Friday, 24 December 2010

We are going to a surprise party

for a friend's 80th birthday today. I am not sure how he will react. He lost a son not so long ago and he said he did not want a party. His daughter went ahead and arranged one anyway.
My father does not want to go either - but he will because this is his closest friend.
My father had an 80th birthday some years ago now. He decided it could not be "one of those parties where a lot of old people just sit around and talk". A magician friend of his came along and provided entertainment. Someone else he knows provided musical back up. My father would like to repeat the experience for his 90th. It will not be possible to do it in quite the same way. The magician is now deceased. The person who provided the musical back up is retired. Too many of the people who were at the party are no longer with us either. My father is remembering it like it was and not considering the way it will be.
I think we can find a magician but the musical back up will have to be different. I personally do not like "magic" much. Having grown up in the household of one who has played with conjuring tricks all his competent life perhaps I know too much about how they are done. If that is what my father wants though then that is what he will have.
I am not at all sure that our friend wants a party. He is normally a very gregarious person but, just now, he needs a little space.
I have made him a birthday card. It deliberately does not say "Happy Birthday". It just says "80 thoughts for your birthday". I have typed up 80 quotations, cut them out and stuck them randomly onto card. It is not artistic. I do not think that matters. I have chosen 80 quiet quotations. I hope that, when the noise of the party and Christmas is over, he can sit on his deck and look out at his garden and read the card and find a little bit of space.
And, for everyone else here too - I hope you find a little bit of space.


Sheeprustler said...

I hope it goes well. Surprise parties are always rather a risk. My MIL was admant she did not want an 80th birthday party and we were all prepared to abide by her wishes but her other relatives all insisted on turning up with food and presents anyway. She did sort of enjoy it but I think would have preferred just her immediate family (we do nice, quiet family birthdays with very familiar foods and routines every time, regardless of the age of the birthday person). I think your father had a lovely idea.

Have a lovely, peaceful Christmas with time to keep your cat hair tidy and composed!

catdownunder said...

Cat hair definitely ruffled at present but I will try and groom myself before the end of the day!
Hope you have a lovely, peaceful Christmas too!

Rachel Fenton said...

That's such a genuinely lovely gesture, Cat.

And I wish you moments of space, too.

Jayne said...

I think that card you made sounds perfect, and I hope he does find a bit of space. Surprise birthdays for older relations are very tricky... and trying to repeat an earlier feat, such as your dad's party, is also tricky, although perhaps a different setting, different music, different order of the day, even, might help the celebrations. Merry Christmas, Cat!

Anonymous said...

I LIKE the 80 thoughts for your birthday! I think I'll pass that idea along to my children, ten years from now!!

Have a wonderful Christmas weekend!!!

catdownunder said...

Merry Christmas Rachel, Jayne, Ann - hope you enjoy the day!