Monday, September 13, 2010

The Birthday Girl and the Washing Machine

So the last time I wrote I discussed a big black cloud that seemed to be hovering over our heads. Fortunately, it’s been nothin’ but blue skies ever since. This makes me happy (and relieved). However, seein’ as how I have been known to experience the occasional pessimistic moment, I’m afraid to make that pronouncement any too loud.

After all, you never know what might come falling out of the sky. And we all know for a fact that stuff does. Take bird, uh, “doo-doo,” for instance. It doesn’t only hit your freshly washed vehicle. It hits people, too. Landed on a friend’s head one time. Made him late for a meeting.

But I digress.

Friday was my birthday. And a very good birthday it was. We had a party and everything. Only I was so flippin’ tired from getting up early and staying up late preparing for the party that I didn’t get an opportunity to truly enjoy myself. Oh, don’t get me wrong. I had a good time. And I loved seeing friends and family gathered together. But I was in sort of a “fog” the entire evening.

And, no, it wasn’t due to the beer goggles I was wearing. I was actually drinking wine. Except that I kept putting my wine glass down somewhere and forgetting it – so I think I had about a glass and a half all told.

Not enough to get me dancing on any tables, thank goodness! But certainly not enough to get me out of cleaning up afterwards either.

I don’t know why I take party planning to such a degree that the napkins have to match the wine glasses (which also, you should know, match my shoes…), but I do. And, since I’ve only had two actual birthday parties for myself throughout my very long life, I figured I’d go all out.

So stuff matched. And there were door prizes.

Fortunately, we ordered sandwich trays and the cake from Costco – so it’s not like I was up late the night before the party trying to perfect the piping around the perimeter of my own birthday cake. No, instead, I was cutting up veggies for the pasta salad and vegetable pizza I prepared.

Who knew cutting up veggies took so darn long? It’s not like on those cooking shows where the ingredients are all cut up and in little containers ready to be plopped into the mixing bowl by the host of the show who acts like cooking is a breeze.

Well, sure it is – if you’re not the one doing all the prep work! I mean, how hard is it to dump a bunch of premeasured ingredients into a bowl and smile into the camera?

Nevertheless, I managed to do all my own prep work and around 10:30 I was washing up the last of the dishes. I was kind of smugly congratulating myself for getting everything done so early – when Vince showed up. He had left several hours earlier to bring some of the provisions over to the party house. Apparently he had made other stops.

So I followed him outside and saw a buddy’s truck in the driveway. In the bed of the truck was the used washing machine that we were given to replace my washing machine that had leaked all over the floor the night before.

I searched – believe me I did – but there was no buddy in the truck with Vince to help him cart the washing machine off the truck. I stood there for a moment with my mouth hanging open because I knew there was no way Vince could haul that washing machine off the truck by himself.

I desperately looked around for a studly neighbor with bulging biceps who might be able to offer some assistance, but (a) anyone who was still outside had apparently fled indoors when they saw there might be heavy lifting involved and, more importantly, (b) we have no studly neighbors with bulging biceps.

So I sighed and tried to come up with any possible alternative solution to my getting up into the truck to give him a hand. I couldn’t. So I gamely climbed up.

Believe it or not, between the two of us, we managed to get that washing machine off the truck and onto the dolley without losing any fingers or toes. We didn’t even put a dent or a scratch on the truck. I, for one, am pretty proud of that little feat!

After the machine was off the truck, Vince immediately left to go back to his buddy’s house and swap the truck for his Honda while I stared at the washing machine that was now sitting in the middle of our driveway.

Still not spying any studly neighbors with bulging biceps, I sighed again (this time rather dramatically), and then awkwardly wheeled the thing into the garage praying the whole time that Vince would not come back home to find me pinned under the machine.

Once my prayers were answered and the washing machine was tucked safely in the garage, I went inside and collapsed on the living room floor.

So anyway, that’s one of the reasons I was tired and in sort of a foggy mood the next evening for my birthday party.

And next year? Well, I’ve decided that next year’s birthday will be celebrated quietly – at a restaurant where someone else provides the food and drink – and cleans up afterwards. And if there are any heavy household appliances to be moved the night before, the birthday girl will unequivocally – and firmly – abstain.

After all, that’s what studly moving guys with bulging biceps are for.

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