You see this look? The quivering lip, the flared nostrils, the trickle of sweat meandering down my cheek? This is fear.
I’ve been invited to a birthday party tomorrow. It’s not my birthday, so that’s not the scary part.
The party is at a friend’s house. A couple, actually. Nice people. Hardly scary at all.
The party is for their daughter’s second birthday.
There it is. FEAR. Can’t you almost hear the spooky Psycho ‘*enk! enk! enk!*‘ music?
“I don’t personally have a lot of experience with large groups of children — for basically the same reasons that I don’t have much experience with large packs of hungry wolves.”
To be fair, it’s not their daughter that frightens me. Frankly, if anything, she’s scared of me. I don’t know why; we’ve always gotten along well. I never use her forehead during pattycakes, and I even gave back her nose, after I pretended to steal it. I’m a good Uncle Charlie.
(Maybe it’s instinctual, somehow. Lots of women are frightened of me, so maybe she’s just a quick learner. Perhaps she’ll even take out a restraining order some day — just as soon as she learns to sign her name.)
Actually, her parents tell me it’s a ‘phase’ the kid’s going through. Starting a few months ago, she became more aloof towards men, and only seems to warm up to them when they have something she needs. They figure she’ll grow out of it.
(Sure. Right after menopause, if most women I know are any indication. But I digress.)
The point is — one two-year-old kid, I’m okay with. But what if she has friends? I’m anticipating a veritable toddler posse, running and screaming and falling and pulling and kicking and poking and putting their fingers into orifices where they don’t belong — and not always their own orifices, either! I’ve read about these things!
I don’t personally have a lot of experience with large groups of children — for basically the same reasons that I don’t have much experience with large packs of hungry wolves. They’re dangerous, they’re shifty, and they often smell a little gamey. Also, they’ll turn on you at a moments’ notice and eat you alive. I won’t even go into the claws and the sharp pointy teeth. Too scary.
Of course, for all I know, there won’t be other children there. This girl’s a great kid, but how many friends can a young lass like that have at the age of two, anyway? I know I didn’t have any guests at my second birthday party.
(Or twenty-second. Or thirty-second, for that matter. Those were not fun parties. That’s a lot of donkey tails for one guy to pin.)
Also, I’m not sure what I should get the girl for a birthday present. I don’t remember turning two myself, and have never been a girl, as far as I know. So how can I know what she’d like?
For instance, I might buy many of my friends a nice bottle of wine for their birthdays. But she’s so young. Who knows if she’s made it past the whites and into the reds yet? Is she still drinking white zinfandel? Has she settled into merlots? What’s the right accompaniment for strained carrots, anyway? It’s a disaster.
There’s always jewelry, I guess. Women like jewelry, right? But I’ve seen this girl playing with her toys; she’s still in that ‘everything into the mouth’ phase. I might give her a nice necklace, and next thing you know we’re checking her dirty diapers to see if she’s passed the pearls she swallowed.
No, I’m just going to play it safe, and do what I do for most women I buy gifts for — I’ll give her a gift certificate, and she can buy exactly what she wants. I’m not sure where yet — maybe I’ll stop by Nordstrom’s, or Bed, Bath and Beyond on the way over there tomorrow. Maybe she’s into Victoria’s Secret; I don’t know. She could buy a thong, and use it for a hammock, maybe. That’d work, right?
I don’t pretend to know the right answers. I’m just hoping to make it through tomorrow without birthday cake in my hair, or somebody else’s finger up my nose. Wish me luck, eh?Permalink | 3 Comments