What You Will Learn At Someone’s Grandma’s 90th Birthday Party
Hold up now, son. How is it we have been friends for 20 years, and you don’t know me well enough to know that there is NOWHERE IN THE WORLD I WOULD RATHER BE than SOMEONE’S GRANDMA’S 90TH BIRTHDAY PARTY.
First, of course, there are rules for going to someone’s grandma’s 90th birthday party. Smile all the time. Don’t horn in on conversations or grill people. Be unassuming, and in the background, and speak only to explain when pointedly asked why you happen to be in the rec room of the nursing home (not for granny, she is spry; it is so her sister who had the stroke can come too) how very long you have been friends with that fine strong kind good boy of a grandson over there. Are you delighted to be here? Fuck yeah!
Next: figure out which table has the bad cousins and aunts, because bad cousins and aunts are a pile of good time.
Oh, did one of the bad cousins go off to buy a great aunt her favorite bottle of limoncello? Now it is time to gently nudge her into opening it. I find asking for what you want often works, like so: “How would you feel about me cadging a shot off that beautiful bottle of limoncello?” Why, it turns out, she would feel just fine!
Eventually that bad cousin will go off to replenish that bottle of limoncello with two more bottles of limoncello because of how we done drank that first one up, and also because of how he is a GODDAMN HERO.
So now you have gotten Aunt Marie drunk on limoncello, because she’s “not much of a drinker!” It is time to sit next to her and listen.
At some point, Aunt Marie will make a shocked face and say “I don’t know why I’m telling you all this!” It is because you are a journalist who is good at making empathy faces (BECAUSE YOU ARE EMPATHIC) before rushing off to tell everybody all everybody else’s secrets.
When it is time to finally leave the grandma’s 90th birthday party, you will hug all the aunts, especially Aunt Marie, who insists on your staying with her next time you are on the East Coast, and then you will find your friend Curtis. You have important information to convey.
“Your Aunt Marie is leaving your Uncle Stan, she has a boyfriend who’s really nice to her, the kids and Uncle Stan don’t know. Your Uncle Stan just said something super-racist. And your mom wants you to take that plate of sandwiches home.”
Does Curtis want to hear any of this? Don’t be ridiculous, of course he doesn’t. Does Curtis get to? Don’t be ridiculous, of course he does! Have a sandwich, Curtis, you’ll feel better.