We’re throwing a big party tonight. An outdoor party. At Marcel’s parents place out in the country. We’ve invited almost everyone we know – work friends, church friends, siblings, cousins and aunts and uncles, friends from old work places, our kids’ friends, neighbours – you name it. It could be 100 people… or it could be 10. Who knows? We didn’t ask for RSVPs.

We’re celebrating Marcel’s graduation and my 40th birthday. But REALLY it’s more about Marcel’s grad, because turning 40 takes NO effort compared to three and a half years in university. He NEVER lets me throw parties in his honour, because he’s an introvert and hates to be the centre of attention. I like throwing parties, but I’ve honoured his request so far. When he started university, he told me that the one and only time I could throw him a party would be for his grad. I never forgot and now I’m holding him to it. In the end, though, the only way he’d agree to it was if I offered to share the spotlight. So, ostensibly, it’s for both of us.

It’s a big party, but because our budget is dreadfully tight, it’s pretty low-brow. No steak or lobsters or even chicken drumsticks on the barbecue. Nope, the best they’re gonna get tonight is hot dogs and chips and cake and ice cream. (Did I scare anyone off yet?)

I have no idea who will come. I have no idea if we have enough food (but, as my sister says “You have ENOUGH. When the food runs out, people are done eating.”) I don’t know if we should have planned entertaining games, or just assumed people will have enough fun just chatting with each other. I went with the latter, ‘cause I couldn’t think of any games and didn’t feel much like planning any anyway.

I didn’t think I was stressed out about it, but last night I lay awake wondering if we’d thought of everything. Weiners? Check. Buns? Pick them up this afternoon. Plates, cups, napkins? Check. Coffee urn? Check. Fireworks? Pick them up this afternoon. Condiments? Check. Table cloth? Check. And the list went on and on through my head.

I suppose, in the end, we’ll be ready. Now if only people will show up and we won’t be left, forlorn and neglected, with 100 hot dogs!

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