Mother: Do you want a graduation party?
Mother: I’ll send out the invitations.
Most people love getting together with their families.
My brothers, father and I don’t. My mother is the only person in the family who enjoys throwing really big parties. The rest of us are fine with only seeing extended family and friends once a year. (Thanksgiving is more than enough.)
This weekend we had a huge cookout to honor my youngest brother’s graduation. (Which he did not want.) Guests from Martha’s Vineyard, Florida, Vermont, Virginia as well as the Tri State area came flocking to our door.
I think the reason we all groan when my mother announces that we are having a party is that the party is always at our house. Which means my semi sane mother turns into a total nut job crazy clean freak.
Did you dust the china closet in the upstairs living room? Why not?!
Did you sweep the stairs?
Clean under the bathroom sink?
I’d better not find any dirty clothes in the laundry room!
And then when the guests come she turns into sweet mother of the year and forgets that she was just a tyrannical malevolent slave driver. But is our work done once the house is clean? No. We then become wait staff/ bar tenders/ chefs while my mother floats around from guest to guest laughing, reminiscing and generally being the life of the party. (I blame her for never being able to enjoy a party. I always think I should be working it.)
This year my brother Jordan and I were on grill duty. (To which I need to point out that he sucks as grill master. He only puts on two hamburgers at a time. Which then causes a line of hungry people to swarm him. Which causes me to wonder why people think men are better at grilling. Which makes me wonder what the hell my father was doing while we were sweating over the grill!)
This was my first time on grill duty and even though I complain I actually enjoyed being there. I got hang out with my brother for a few hours which I never get to do. We used to be oil and water when we were kids but as adults… Well, he’s still a pain in the ass but I have become a better, more patient person and learned to ignore most of his crap. But I can see why some people like him. And have an even greater respect for his girlfriend who has put up with him for over three years.
Sitting by the grill I got to view the party as a whole, instead of being a part of it. My mother always thinks that her children are freaks. We’re all (except for Jordan) quiet, reserved, more observers than doers. I assumed we took after our father. But it goes deeper than that. My father’s whole family is like that. They pulled up chairs and sat around the grill with us and watched my mother’s family be loud and dance and laugh. It was good to learn that my mother isn’t surrounded by a family of freaks but is the freak in our family.
So even though we dread, complain and try to talk my mother out of throwing parties they usually turn out great. And I will gladly take my mother being a crazy unbearable nut job for a few hours because in the end it makes her happy.
Your turn! How do you feel about throwing parties? Are you the life of the party? Or the person sitting on the sidelines? Was your mother a crazy clean freak nut job? Any and all comments are welcome.