Sunday, September 16, 2007

Party, party, party, PARTY

I don’t even know why I’m the least bit concerned about getting older, coming as I am, off a weekend bender involving not one, not two, not three, but FOUR parties.

Party number one was a joint birthday dinner for me and Rob’s brother Peter (born September 2nd) at Peter and Leeanne’s Etobicoke house on Friday evening. We enjoyed oysters and steak and thanked our lucky stars that Graham remained in good humor right up until we headed for home at the late hour of 11 p.m. Among other gifts, I received the book Infidel by Ayaan Hirshi Ali and the just released IT Girls Guide to Blogging With Moxie. (this could bode well for all of us, no?)

Party number two was on Saturday afternoon when dozens and dozens of my extended family gathered at my cousin Nancy’s to celebrate her brother Alan’s 50th birthday party. She and her husband and live in a restored century home on a gorgeous piece of property in Cambray. Alan and his wife Colleen reside in Chelsea, Quebec so a visit from them is an occasion in itself. It was an afternoon of babies and wine and guitars and children and dogs and food and jokes and hugs.

Party number three started immediately after party number two. After driving the short distance to my folks’ house in Norland, mom and I left Graham in the capable (?) hands of my father, brother and nephew and slipped just around the bay to my cousin Laura’s lake house. There six of us cousins, plus my mom and my aunt Ruth, enjoyed a potluck dinner and the culmination of our summer book club.

Last Victoria Day weekend we each chose a book that everyone in the group was to read throughout the summer. On Saturday we went through each book, one by one and discussed whether we liked it or not and why. I’ll post a summary of our thoughts on each book later this week for the literary types out there, but suffice to say a few of them served as springboards into really dynamic discussions.

Suzie, Colleen, Laura - hard to believe these three gorgeous ladies have 10 children between them.

Aunt Ruth, mom, Heidi, Paula.

It was 11 o’clock when the book chat wrapped up and we got to what was arguably the real attraction of the night: Laura’s home karaoke machine. (Yes, home karaoke: the real reason the terrorists hate us).

I want to go on the record as saying that we all ROCKED the mic. It’s amazing what a few glasses of wine can go for one’s performance. Or at the least the perception of one’s performance.

Here’s Heidi and Susie making Jon Bon Jovi blush with their searing rendition of Livin’ On A Prayer.

It’s just a damn shame there wasn’t a camera around to capture me and Heidi just killing Barry Manilow’s Copa Cabana but you’ll have to use your imagination on that one.

The fourth and final party was the belated birthday dinner thrown for me by my parents. Me, my brother, my niece, my nephew, his friend and Graham were all in attendance (Rob was working) and we feasted on fresh bass that dad flew out (literally!) and caught earlier this afternoon.

Once again, the wine, music and laughter flowed – this time right up until the clock struck eight!

So maybe my four-party whirlwind wasn’t exactly a bender. I can’t deny that my party rampages these days involve less alcohol, earlier nights and a lot less drama and excitement. But the flip side is I remember a lot more and spend a lot less time recovering.

Do I miss the rip-roarers of the past? Sometimes yes. But a Sunday night like tonight is not a time to look back and mourn the excess of youth. It’s a time to reflect and count my blessings.

One, two, three, four.

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