aren't bloody perfect!

I am wondering whether Mr W will phone this afternoon and ask to come around and talk about the music. And whether he will, as usual, bring a bottle of red to gulp at before he goes home. I'm laying 5/2 on that one.

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