I’m doing something stupid… something that I swore I wouldn’t do. I’m hosting a retirement party for my father. I’m an idiot.
It honestly didn’t even occur to me to acknowledge his retirement. I mean, I know retirement is a big deal for normal people, but my father is anything but normal. He’s been talking about retiring for years, & kept moving the date back & back & back some more. I wasn’t sure he was actually serious this time until a few weeks ago. My father — the King of Waffling Decision-Making. When I realized that he was actually going through with it, I basically shrugged. Whatever. Then he started saying things like “IF ya’ll had me a retirement party, I would want blahblahblah” & “IF I had a retirement party…. not that I WANT one… blahblahblah.”
My sisters & I had a good laugh the first couple of times he made these comments…. I mean, was he JOKING?!? The man bought out his youngest daughter & is pretty much one of the crappiest fathers ever. Why, oh why, would we throw him a party? And then my conscience started working on me, & I started feeling guilty. After all, he DID work at a job he hated for 32 yrs & financially supported us throughout our childhoods. And he IS my father, regardless of how I feel about his behavior. And — I confess — I thought about how he would portray us to his friends/family… how he would explain what hateful daughters he has. Yes, I sometimes care what people think — & no matter how many times I repeat “But they don’t know about [fill in one of his fatherly stunts here],” the bottom line is that I would FEEL like a bad daughter.
So we decided to have a little low country boil in the backyard… something small, casual, & classically southern. And I asked him if he would like to have a few of his friends & coworkers over to celebrate. He waffled (of course) — started mumbling about how he just didn’t KNOW if he wanted to have a party, & he just didn’t KNOW if he really wanted to see everybody, & blahdeblahdeblah. It was all an act & we both knew it… he loves nothing more than people making a fuss over him. But I played along, told him that it was his decision, & that if he wanted to have a gathering, to please make a guest list & give it to me by Jun 17, this past Thursday.
Aaaaaannnnnd on Thurs, he gave me a list of 140 people. ONE HUNDRED & FORTY PEOPLE. People have weddings smaller than that, for gods sake. This massive beast of party is being bankrolled by his daughters & our poor hapless husbands. One daughter’s husband is self-employed & the other one’s house just got treed…. yeah, feeding & hosting 140 people sounds fan-effing-tastic.
We’ve whittled the list down to a mere 100 people, & I’m hoping only half show up. It’s scheduled for July 3rd, which is a holiday weekend… I’m hoping that works in our favor & that people have family obligations.
And the saddest part? I’m working my butt off on this thing. I was up til 4am this morning putting the invitations together, & I’m scouring the internets for cute (& cheap) ideas. Because I want it to be nice. I want his friends to come & have a good time. I want to have a party that does my Mama proud. It’s so annoying. Daddy doesn’t care…. why the hell do I?!?