Graduation parties gone mad
Updated: July 29, 2012 6:16AM
It’s been great having a high school graduate this summer. The ceremony. The excitement. The parties. Attending multiple parties every weekend. Not to mention throwing our own grad party.
Now, this mom loves celebrations as much as (if not more) than the next, but I dare say that the grad gatherings are getting a bit – umm – complicated.
Take, for instance, attending multiple parties in one day. Sounds like fun, sounds like smiles for miles, right? Congrats, congrats. Welcome, welcome. “Now where are you headed again in August, sweetie? Ah, great school.”
Until there are three in one day and you want every host to know you are extremely appreciative of their efforts and don’t want to mention that this is your third dinner of the night. Or it’s your first grad party of the day and you have to leave in one short hour to get to your second grad party of the day and hand out four more personalized shower caddy gifts.
Oh, and let’s not forget the challenges of hosting your own party and trying to remember who can come when and with how many family members. Congrats, congrats. Welcome, welcome. “Hey, you remember us telling you that we could only stop in from 4:45 until 5:20 p.m. because we’re in between a lacrosse tournament and a dance recital, right?” (Umm, sure?)
You’re meeting and greeting amidst a flurry of relatives buzzing in and out your door so fast that your front porch is getting more air conditioning than your smoldering dining room has felt for hours. Then there’s trying to keep your composure chatting up Auntie So-and-so while some crazy sterno flame gone mad is completely torching your sausage and peppers on the dining room table, coming this close to setting the whole house on fire while you silently wonder how long it’ll be till the smoke detectors start screaming.
Now my Italian side of the family tends to show up right on time and stay (and stay and stay) for graduation parties. If we start at 3 p.m., the doorbell actually starts ringing at 2:40 p.m. to secure a prime parking spot on the driveway. No leaving for soccer. No open house scenario where they just stop in for a little bit. We don’t miss one course, from bruschetta to beef sandwiches to buttercream frosting graduation cake. Some of my relatives don’t even move from where they originally plant themselves when they walk through the front door.
As I’ve said before, on my side of the family, celebrating is all about the food. Sure, it’s about the graduate, but it’s also about what we’re going to eat. Even my kids want to know the complete menu beforehand. And approve it, naturally.
I guess I’ll say that June has been a bit of a game of logistics, wanting to enjoy all the grad fun but struggling with how much work and coordination is needed to make it all happen. In a few short days, we will have given out the last of our “dorm essentials grad gifts.” The pieces of buttercream graduation cake that I can’t seem to stay away from? Anybody got a sterno flame gone mad?
Lake Forester columnist Maria Malin can be reached at email@example.com