And this past weekend was full of them. First, there was my annual Halloween party on Friday. It's become a tradition among a group of friends that I, as the American, host the party.
When my kids were little, I felt really bad that they wouldn't be able to participate in trick-or-treating, since the British aren't too keen on it. At first I took them to a Halloween party put on by an American ex-pat group. But it felt artificial to me. Then Frenemy and I decided to do our own. We rented a hall, a friend brought his disco equipment, we did all the food, and I organised games for the kids. The next year I organised it on my own. Big Mistake. It was a huge responsibility, and I didn't enjoy myself. The year after that I decided to host it at my house, scaled it down a bit, tried to turn the top floor of my house into a haunted attic, was exhausted. But I'd set the standard so had to keep doing it. The year after that, Frenemy came into the kitchen during the party bearing 2 shriveled, brown balls. I asked if they were her husband's. They weren't. Frenemy and another friend had hidden baked potatoes the year before in my dining room and never bothered to tell me. The potatoes had been lurking for a year in hidden shelves in my dining table I never knew existed. Now they knew exactly what kind of housekeeper I am. I laughed at the time because what else could I do?
I didn't host the Halloween party last year because we were in London househunting the week before, so it fell to another friend in the group. And it wasn't the same. This year by popular request it was back at my house. As it will be next year. I'm going to introduce a theme, Saints and Sinners, and a new game, Find the Potatoes. I better go hide them now.
Saturday night was a different party altogether. The disco equipment friend is very good at marking occasions, particularly his own birthday. For his 40th, he rented a huge hall, hired a band and caterers, invited loads of people, some of whom chipped in to buy him a new set of golf clubs. And his brother thought it would be a good idea to hire a lap dancer. The friend's parents and his wife were there, as were many other women. The lap dancer stripped down to a G-string, stripped our friend down to his underwear, rubbed oil all over his chest while rubbing her breasts on him, put a collar and lead around his neck, forced him down on all fours and paraded him around the room. That was two years ago and we still talk about it.
By contrast this birthday celebration was much more tame. It was a masquerade theme and the men were encouraged to wear masks with very long noses (I think you get the gist). This was the party I was supposed to lose 8 pounds for. Instead, I put on three. One guest, the Party Flirt, told my husband he thought I was 32. Must be the extra weight filling out the wrinkles. Still, I felt good, drank loads of champagne and shots of a Baileys/Tia Maria/Vodka/Brandy concoction and suffered greatly yesterday. But no lap dancers, Thank God!
I was going to do a Monday Moaning, but at this particular point in time there's nothing to moan about other than the additional three pounds I put on. And that's not really worth moaning about. VI has recruited me to join her dieting program. I'll let you know how I get on.