Saturday, November 14, 2009

Birthday Party

My younger son, James, has been invited to a birthday party. Two girls from his circle of friends pooled their resources and are throwing a party together. A banal event, one might think, every thirteen-year old, every kid of any age is invited to many birthday parties every year, one could say there is a birthday party circuit.

What caught my eye was the invitation itself. One would think that in this electronic age, where the majority of children connect via text messaging and Facebook and where invitations can be composed using fancy fonds and digital imaging and broadcast via the world-wide web, a means more fitting our time would have been used. Not so, not even a box of store-bought invitation cards, the hosts used multi-colored markers, craft paper and glue, even a little glitter, though the latter may have been contamination from an earlier project.

An ecru inset on a blue half sheet with a cheerful (I hate that I can't use the word 'gay') mix of colorful lines spelling out the who, what, when and where of the event, and most striking of all, the back of the invitation bearing the name of the lucky invitee in big, bold, fat-marker print on a backdrop of alternating columns and rows of the graceful hostesses' names, in neat handwriting, reminiscent of the old school punishment of “fill this page with 'I cannot talk in class'.” I don't know what to say: touching, old-fashioned, crafty, unique and self-expressive in a way the most elaborate Photoshop production could never be. I think it says a lot about what kind of girls the hostesses are and about the adults they will become.

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