My friend celebrated his 50th birthday last evening. His missus worked hard to plan a surprise party for him, and surprised he was, I think.
In order to get him to the party, she first asked if they could attend her work xmas party on the 29 of December, but he seen right through that one. Add to that the fact that he was moose hunting all day and all he wanted to do was crash and go to bed, getting him to the party was no easy task.
At long last, I called and asked if he could tow my car out of the ditch. Being such a great friend, he and his missus were quick to respond, only to discover that my car was safe and sound, parked next to the tiny ski chalet where the party was being held, along with fifty or more other cars, none of which were stuck in the ditch. When he came in, he seemed a bit pissed, but after seeing all of his close friends in the room, his mood quickly changed and he was all smiles.
Everyone pitched in to bring various home cooked goodies, and armed with coolers filled with ice cubes and beer, as well as other alcoholic beverages, smiles and laughter were a popular sight in the room.
Birthday cards lined the table, including the one I bought. Instead of Happy 50th, I jokingly picked up a Happy 60th Birthday card. I wonder if he noticed? I could have done more, but seeing how next September I will celebrate my 50th (and in the same week, I will be getting married, and one day after the wedding, my missus will celebrate her 29th birthday, I don’t want to stir the pot too much or else my friend may seek revenge)
My buddy’s wife booked a three piece band to provide tunes for the occasion, but when the lead singer slipped on the ice and broke his hip, the entertainment changed from a band to open mike with a backup band. At first it was good, as three musicians sat and played some traditional Newfoundland tunes, armed with a bass guitar, a rhythm guitar and a trusty fiddle, the entertainers had guests stepping to the tunes. Unfortunately the jigs didn’t last all night, and eventually a few way too drunk patrons manned the mic, and proved how badly they actually sounded. So the music was a bust, they should have hired me, but that’s another story.
I learned a few things during the night. The first thing I learned was that I cannot drink like I used to. The second thing I learned was that I cannot dance like I used to. I attribute those things to the fact that at 49, I am no longer 29. This fact was proven by one individual who also celebrated his birthday yesterday, and came to the party to make it ‘his’ party. At 29, the guy (no stranger to the drug scene and possibly to cocaine and meth) made a complete fool of himself, both by dancing like a bat out of hell, and stepping on everyone’s toes and annoying the hell out of everyone else, to grabbing the mic from one lady who could actually sing, and proceeding to holler so loud that he broke the microphone.
I also learned another thing. A drunken party is not the place for a lonely man. My cousin recently lost his partner, she passed away in late October after a lengthy battle with cancer; and since he was not dealing with her death too well, chose to remain alone in the home where they both lived. He stayed in the home, not going anywhere or talking to anyone, and the party was the first socialization he had since her death. This was way too sad on a night where everyone wanted to be happy. I hope my friend manages to talk to someone about his grief; I tried to talk to him about it, but he shut me out. He left sometime before we did, hopefully he was okay.
Finally, I learned that drunk people get really brave after a few drinks. Some get brave enough to hit on my lady in front of me. Those drunks also learned something. Although my lady may seem quiet and laid back, she is by no means weak and she proved that she can take care of herself. To the guy who put his hands on her leg, I wonder if he will be fathering any children in the future? That kick to his midsection really sent him on his way out the door, didn’t it?
Like the old saying goes “It’s never too late to learn new things” (I think that’s how it goes), I learned lots last night. Today is a different story. How many times did I say “If I ever drink again, it will be way too soon (I think that’s how that goes)”, because the biggest part of today was spent in regret of too many beers, and way too few Tylenol.
To all reading this post, I wish you and yours a Very Happy New Year!