Whether you are invited to a 16 year-old’s birthday, or the shared mother-daughter party for a 30 year old and a 6o year old, or a baby’s first party, you never know what to expect.

You could be offered:

  • full-sugar Mountain Dew (it says so on the label) in wine glasses, large slices of very sweet bakery cake, and a trip to the Hometown Buffet, where your hosts will be surprised you don’t want more dessert.
  • you and your family will sit down first and eat a four-course meal–stuffed meat pastries, bean and tomato soup, chicken and rice, salads, yogurt. Then, replete, you will move to sit on the couches, while the next group is fed. Later, you will eat bakery cake and nuts and drink Pepsi. The boys will go off to sit in a small room and play video games. We will stay in the small living room and dance, whirling around to Arab pop music.
  • you will see the Pizza Hut delivery guy when you pull up outside the apt. building. Inside, you will be served coffee, then juice and cake, then pizza, bread rolls, and wings.
  • you will meet at another woman’s house. “Just follow me,” your hostess will say, then take off at full speed while you are still buckling a small child into your back seat. You’ll eventually find her house in spite of all that. The party will last 5 hours and involve more food and dancing than one would have thought possible.
  • the mother will serve all the guests reheated chicken sandwiches from McDonalds, along with homemade falafel and salad. And, of course, really large pieces of bakery cake.
  • when I say bakery cake, I am talking Safeway/Fred Meyer/etc. In other words, super sweet and lots of icing. Just wanted you to be picturing this with me.
  • what do all these parties have in common besides bakery cake? youtube will be put on the TV, and we’ll listen to several versions of Happy Birthday. Like this one. Enjoy. And, of course, the fact that these parties are all lots of fun.


(PS Sorry it won’t let me upload the actual video so you’ll have to click the link. As a little perspective, remember that some people have real problems. )