My mother’s version of a birthday party was to stick my friends in our unfinished basement and hand us a real potato in which to play hot potato.
Nowadays (hikes up pants and peers down bifocals), parents feel obligated to spend hundreds of dollars to outdo last week’s birthday celebration. Diana and I have largely dismissed this trend and just invited kids over for some cake, a little light chasing and screaming and the occasional potato. Gift bags? Bah. Jump Zones? Bah. These kids should feel honored to be invited to our house.
Luca just wanted to have a couple dudes for a sleep over. His plan was to hide out in the basement and place Xbox. Sounded like a great birthday party to me! The invite list was originally 3 kids. Which turned to 4. And then word got out that Luca was having a sleepover extravaganza and the attendees ballooned up to 10.
Ten boys. Ten stinky, boogery, screaming, destructive boys. Crammed into our basement. I began to seriously worry about the structural integrity of our home.
I also began to understand why parents spend hundreds of dollars to have parties offsite.
We decided to have the party at a video game bar. Because video games. And bar! The booking guy must have been one party short of his yearly bonus because he was all over me. On Thanksgiving I received four hundred emails from this guy. After some shrewd negotiation, I agreed to pay full price.
On the day of the party, I conscripted my brother to help cart kids to the bar at 7pm. The bar was filled with people whose mothers had yelled at them to get out of the basement for one night of their lives. There was also a large contingency of Manga cross dressers. I was in heaven.
Per an earlier agreement, I allowed Elijah to pick my one drink of the night. It was a highly alcoholic red flavored base topped with a syringe filled with a bright green gin. I decided the drink was better used as decoration and just ordered a bourbon.
After two hours, five pizzas, one bourbon and three spilled sodas, the party came to an end. We all arrived back home, and the boys were so tired they fell fast asleep at 4am.