January 26, 2016
Good morning to everyone taking the time to read my thoughts – no matter how messy they are.
It was a very beautiful day of spring. Yes, I know, it’s still January! I haven’t lost my senses completely. But it was a beautiful spring day – early spring. Just a bit of a wind but that didn’t mar the day at all and the temperature was around 6 if not more. I had the chance to stroll around the forest several times today and to climb up and down the terraces according to Rex’s whims.
Spring ended in the evening. When I went out again at eight, I found out that it was snowing and the wind had a bit of a bite. We had a very brisk walk which soon turned into a real jog as my little mutt decided he had had enough and wanted home.
I talked to a friend today whose daughter would celebrate her sweet sixteen on Saturday. In my time, in my country, important was the 18th birthday.
I remember mine. It was one of the parties I’ll never forget. I am pretty sure my family won’t either. We had over fifty people in the house and, more important, I didn’t know half of them. I had actually invited about fifteen.
Two hours into the party, no food or drinks were left and my parents went into town to see if they could find something to buy in a restaurant because it was late on Saturday evening and everything else was closed. They managed to save face but were not very happy with the results of the party.
At that time, such parties would start around seven or eight in the evening and would end somewhere in the morning around six or seven.
Well, in the morning the house looked like a hurricane had swept over. That wouldn’t have been a problem – with so many people (by the way, I made a lot of new friends that night) it was expected. They didn’t appreciate though to see cigarettes put out in the bookcases and ashes all over the place.
Here anniversaries are not the same. The second year in Quebec, I decided to celebrate my birthday the same time with one of my daughter’s friends’ mother who was born the same day, month and year as I. The two of us had become quite good friends by that time, although we were as different as night and day. She was serious and hardworking while I was flighty and dreamy.
I obtained a reception hall in the hotel where I was working and we started inviting people. We had many surprises. It seems that if you invite someone here, they consider that you expect them to pay for their food and drinks. They looked at us as if we’d lost our minds when we told them that they were not supposed to pay for anything just to come over.
That was another interesting party. It started with my friend agonizing over her age – I didn’t get to that point till this year. It wasn’t on my birthday but two months after when I realized that actually, unconsciously, I was telling people the previous age and not the present one. Around the same date, I also realized I stopped adding years at my daughter’s age. When my mother corrected me one day, I couldn’t believe it. I had really stopped counting. It was a real blow as I’d always prided myself with being honest and not fearing growing older. Anyway that’s another story for another day.
Now back to the party. So, we had the hall and I had arranged with the event manager in the hotel to organize the catering and the guys from the hotel bar decided to contribute with the drinks as a birthday present for me. Imagine, I was extremely happy! Till we got there. And we had lots of people in the hall. There was a lot of booze but no food. The event manager had forgotten about that. It seems she had had another event to organize as well.
We had about 40 people and no food. It was again a Saturday night. In Quebec City, people go to bed early so at that hour nothing was really open and anyway, who had the time to cook while people were already there waiting for the food?
I must admit that I lost my composure for a moment there. I didn’t yell like a banshee but it took me all I had to keep the yelling back. It seems I am a very unpleasant person when I am riled: my voice gets hard and words are clipped and once my cousin told me that if eyes could kill mine would have had a big count.
Anyway, it worked. The event manager called the general manager and explained the situation. That one called the hotel restaurant and discussed the matter with them and in 15 minutes food started appearing on tables and everything was perfect till the end. They even managed to make two big birthday cakes.
The party was a success in the end and I am not sure that people had realized that for a moment there no food was supposed to come.
The people from our community were used to such parties, with dance and food and no financial contribution from the guests, however, the Canadians were a bit puzzled by everything.
I admit that it might be nostalgia or the pink coloring the memory paints over events, but parties in my youth were something else. We would dance and tell jokes till the wee hours of the morning and sometimes, like for New Year’s Eve parties, we would have parties three days in a row, changing only the venue each night.
Here, for New Year’s Eve, 90 % of the people sleep. The others are either very young or new comers. I, for one, I read till three or four in the morning and I say I celebrated the New Year.
A couple years ago, my daughter invited two friends to celebrate with us and we played games like countries and cities and so on. I was bored to tears.
Luckily, it was Rex’s first New Year’s Eve and that night he climbed up the stairs for the first time and had an entire conversation with the guys across the street. They’d ask something and he would answer. He was much sociable then. Now he is like an hermit, minus the silence. He’s too noisy to make a proper hermit.
Well, that party was boring but I imagine my accounting of these parties is also boring for you. I got swept away thinking of my friend’s daughter’s sweet sixteen.
I’d better leave you now or you’d hate seeing my lines again.
See you soon!
Born sometime in the past century, living in the 21st century.
Sometimes I have good ideas... (what do you think?)
Sometimes fascinating guests!
(that for sure!)
Sometimes I have to share some of my frustrations,..
(not too tempting, huh!)
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