Monday, June 24, 2013

My birthday party: a comedy of errors.

After getting to bed around 3:30am the night before, the morning of April 13-- party day-- came a little too early.

There was just too many things to do, I couldn't sleep in at all.

First of all, party preparation consisted of like a solid month before the party. I had a schedule all written out for when things needed to get done, where to buy certain things, who to borrow from, etc. I had to make the pinatas, build the photo booth, do all the shopping, decorate, figure out that blasted confetti situation, etc.

The first order of business that day was the bounce house. The handy Joshua Small drove me to Kaysville in his very handy truck. The bouncy house company, as it turns out, was in this guy's backyard. He had a garage full of blow up toys. What a career, right? Sign me up. I handed him cash and we drove away with the bouncy house in tow.

It was extremely easy to set up. Seriously, I recommend bouncy houses to everyone and all. Life cannot be that much more fun than it is when you have a bouncy house in your front yard.

Exhibit A:

Exhibit B:

hilarious happening #1: We didn't do up the zipper in the back of the bounce house. But the velcro was attached. So when we blew up it, it blew up big. And then we bounced and had a grand old time...until Dawna and Lauren were bouncing together and POOF the whole thing exploded and Lauren and Dawna found themselves smacking into the ground. Luckily Smalls was still around to solve the problem, and we had the bounce back in that house in a jiffy.

And so the afternoon commenced with what I like to call a slight case of Audrey Party Panic Syndrome. Really, I was pretty calm, considering. I'm usually a basket case. The real panic started around 6pm when I realized that it WASN'T going to stop raining and warm up.

hilarious happening #2: IT WOULDN'T STOP RAINING. The bounce house was soaked-- there were bubbles blowing out of all the seams because the air was coming out and pushing through all the wet. I wasn't able to set up anything outside.The projector and screen. The twinkly lights. The Pinata. The glow-in-the-dark bubbles. This has just given me another GIANT reason to dislike/borderline hate rain.

To accommodate for inclement weather, we moved the Michael Jackson music video viewing to the basement. My kind roommates helped me set up the lights and everything down there. And it did look good. Meanwhile, my Mom made the best cake of all time while my sisters (Elise and Steph) napped. Elise and Mom eventually made a trip to the party store for me while I ran around with my arms flailing and my head cut off (party panic was now in full swing), and then people started to arrive.

Laura Thomas, bless her soul, was first on the scene.

hilarious happening #3: The glow-in-the-dark bubbles didn't work despite several trial runs and a number of tests to find the optimum ratio of glow to bubble liquid that left my downstairs storage room covered in glow soap. It's because I used the itty bitty bottles of bubbles that they use at weddings in the final product (so more than 2 individuals could participate at one time), and those little bubbles must just be very crappy. But so I set everything up anyway, hoping that someone would get it to work. And just a hint: adding the glow (highlighter guts) makes the bubbles heavy and very pop-prone. They will not float along and then pop on your arm, leaving a glowing circle as imagined.

And then they started coming in droves. I was overwhelmed by all my friends! The party began and my attention was demanded everywhere--just exactly the way I like it. I kept sneaking away to have real conversations with people, though, and then I would get in trouble because more guests would arrive and want to see me! I felt so special. But...I guess that's what happens when you have a birthday party and all the people that are invited are your friends. But this aspect of the party was splendid. I loved seeing everyone, and every time someone new came in, I got so excited! I was especially excited to see any of my Provo friends-- for many of them, it was the first time they had come to visit me in Salt Lake.

I was saddened, however, by the lack of certain people. A fair few promised they were coming...and then didn't show up. And then there are just so many people who I love and don't live in Utah anymore.You know who you are.

The following is a small selection of photo booth photos. My favorite part: The white board messages.
do you see this awesome backdrop??? I decided not to care that it ended up looking like maize from the first Thanksgiving.

Elise :)

Provo YSA 6th Ward 
My bff Chris and the b-day present he brought me-- Harry Styles

My Salt Lake besties

this was not expected. 
Fan Club

nathan+me+his roommate...Josh?

