We never actually planned to have a party to celebrate my birthday, but then walking home from work last week, Sean convinced me that we should. "Eh," I said. "Well, maybe just something laid-back."
Turns out, however, that when it comes to parties, I cannot do laid-back. Some primal part of my brain hard-wired by Martha Stewart stomps in and takes control and the next thing you know I'm making cupcake toppers because hey, cupcake toppers are fun. I went from "nah, I don't want to do anything" to "ooh, an excuse to make those tissue pompoms!" so fast it would make your head spin. Honestly, I think it's a disease: a delicious, crafty, Type A disease. And the prescription for it is written in calligraphy on scrapbook paper with rounded edges.
The setup of our party was simple. We would drink only champagne. We would eat only cheese. We would invite a very small group of friends, and we would all suit up because Sean and I have been watching seasons one through four of How I Met Your Mother over the last few weeks and have both developed platonic crushes on Barney Stinson (actually, mine's not platonic, but sshhhhh.) You might not know this but in San Francisco you hardly ever get an excuse to dress fancy, so I figured that we should. I also figured that we should record the moment for posterity with a series of hilarious prom-style photographs since it would probably be another year or so before we'd all be seeing each other in lipstick and ties again. Might as well keep the memory sweet.
The party was a lot of fun, due in part to the One Bottle of Champagne Per Party Guest ratio, but also because it wasn't even that stressful to set up. We bought a bunch of delicious cheeses and some bits and pieces to go with them---fig jam, marcona almonds, mango chutney, hard salami, apples, honey, pears, a baguette and three million crackers---and I found a Cheese Tasting Kit I'd been given at last year's Broad Summit, which came complete with sweet little labels to write on and even an information card for each cheese (because I don't know about you, but I like my cheese with a side of information.)
We made vanilla cupcakes from the Magnolia's recipe (though I totally faked my way through my own buttercream icing, since the reviews said the official one was too sweet), and that tiny part of me that misses all the wedding crafting threw together the cupcake toppers, tissue pompoms, and napkins tied up with twine, which was really sort of gilding the lily, but hey, why have a normal napkin if you can have a napkin tied up with twine, you know? I mean, that is doing it up right.
It seems silly now that I was so reluctant to celebrate my birthday, and I'm so glad we had this party, even if one of the cupcake toppers did accidentally go up in flames when Sean was lighting the candles. But that just means that 30 is going to be on fire, right? (Or does it mean it'll go up in smoke? Hmm, I prefer the first one.)
PS: I wrote this on Sunday, which means you are probably reading it on my Monday, which is my actual birthday, which means I have taken the day off work, which means I am probably shopping and eating chocolate croissants and getting a massage right now as we speak. There's a whole set of party pictures here, in case you're interested, although I'm afraid I can no longer look at them because of all that cheese. Yes. I have eaten too much cheese. After cheese at the party and then leftover cheese the next day, I have officially reached my cheese saturation point. Never thought it could happen, trust me. Check the sky for pigs.