Life as a single Mother-Empty nest, Dating, Ex-husband, Best Friends, Full-time Employment, Unemployment, night school...How do these all relate to one another? Come with me:

Monday, December 8, 2008

Friday Night Blues--- Aqua?

My baby turned 16 on Saturday December 6th, 2008. She wanted a party but didn't want to break the bank of her poor mother right before Christmas.

Here she is in her birthday suit. I mean- the outfit she got from me a day early so she could wear it to school. The sash was her sisters idea so she could announce her birthday at school. A fun thing when you are 16- as opposed to 39. (Not that I would know, I am completely guessing how a 39 yr old would feel- must suck to be that old)

When my older daughter turned 16, we were in a similar monetary famine and had opted for a karaoke party. This would save us a lot of money because we had the sound system already. (I have moonlighted as a Karaoke DJ a few times for spare change, and we have a 350 disk set with microphones and the whole deal). The only thing we ended up spending money on were, Balloons (Helium tank supplied by a man who was in my life at the time), some snacks, and $50 to rent the old recreation hall down the street.

This party however, was a little bit more challenging as my daughter had invited 40 people and this time of the year, EVERYTHING is booked. So, our 1000 sq.ft house was the scene.

Luckily, only a handful of the invited guests could make it, which was better as they were her closest friends anyway. The party went off great! A friend of mine showed up to help me keep an eye on things, which was more of a chit-chat session for us due to the smaller attendance.
Rachel had a busy schedule the preceding week, running tech (lights and sound) for the Christmas programs at school two nights, then she worked on Wednesday and Thursday nights until closing. So Chantel and I went shopping for and decorated for the party for her. Here is the food spread , which was gone in seconds flat! i certainly didnt buy enough for all the teenagers and thier bottomless stomachs.

The cake!- To me, was a fiasco- But to Rachel, it was great!
A friend of Rachel's, has a mother who works in the bakery of a local grocery store. She had offered to make a special cake for Rachel, in lieu of a present. Sweet of them to offer such a thing. The week prior to the party, they even let Rachel come up with her own design, and as she loves the color aqua, that was her choice of frosting color. They even mentioned a tiered cake. Great huh? BUT! Fast forward to 2 hours before the party- Rachel calls and informs me, that I need to pick up the cake, the girls mother had to work and they wont have time to drop it off. Also, that they are tight on money, and just cant afford to 'gift' it after all.

Side note: I know all about being tight for money- I know all about feeling the pinch this time of year.. But, I don't offer to pay for something, for someone if I cannot follow through. Needless to say, it was for my daughter, already made, and to her specifications ( I was a little concerned because I know how my daughter can be when left open with options) So, I went to get it.

I met the other mother, sweet lady, she was so proud of the cake. Nothing was said regarding payment. She ran to get the cake, showed it to me, and explained how she had created it as Rachel intended (minus the tiers, which turns out, cost way more). However, It was difficult for me to keep a straight face as she opened the lid. BORING, not even artistic, I cant bake, I cannot write legibly with frosting and yet, I could have made a MUCH better cake. The hardest part for me was, I was worried Rachel would be disappointed. Even though my children are not complainers, they take what they get without complaint 99% of the time. Also the fact that I could have bought another cake, a better cake, somewhere else at a LOT cheaper price had we been offered this one. I guess you should not look a gift horse... oh wait, this was not a gift!
I brought it in the house, entering with all the disclaimers to ease Rachels reaction. An how the cake does not make the party.. but ..... Rachel LOVED it! Whew!

The party went off with only a few minor quirks, a last minute dash to the neighboring town to pick up one guest, A sad and confused guest who chose to entertain by shooting staples into his arm then lying outside in the dark in the middle of the street. Great timing too just as one parent was arriving to pick up thier child and see him in their headlights. And me ( the bad parent chaperon) on the porch goading him back into the safety of the party. I guess I wont be nominated as PTA parent of the month.
There was also a small tad of teenage drama, from a guest who was not even on the invite list.

But- Rachel had the time of her life! And that is what is important is it not?
Presents were opened, wishes made, She really has some thoughtful and very close friends. Her 'guy' is the one in the white shirt at her feet. He gave her jewelry- and the comments from some of the other males at the party made me think they were told (I assume by him) NOT to get her jewelry. Am I the only one who finds that a tad bit creepy? and clingy? Hmmm better keep a close eye on this one. Many Pigs were seen at the party, no- not the guests!- they are Rachel's 'thing'. No Rachel, you still cannot have a pot bellied pet. - And yes- that is a gift bag on her head. Drama students are a whole different breed I say.
Tears were shed for a few more personal gifts. Awwww. Poor girl, you got your mothers Genes.

Next, the party moved back to the kitchen to 'the cake' Sparkler candles were lit, scared the crowd a little, then 'The wish'. It took about 10 minutes for her to get up enough wind to blow them all out.

Deven, her 'guy' made the mistake of saying that he wasn't really a cake person and didn't want a piece. Next thing he knew, Rachel was insisting he have some. REALLY insisting! Note: Although I'm slow and the camera slower still, contrary to the following picture, he did NOT shove this into his own face.

And then: Retaliation

And then: The 'Best Friend'
(Note the cell phone usage in the forefront- there was more of this at the party than all the other activity)

Another friend
Then:- All hell broke loose!

The 'Guest of Honor'

Yuck! Yuck! and more Yuck! Aqua Monsters!

Note to self: Don't put drama students and cake in the same room! However, I feel better about the cake now. I know, I know, let it go.

The end of the night, there was cake EVERYWHERE! We are still finding aqua frosting, ( I insist on saying aqua just as many times as Rachel did when deciding on her party colors.. not blue- not green- AQUA!)

It is also relative to the number of times that one guest mentioned his 'brand new socks' Which i am nearly positive was a Freudian slip regarding his mothers potential reaction upon seeing Aqua frosting on them. He (and most of the males) managed to avoid the frosting war for a long time, cowering in the next room, but it was futile.

Rachel ended up jumping in the shower, clothing and all, to clean up. Some of the guests washed, some went home aqua-fied!

Just after the 'cake fight' one parent arrived, to the girl I had picked up prior to the party, in her abercrombie hoodie. I watched out the open front door as she approached their car, covered in 'Aqua frosting' I heard laughter and breathed a HUGE sigh of relief. I am sure you could hear the breath leave my lungs to the next county! So far- no angry parent phone calls.

However, we ARE still finding frosting, aqua colored, all over the house in the strangest places, in the pantry, on the shower curtain, under the bathroom sink, under the couch, and so many more I am sure we will be finding it until her 80th birthday! When we sell the house we will have to put it in as an incentive to buy.
A few crime scene photos -For the court case:

I am happy to report, the the mess was quickly cleaned up by the crew! Mostly the boys while the girls were cleaning themselves up in the bathroom. SWEET! cant ask for more than that! And they did a great job! Even the guy with the 'brand new socks'. (I suppose once you have a spot- there is no use crying over aqua stained socks!)
After the party- When all the guests had headed home to scrape the hardened frosting from their scalps, feet, between thier toes and off thier faces, the dogs, who had watched the whole party from the outside of the sliding door, were let back in. Like a tornado, they ran through the house sniffing EVERYTHING, the smell of teenagers and party food, and candles and ...

Then they both came to a dead stop!

And discovered that this funky green- er Aqua, stuff on the floor actually tasted yummy! And all that was left from the clean-up crew, was lapped up in a matter of seconds!
The birthday was a success and went off beautifully.
Happy Birthday Baby!!!! I love you!
But I think I have hit my Aqua er ---quota!

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