Friday was my dad’s surprise birthday party. My mother had been calling me multiple times a day for the preceding week, but I still didn’t know anything more than the time and location. I drove from Boston directly to the restaurant, Ponte Vecchio in Fairfield, where it was being held. It was a lovely party, but, like any party, it said more about the planners than the guest.
My mother hosts events at our house with some frequency, and so assumed by default that she would host the birthday party herself. It quickly became clear that this would not be possible: my mother was already hosting the SHS World Language Department’s Christmas party, for 30 people, earlier on the same day. Instead she decided to have the party at a restaurant. The results, as always, say more about the planner than the guest of honor.
Although we were having the party at a restaurant, the menus were written, printed, and cut by my mother. She brought the Challah (it was a Friday night, and there were a lot of Jews), the balloons, and the flowers arranged on every table. She even baked the chocolate cake that was served for dessert.
It was a great party, and the rest of the weekend was just echoes by comparison.