Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Fifty years - Months to organize it. A minute to win it.

We been trying for over a year to organize a dinner party with a few guys (and their wives) who work with Albert. It gets complicated trying to fit it into all the different work shifts and complex life schedules. We did have it all planned out in May but Jed ended up in the hospital and that was the end of partying for a bit.

Finally last Thursday seemed an opportune time to try again.

Now, normally when Alb wants to have a BBQ or dinner party he simply says, "We should have so-and-so over for dinner." And voila! It all comes together. But this time he did the date-setting, confirming with guests, suggestion of menu items, etc. Yes, I still had to shop and cook but I'm okay with that - and trust me, so were the guests.
On October 25th, 1960 my mother-in-law gave birth to an amazing man. Well, he wasn't a man at the time and probably wasn't all that amazing in the moment, but he's turned into one over these fifty years of life. But one of his most endearing qualities that makes him amazing is his humility. Genuine humility - not just "aw,  you shouldn't have" humility. And as such, he really hates birthdays, and attention and things that focus on him personally. 

And so I decided to honour that and not plan a 50th birthday party for him - we'd just have our usual family dinner where we overeat good food and then force ourselves to stuff down a piece of cake that no one really enjoys, but we do for tradition's sake. Then he'd let Xander open his couple of gifts and we'd all smile and chuckle over what would be sure to be humorous birthday cards. That was my plan.

I had a few people subtly express disappointment and disbelief when they heard my plan. He is turning FIFTY after all! While on one hand, I knew that not making a fuss would be most honouring to him, on the other hand I began to feel a little guilty for not making a bigger deal out of it.

And so I compromised.

A few days before our dinner party I called the guests and let them know I was turning the party into a surprise birthday. I baked a cake (yes, from scratch! that's an event in itself) and called it a done deal.

A couple of days before the dinner I began to wonder if Albert knew what I was planning when he asked me if we could play some Minute To Win It games during the evening.

We had a great time with cookies in our eyes, men with pantyhose on, and shredded crepe paper all over the place. The winners of each event tried not to feel like losers when their scratch and win prizes didn't pay out.

I didn't decorate the house or make much fuss, and I don't think Alb even realized it was his birthday party until the end of the evening when the obligatory cake was served. So all-in-all it was a successful evening. It was fun. We quietly honoured my amazing man. (Okay we weren't that quiet, but the honouring part was subtle) My conscience is at ease knowing I didn't brush off my husband's 50th birthday. And he ended up with some really hilarious cards, a few bottles of wine and a gift card or two. Life is Good. Happy Birthday my amazing man! I luv yoe.

My mother doesn't have to worry about losing her title as the family cake decorator!

Alb with a cookie stuck in his ear.

Finally a good use for panyhose!

Dan with a cookie stuck in his eye.
Jimmy kicks butt at the Paper Dragon Dance.

Yank Me was a hit. Everyone continued after the game was over.
Connie got her 2 cents worth!

1 comment:

mari said...

wow- way to show us young(er) folks that 50 ain't old! Happy birthday Uncle Alb!

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