The photo booth was a hit, especially at the beginning. Once a lot of people started to arrive, though, it got too crowded for photo snapping. Which leads to:

hilarious happening #4: I borrowed a camera from a friend for the photobooth-- he insisted. It was a digital polaroid camera, which meant that we could print out pictures for everyone but still keep a copy on the memory card. Which is super cool and adorable, right? Well, the printer jammed. About 3 pictures in. So then Elise, who was assigned to the photobooth, spend most of the evening trying to un-jam the camera instead of taking pictures. Makes me so happy when I think about it.

Once a sufficient crowd had gathered, I decided it was pinata time.

hilarious happening #5: The first pinata broke on the first hit by the first person. The second pinata, (and I had no desire to participate) was broken by yours truly after an embarrassing, dizzying foray into the crowd where I almost hit someone and then proceeded to smack the metal railings and the porch with the bat. I was told later that Andrea, who controlled the ups and downs of the pinata, kept it out of my reach for a large part of the time I was dangerously swinging that bat. I should have controlled the pinata. That way I might not have been forced the be spun around, blind folded. Awkward name chants get you every time. You would think that a person's wishes would be respected at their own party. That they threw for themselves. And you know what the worst part is? Elise and Dawna were assigned to take pictures. I gave Elise my camera (because the other was broken, obvi). Is there one picture of the pinata adventure? no. none at all.

So after the pinata was a dud, we went back to partying. And I was having a grand time, despite previous embarrassments. So far the only part of my party plan that had not let me down was the cereal bar. And holy cow, so many people brought cookies! I had cookies coming out of my ears! Man, I love cereal and cookies. So, great success on that point.

As the night wore on, and more people kept coming, I decided it was time for the confetti. After much pained and stressful deliberation I decided that we should blast off the confetti in the park behind my house. The confetti I had was biodegradable, so I wasn't worried about littering (that had been a significant concern a couple days and weeks earlier), but I didn't want to get little paper craps in my neighbors' yards. I figured they wouldn't be too happy with me.

So I made the whole party come outside and we walked down the street to the park. And everyone was shivering and complaining about how cold it was.

hilarious happening #6: Somehow I failed to think about how we were going to LOAD the cannon (compliments of BFF Nick Weaver, btw). And so everyone is shivering and I'm trying to smash the confetti into the cannon and it is flying all over of the place, and it's taking forever and then I finally get it ready to go and we light it and shoot off the blast and....we couldn't see anything. It went too high or it was too dark or the confetti was too small or something, but we couldn't even see the confetti, and the beautiful rain of colors that I had been anticipating for months was not something I experienced. EPIC FAIL. And you know what? I did trial runs. We tested out the cannon with water and with flour, and it totally worked, and we got flour and water all over the place. But on the night before my birth, it was not so.
trying to jam that confetti in there

Can you see the blast? no. Also, this picture is deceiving. You can't see all the people. They are standing in the  darkness.
And so then everyone marched back to my house and a lot of people decided it was time to go, which was fine. I was getting a little bit sick of things going wrong. Shout out to my pals at the Church History Library, though. They stayed the longest and were some of the first to arrive. They spent a lot of time with Michael Jackson, in the basement.

So the house cleared out around 11:30. Which, really, is just what I wanted. My roommates went to bed, and I started cleaning up, but not before I sunk down on the couch and started pondering about the meaning of life. This is what we call Post-Party Depression. You sit there and you wonder if all your work was worth it and then you question whether or not you have any meaningful relationships, because you had just witnessed an entire evening of half-finished surface-level conversations with many, many people. And then you look at the mess and think, where is the cleaning lady??? Who forgot to hire her?

I stayed up until about 2am loading the few pictures that were taken onto my computer and then trying to un-jam that stupid camera (I don't even talk to that boy anymore, anyway.) I eventually had to write to Polaroid for help and they sent me some instructions for this software update and stuff that helped the paper spit itself out. So no harm done.

I have to emphasize, again, how happy I was to see everyone. It really was just so fun to have so many of my friends packed into my house all at the same time. There were a lot of people who showed up that I wasn't expecting, and I was delighted. And I think that people had fun. So, despite all the disappointments and all the things that failed, the party, I think, was a whopping success. And I got to keep the bouncy house until Monday!

And I will definitely remember this party for a long, long time. :)

And we out.