Welcome to my world!
There is nothing like a great dysfunctional family get together. Come on. You know what I’m talking about.
Everyone shows up at work talking about the wonderful “whatever” party and with the pictures for proof. They just leave out all the parts about how Granny got drunk and fell out of the recliner chair and how Uncle Zeb cussed up a storm and the part where one of the cousins slipped off and did something that can’t be told online.
Well, maybe your family is not so exciting. You get a blue ribbon and don’t need aspirin the morning after which is a good thing. It takes all kinds of people and all kinds of families.
But, trust me. If your parties are brouhahas, then you are not alone in this world. No one likes to tell what went wrong behind closed doors or right out in the front yard, but there’s many a party that did not go as planned - and not for lack of trying.
They say, “Hang loose,” in Hawaii, and I like that. That is really the only way to do barbecue parties without going nuts.
Will anyone remember what went wrong at your party five years from now?
And, they’ll cherish those memories or most of them especially if you take great photos.
I remember one family reunion at the beach where it was hot as heck. My youngest son was not impressed. He took off all his clothes. Keep in mind now that he was three-years-old. The only thing he could not get off were his camouflage, high-top tennis shoes with tie laces double knotted.
My kid disrobed (other than those tennis shoes) and crashed the party.
My aunt said, “Is that one of your boys?”
I looked over at the naked jaybird and said, “I’ve never seen that child in my life.”
When I took group photos later, I yelled, “OK. Everyone, take off your clothes.”
We got some great family photos – much better than the stiff ones that usually come out from dysfunctional family gatherings. And, everyone still laughs about the year that my kid got naked and tried to blend in with camouflage tennis shoes.
Really, it’s OK. Norman Rockwell probably had some less-then-perfect parties too.
Even though perfect parties are not guaranteed, you can be sure that if no one does any planning, there will be problems – BIG PROBLEMS. If you’ve ever been to a barbecue where the gas ran out on the grill or where no one thought to bring paper plates or ice, then you know what I mean.
Stuff happens. Nothing much happens when the basics are not in place. Cover those basic bases. The rest you can’t control. Let that roll off. You provide the place, the plates, the napkins, and the food. The entertainment – that just happens naturally - or unnaturally.
Have the basics and plenty of food, and everyone will forgive you and everyone else who lets his or her slip show. (Or, they should.) If we had perfect people in this world, we would all have perfect parties. I don’t think that is going to happen any time soon, so don’t let that damper your spirits. Have your party. Roll with the punches. Take lots of pictures. That’s what it’s all about.