If any of you, my dear readers, read my blog last week then you know that on Wednesday my daughter celebrated her birthday. She turned 11. Hard to believe that she is 11 but I have come to accept that nothing in life or on earth stays stagnant. So, her birthday was Wednesday, we had a small get together of family members and even a friend or two showed up to celebrate her birthday. It was nice, pleasant, cordial even. Everyone ate and had good conversation and walked away from the meal full and satiated. Even me, who did not have the opportunity to fully enjoy the madness and mayhem of all the company.
Which brings me to yesterday…
Yesterday was her “Official Party”. There were over 30 people invited, that includes parents of children that were invited and not everyone showed up. To which I say “Thank you Lord for that small blessing!” In all actuality, like with most people in this day and age, schedules of soccer practice, baseball practice, football practice, dance recitals and even wisdom tooth extractions take precedence over cake, pizza, soda pop and gift bags. Can’t say as I blame them. I would have tried to have gotten out of it if I could but I was tasked with being the photographer as well as being the father of the birthday girl.
Oh? You want to know more about the party? Less about me? Ok, well I will try to give you the short narrative on it. How’s that sound?
Ok, at the Mega-Mall in Norfolk there is a store, it’s a store for girls and women alike. The name of the store is “Charming Charlie’s” Now, whoever thought up this store also thought about men shopping for gifts for their women because the places is sectioned off into colors. There’s a blue section, a red section, a yellow section, a black and white section and even a green section. I am sure I am missing some colors but you know, it’s not important. The thing that is important though is that if a man, woman or child goes into the store and wants say a purple purse all they would have to do is go to the purple section of the store and low and behold there is a purple purse and any accessory a person could possibly think of to go with that purse. From boots to hats, watches and bracelets to scarves and leggings. It’s nutty, but makes perfect economic sense in a capitalistic economy such as ours. (Hmm, I wonder if I could open up a franchise in the Middle East. Let those women over there put the rich sheiks in the poor house.)
So, this store is set up so that any idiot with 2 brain cells that are still in viable working order can just hang out in a section and pretty much spend the mortgage payment on articles of clothing and gifts for themselves or loved ones. Pretty cool… if you’re shopping by yourself. When you have 8 pre-teens and 15 women shopping and you’re only one of two folks in the store with testosterone it pretty much sucks. Forget going to the bathroom, forget having an opinion, and forget that all you wanted to do was watch some football while sitting on the couch reminiscing of the glory days when your favorite team was on the road to the Super-Stanley-Cup-World-Championship-Bowl. Nope, now you find yourself in a store where women are sporting fedoras, boas, necklaces and 5 or 6 purses of varying shades of the same color and asking your opinion as to which purse/fedora/boa/necklace “Defines” them as a person. To which one of those last two brain cells you had immediately pulls out a gun and blows it’s little nucleus away leaving you with just one brain cell and a smoldering gun.
Ok, all I was tasked to do was shoot pictures… Oh, look two preteen girls trying on 5 inch spiked heel boots… CLICK. Oh, and look a woman with 4 pairs of sunglasses in her hand… CLICK. And see that? The 3 women all tugging on the same scarf while the brothers and sisters of said scarf is sitting on a rack behind the semi-cage fighting women… CLICK. Ooo See that 11 year old with 3 cup cakes in her mouth, devouring them as if she was just released from a concentration camp in World War II… CLICK CLICK! And oh so many more wonderful little gems of digital photography. Some I am sure that will never be released to the general public. Simply because I fear the wrath of these women and children.
So, what else happened… My daughter smiled, she laughed, she cried, she ate too much pizza, too much candy, too many cup cakes and she spent too much money on accessories and clothes. She received gifts from loved ones and she felt cherished, loved and valued by all the people that came out to celebrate with her.
At one point she even led a small parade of her friends around the mall going from one store to the next. Once inside a store they would break up, conquer and divide like a swarm of locusts in a corn field in Nebraska. It was a joy to watch and a nightmare to experience and I can’t wait for the next one.
My daughter slept like the angel she is last night. The exhaustion of the day wore her out. Wore me out and wore my Bride out. Thank God we only have one child because I don’t think I could do this more than once a year. The heartbreak that I experience while I watch my daughter grow slowly into a woman is something that I know I share with all parents out there. But this is my pain and joy to watch and experience and I am going to savor these horrific/joyful moments for as long as I can.
Have a great week.