March 30, 2011

30-Day Photo Challenge - Day Five

Day Five
A picture of your favorite memory

I knew this was going to get hard at some point.  I was hoping it wouldn't be this early on in the game.  My favorite memory?  Seriously??  I'm almost 47 years old, for Pete's sake; I'm supposed to pick one?

I guess if I were really nostalgic I'd choose the day my first kid was born, or the day I got married, or graduated from college, or something really meaningful like that.  But I'm not feeling all that sappy right now, and I came across a picture in my search for the perfect memory that seemed to fit my current mood.

I turned 40 in June of 2004, but for some reason, I didn't do anything in particular on that day.  I'm sure we went out for dinner or something, but I knew my friends were cooking up a party.  In the meantime, my daughter Casey was living in Belgium, on a horse farm, for the summer. (That's another story.)   She had been there about six weeks when she called home with a small request.

"So, I was thinking...." as all small requests begin.

The next thing I knew, I was getting my passport picture taken and buying an airline ticket to Brussels, so that Casey could see a little bit of Europe before heading home at the end of the summer, with a tourguide.  She had originally asked her Dad to come meet her, to explore Paris and London and Belgium with her, but he had little interest (???) and suggested I should go instead.  I think I was out of bed and packing before he got off the phone with her.

It was mid-August, and I was heading to Europe for the first time in seventeen years.  The last time I had been in London was Christmas of 1987, when my parents were still living there, and it never occurred to me then that it would be so long before I went back.  I couldn't imagine a better 40th birthday present.

But that's not the story.  That's kind of the icing on the cake - the one that hadn't been served yet. 

I was due to leave on September 4th and I learned that my birthday party was to be held just two days beforehand.  Could this summer get any better? It wasn't a surprise, by any stretch.  But I didn't know much more than that it was to be an 80s Party, and that everyone would be required to dress accordingly.

I couldn't tell you which part of it all was the most memorable.  Whether it was shopping through every thrift store from here to south Seattle and back, searching for the perfect outfit with Shawnie, or trying to figure out what John was going to wear (he had no say in the matter).  Or sitting in my bathroom watching Shawn paint John's nails, once we had figured it out.

It could have been the marble-top table, perfectly balanced, that Todd built me especially for playing Quarters on, or the collection of photos on the wall of all the guests in authentic photos from the 80s.  It could have been Chris Kaufman's 1985 brick cell phone, or the fact that Susan wore the same dress to the party that she wore in the photo on the wall - really, who can do that?

Maybe the music was the best part - the nine CDs that Todd spent days making, a quintessential collection of every "Oh my God that's my favorite song!" from 1980 to 1989.  Or that we played them so long and so loud that the police came to bust up the party.  Just like the old days.  Only this time, Fire Chief Mc Donald and Police Chief Jeter answering the door was waaaaay better than anything I can describe.  That rookie cop standing on the porch, looking at the two of them, speechless.  I think "Evening, Chief" was all he could manage, followed by a mumbling "oh some neighbors called but I'm sure it's nothing sorry to bother you have a good night. Sir."

The best part is that I remember every minute of it, miraculously, since I was drinking from these cups that guests had to purchase to get in  - just like the old days - 
and I'm not entirely sure what was in them

Is it too late to make this my official Thank You Note to Kim and Josh and Shawn and Todd, for one of my very favorite memories ever?

Even if I did have that whole problem with the quarter when I got to Belgium.

But that's a slightly less pleasant memory.


  1. So the thirty days in this challenge don't have to be contiguous? ;-)

    Those photos really do tell a fun story.

    ..but what quarter?

  2. What a fun party! Love the photos. Hunky guys!

  3. That is hilarious!! What great photos!

    And for the record - even though I grew up in the 80s, I NEVER dressed like that... or had hair like that. Never. I'm quite sure. Pretty sure anyway.

    Such fun, these memories of yours. :)