I must have been about 10 or 11 when I finally got to have a real birthday party. While all the birthdays before that particular one involved a lot of adults and maybe one or two minors, this one was quite the opposite. To this day, I am not sure how I convinced my parents to let me host a party at my house. Ever since then, I would only have one or two friends over at a time, and that happened on rare occasions.
Distributing invitations to my party felt unreal. Yes, they were actual paper invitations, not just Facebook e-vites. Never before has a kid in my class received a proper party request, so I definitely felt special. I made sure to ask the coolest kids in the class to come. They were popular, funny, and entertaining people. The fact that some of them were not strangers to trouble did not bother me. I was thrilled they would come. It meant that my party would be more interesting if anything.
Back then, my parents were out of town for an extended period, but they had my grandmother order a cake for me and prepare some snacks. Once guests started arriving, she left and went to the neighbors’ house. I wish I knew how I got her out of the house…
Somehow, the stars aligned and I had the house all to myself and a few classmates. Naturally, I made sure to invite the same number of boys and girls in case anyone was open to getting to know their friends on a deeper level. All I cared about was what others would say about my party the following Monday, once we returned to school after the weekend. It was my chance to make a strong impression and to strengthen my position in the group.
The celebrations began with cake-cutting. Since it was my birthday, I was the one expected to cut a piece for everyone. It was my first time cutting a cake. It might have been the first time I cut food for someone other than myself. The first slice was more like a block. It was probably only a bit smaller than 25% of the cake. I knew it was large, but I did not want to appear stingy. Plus, it was given to the person who showed up first. First come, first serve, right? I was told it was too much, but I told them to “just enjoy it and see where it goes.” Thankfully, the remaining slices turned out thinner. If I am not mistaken, I asked one of the girls to help me with it. That day I learned that I was never going to be a professional cake cutter. I am still not good at it.
After eating some cake and snacks, people started getting restless. They could not sit still any longer, chatting at a table like adults. The house was empty, and there was no adult supervision. We just had to take advantage of it. The first thing on the agenda was to tour the house. I proudly opened every door and showed what was inside. Kids would walk in and occasionally play with something or ask some sort of question. It was going good. At that moment, I felt liked and important. What more could you want?
My dad’s office was a great hit because it contained all sorts of gadgets. A lit cigarette that looked as if it was real, a pack of gum with a mousetrap in it, and more. We spent quite a while there, but once everyone started getting bored with all of the new attractions, it was time to move on. The final room on tour was the one with a bar, and that is where we stayed until the end of the party.
It really was my lucky day because they all agreed not to open any of the fancy alcohols my parents had collected from various countries they visited. We did decide to play “Spin the bottle,” though. It would not be a (pre-)teen party without it. Am I right? There might have been a kiss on the cheek on the first spin, but afterward, the girls realized they had to leave because it was getting late, and the boys decided the game was not interesting enough, anyway.
Even though I tried to send off my guests with some cake, they all refused. How would I have even packed it for them? I was so clueless when it came to anything kitchen-related. After the girls left, the remaining guys and I chatted for a little while longer, but soon enough, I ran out of ways to entertain them. The biggest troublemaker of them all stayed behind to help me clean up. He took what was left of the brick of a cake I cut for him and took it outside to put it directly in the trash can. That way, no one else would know of my shame. What a guy. Sometimes I wonder whatever happened to him and if he feels like he belongs in this world because, in the past, he did not.
The party was a roaring success. Unfortunately, when grandma took the trash out the next day, she saw a lot of cake there. It got me in trouble. After all, my parents paid for it, and my grandmother picked it, so throwing it in the trash felt disrespectful to them all. It was not because we did not appreciate the cake, or we did not like it. It was because we just could not eat that much. One friend in particular.
However, the real side effects of me having the party appeared upon my dad’s return. He noticed that one of his gadgets was missing. There were three options. Either it was misplaced somewhere, I had sold it/damaged it, or someone had stolen it. Even though I swore that I have not played with that item during my dad’s absence, he was not satisfied. He wanted it back. He wanted me to get it back. For every day that the item was missing, there was some sort of punishment. I refused to believe that one of my friends had stolen it. After all of the hope was gone, the item was found in a pot of a plastic tree, underneath fake grass. It must have been MONTHS after the item was reported missing. One of my friends must have thought it would be funny to hide it, but never took the time to notify me about it. However, I was beyond happy to know that, indeed, my friends were NOT thieves.
Do you remember your first birthday party?
Have you ever gotten into trouble as a result of your party?
What birthday party you will never forget?
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