Phoenix was a trip—back—to my twenty-one-year-old self. Sunday, early evening, David, his girlfriend Hannah, and I are having drinks and starters at Chili's. I had won a gift card and thought I'd take us all out. A beer in, David asks, " Would you be down for a party? It's Gustavo's birthday and the guys (skater pals) are having a party for him." I could just picture it: anti-social stonerheads sitting around playing video games on a large screen TV. Not my idea of a fun night out. David reassured me it wouldn't be anything like that. OK, I decide; I'm down with it.
We pull up to a modest three bedroom house, festively outlined in holiday lights. Hmm. There are about forty bods littering the generous front lawn the lawn—some sitting, some standing. Most with beers in hand. A d.j. stands behind a mixing table. The tunes aren't too shabby. A giant plastic liquor bottle filled with goodies is strung from a long closeline about six or so feet off the ground—let's call it a piñata. No couch or game console is in sight. I crack open a Heineken and begin to take in the scene. I'm down.
David quickly introduces me to all his close friends—birthday boy included. Three of them shake my hand and say, "David is my best friend." I remember having a group of friends where I too was the center of focus. It can be taxing at times to play leader and always be on. But there are rewards to be found—believe me. Power to influence being one of them. Anyhow, everyone is warm; I feel fuzzy and welcome.
Three beers later, I look up to see about eight folks standing on the low hanging, flat rooftop. I spy David. I want up. I ascend the ladder as David grabs my hand, pulling me atop. Let the party begin. And it does. Looking down, I see a young gal standing next to the piñata—blindfolded, stick in hand. (Only girls were allowed to partake in bringing the beast down.) Swing. Whack! Swing. Miss. Swing. Whack! Major fail. Next contestant walks up to replace the giddy, dizzy gal. She too flakes out. I'm observing all this thinking, "I can take that puppy out—no problem." I told David, "I want to try. I know I could do much better." "OK," he enthusiastically replies. Next thing I know I am on the ground—geared up with stick in hand. I ask a young gentlemen nearby where its weak spot was. He graciously informs me, "The neck." Cool beans; I visualize my plan of attack. Blindfolded, I swing. Wham! Then again. And again. I could hear the spectators roar. Fully energized, I swing harder. "You're going down sucker," I mumble under my breath! And it does go down. I'm on it like a starving dog on a meaty bone. Whack! Whack! Crack. Whack! Crack. It bursts open; it's overkill. I lift my blindfold to behold fifty or so tiny one-shot bottles of liquor spewed across the ground below me. The mob cheers and hollers and comes in for the feast. I'm wild with pride and adrenaline.
Less than an hour later, David comes up to me and says, "Gustavo just told me you made his night when you knocked down that piñata." Big smiles from me. Not only have I made the birthday boy's night but I also make my son proud to have such a cool and fun mom.
It's like riding a bike. You never forget how to party—once a party girl. It just takes a few brews to get started. When is the next party? I'm game.
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