In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “RSVP.”


My “Personal Assistant”, as he introduces himself to my friends, really did his best to put on a mega 80th birthday party for me. He spent months looking at possible venues and trying to hire a dance band. He knows I love Frank Sinatra and slow jazz. He even tried C&W bands, but everyone was already booked. He definitely didn’t want a DJ playing pop music.

Then the guest list; that was a challenge. He went through his address book – not surprisingly we have many friends in common – and then I went through mine. Theater friends, those I worked with as ushers, volunteers, neighbors – they were myriad.

And that didn’t include family since 25 of them had been celebrating with me in July when school was out.

We pared the lists down to about 120. That was really difficult. Who to invite is easy; who to leave out is hard. (Wouldn’t X know I invited Y and not them? Guilt didn’t make it any easier)

By now the date was getting close so my PA had to accept we would have the party at our house. Actually it is a great party house, being open-plan with a large tiled entry hall (complete with piano) and a large patio out back.

But we still wanted to dance. So the retro gramophone that played records, tapes and CDs came out and was set up on the piano with piles of music surrounding it. We were ready for everything from cha cha cha to line dancing, not to mention Glen Miller and Frank Sinatra. We even had a bit of fun practicing our steps in the days beforehand.

Then there was the food. PA didn’t want me to be in the kitchen all day – we invited folk from 1pm through to 10:30 (or whenever, as I always say); we had to have goodies available throughout. So we checked out caterers.

We’d had enjoyed Jeff ***’s Savory Fare at UNM functions so the next thing was to get the menus to pick from. Wow, it all sounded yummy. The hard part was making choices.

I knew from experience that you do not have to order enough for the number of people you have invited. There is almost always leftover food. But PA was adamant. So we went the whole hog.

And that expression is a good indication of what we did. Over ordered to the extreme, especially since only half those guests actually turned up.

The food was superb, we sent home pots of soup and baggies of other goodies, and we ate like royalty for weeks afterwards.

And those friends and neighbors who did come enjoyed themselves sitting out in the warm evening under the arbor and talking, and talking. So we never even put the music on.

Who needs a program for a wonderful birthday party? Thank you dear PA.

But we could have used a few more RSVPs


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