Last evening we went to a luau at Loretta’s place to celebrate her birthday. We felt like quite the popular family, because Neil had one of his own friends having a sleepover birthday celebration himself, so technically the Bickfords had 2 parties to attend that night.
It was quite a rainy night, so the outdoor luau barbecue was replaced by a buffet with curious Hawaiian food that emerged, dish after dish, from an oven. I’m pretty open to new culinary experiences, but after I bit into some pickled bamboo and tried to eat a banana leaf wrapping, I resorted to just having tropical drinks. Come to think of it, that’s pretty much what I did the one time I actually was in Hawaii, too.
The rain let up long enough for Loretta and her sister Maureen to entertain us with a fire-eating show. Yes, indeed, the birthday girl set herself on fire (briefly) and ate multiple skewers of fire just to entertain us. But then, a few years ago, I took the 911 challenge at Cluck University for my birthday, and setting yourself ablaze and swallowing grapefruit-sized balls of fire strikes me as a less painful way to celebrate, and possibly make sure you won’t need to celebrate any more birthdays.
The guests were an eclectic mix of regular friends, people we hadn’t seen for a really long time, and new people. What struck me was that it seemed all the singles had come along in a carpool. When did my friends get all environmental? On the other hand, it makes some sense: if you come alone, there’s the risk you’ll find yourself alone at the party. If you come in a carpool, you’re bringing part of the party with you already.
Kelly herself was delighted with all the Hawaiian stuff Loretta put out for us to enjoy, from mini-mermaids to Tiki and seashell necklaces. I finally got around to finding the glow sticks to insert into flower crowns/necklaces over in the beer corner, and was terribly sorry I hadn’t found them earlier, since they made quite a chic statement. Somehow I missed the memo to come dressed Hawaiian style, but I was pretty Hawaiian by the time I left.
And no one was more exited about Loretta’s birthday cake than…Kelly. In fact, we’d brought out the candle-lit cake and started singing “Happy Birthday to You,” until someone noticed Loretta wasn’t even in the room. She’d gone outside to make a phone call! But for Kelly’s sake, Loretta came back in and blew out the candles, and Kelly got one of the frostingest pieces of cake there. And then, regrettably we had to leave, because it was past Kelly’s bed time.