Friday, March 13, 2009

a pirate looks at forty

i've spent all week preparing for tonight: my grandmother's 77th birthday party. technically, her birthday is tomorrow, march 14, but people aren't really available for a party, so we're having it tonight. i figured since i a) was home in fargo b) am not really doing anything anyway and c) love birthdays (and my grandma) i would throw her a party. it would've been great for it to be a surprise, but i wanted her to be able to mentally prepare for everyone to be there. so i invited the extended family (my mother's three sisters and their families) and my grandmother's sister over for a whist tournament. i cleaned and organized and spent two days getting things together. i even went to bed bath and beyond and bought a blender and took grandma to the hair salon to get her hair done. on the way there, all she did was talk about death and how her mother died and her two husbands and her sister. it was really sad that rather than being excited for her birthday she was thinking of those her weren't there. i dropped her off so she could take a nap and gave her another pain pill. it's a good thing she doesn't know what each of her pills are - if i were here, i would just keep taking the pain pills.

anyway, i slaved for two days in the kitchen baking all of my grandma's favorite things: angel food cake with whip cream and strawberries, mashed potatoes (ok, technically my mom made the potatoes) and mudslides (which technically my brother's girlfriend lindsay came over and made) and had other party food for everyone else. people showed up a little early, which was fine. more of function of people coming over right after work than really wanting to get down. we sat around chatting and played the "if i was actually the opposite age" game. which really just means that since i'm 27, what would it be like if i were actually 72. my grandma was sol being 77 either way. my great aunt was really excited because she was only 18, the youngest at the house.

we started off with a first round of whist - we don't play bid whist here, just regular high / low. i much prefer regular to bid games - i've played bid with friends in boston and i don't get why it's so special. i gave everyone a random number, with 12 people we could perfectly play 3 games. people were paired with others and then my great aunt lucy was keeping score. each table played four hands, no matter what the score was at the end (even if someone did not get to 13). then everyone's score was recorded. after the first round, we took a break for some food and then played the next two hands.

my brother was ahead going into the third round with 20 points. then he got paired with my father, who is normally a very adequate whist player. but then they got 1 point and homie was put down to fourth or fifth place. i'm not sure how good the rest of my family is, but my brother probably should've won. especially since when we played together, we got 10 points.

despite my dry recounting, the evening was actually really fun. my grandma has a great sense of humor and was making jokes all night - i think the extra pain pill really helped. my cousins got her a princess crown and toy necklaces and she wore them with pride all night. she loved her gifts (from me? a framed picture of myself - one can never have too many) and the dessert. i made a really cute sign for her which i will post later. who doesn't love being the center of attention? oh and happy friday the 13th. again.


  1. that sounds like LOADS of madtasty posts

  2. A Pirate Looks at 40 is a song by Jimmy Buffett. And you're right, I SHOULD have won.

  3. subject: je wins! jimmy buffett is correct. song AND book...