That was a really nice birthday!
There was stuff on the internet when I woke up. I love the Marmalade Fish, and my fishchildren in particular. I had put blue dye (and a touch of purple) on my bangs before going to bed, and had covered it with a scarf. I put more blue on the ends of my hair for a while, then showered it all off before heading out to party.
Guide Dog Aunt & Woodworking Uncle had been helping Infamous Cousin & his girlfriend paint. The girlfriend has some very definite ideas about color, and is implementing them full-steam-ahead. I showed up first, then my aunt and uncle, and after a little while (and I was nervous as hell) there was a knock on the door and the top of a very familiar head visible! It was Purple!!!!
Purple asked if he could help out; Guide Dog Aunt mentioned retrieving some folding chairs from upstairs, and proceeded to give some directions which even I (and I know the house) couldn't particularly follow. Purple looked super confused. "Cousin the Younger's room or Infamous Cousin's room?" I ask. "Infamous Cousin's." So we went up together. "I wouldn't have found it based on those directions," Purple confirmed.
I curled up at the far end of the couch with my crocheting, and Purple took the other end and stretched onto one of the nearby chairs. There was conversation and laughter. Guide Dog Aunt was very concerned with Not Being A Jerk with the food, and had gone out of her way to unnecessarily avoid dairy products. (My level of lactose intolerance means that I should not drink a whole cup of milk without the pills. I can add milk to coffee or whatever without having a noticeable problem. I can definitely have most cheeses without pills. Guide Dog Aunt decided that we should not have pizza because I am lactose intolerant and I shouldn't have to tolerate the cheese on my birthday.) Guide Dog Aunt somewhat guiltily said that even though I didn't deserve to have tomatoes shoved in my face, she had put out tomatoes anyway, because they were so delicious. I allowed as how yes, they were delicious, and I had no problems with food that I couldn't eat being present as long as it stayed in its lane -- now, if the tomatoes were exploding and getting all over everything else, I'd have a problem. "Or a bell pepper juice fountain," I mused. "Or walnuts."
Guide Dog Aunt zipped out of the kitchen and quickly reclaimed a large mason jar. She'd forgotten about the walnut thing, and had put some particularly fine and delicious walnuts in a jar for me, in addition to the chocolate she'd gotten for me, because the walnuts were great and she wanted to share the love -- having forgotten which nut I can't have. Purple snickered at that, and allowed as how his friends also forgot which nut he couldn't have, and would sometimes proudly go "We made sure there were no almonds in this for you!" ... which, thanks for the thought and effort! ... but almonds are delicious to him, and it's the wrong nut???
"Oh, which nut do you have problems with?" Guide Dog Aunt asked.
"Walnuts," he said.
"Matching nut allergies! A match made in heaven!" Guide Dog Aunt chirruped, and spirited the walnuts away from our end of the room.
In addition to Dazzle the now 10+ year old blue poodle, my aunt was guilt-dogsitting Micah-from-next-door, who is this ancient and somewhat malodorous foxy-looking medium-large dog. Her people were off out of state for a thing, and the last time she was at a kennel she refused to eat, blundered into things, and nearly died. So my aunt feels like she kind of has to watch her when her people leave...
R and JD showed up next, in fairly quick succession, I think? R was delighted by the pleasant temperature in Pacifica, as the South Bay had hit over 100F by the time she'd left.
Woodworking Uncle drifted in and out for a bit, but eventually wound up upstairs away from the assorted chaos.
Little bits of internet kept filtering in. There was an email from Darkside. "Ooo, email from [Darkside] in Arizona!" "What's [Darkside] in Arizona up to?" Purple wanted to know. I read the email quickly. He's gone from phone goon to bench guy, restoring the laptops of his co-workers to working order. Yay!
I told R the grim tales of Fishie's internship misadventures. R was super sorry to hear about it, but also, Missouri ("Misery", Purple chimed in) and certain types of terrible tech dude. Alas. :( Though I have given my Fishmumly Approval that Fishie should perhaps mention to Certain Terrible Dudes that she goes to judo classes to help with "her problem" with "accidentally punching" people who get in her space and startle her...
JD had brought games (I have decided that I am in favor of the kind of party where you ask people to bring games that they might like to play) and we played a round of Taboo before dinner. There was general hilarity, and it turns out that cards that were produced more than a decade ago have not blocked some of the modern helpful synonyms. ("Cable" involved me saying "last mile, internet, not optical older than that, xfinity, comcast")
There was dinner, followed by cake. Guide Dog Aunt had decided that with the number of people confirmed, there would need to be two small cakes, so there was a key lime cake and a chocolate cake. JD had the task of placing the candles. Everyone who was not me or JD had the task of lighting. Guide Dog Aunt had matches, and she and R lit candles to use as igniters. Purple had the bbq lighter, but had some troubles with it. JD was filming it all.
They sang. One of the slightly awkward bits with someone who has a complex name situation is, what name do you use when singing? Purple sang "dear Azure", quite correctly. :)
And then there was cake. Mmm, cake.
Gaming re-commenced. When he arrived, Purple had handed me a very small silver bag with silver snowmen and blue tissue paper, with a gentle apology for the wrapping, but it was what he had. I had giggled and put it aside. ( Read more... )
Guide Dog Aunt had said that there was a hard end to the party, because bedtime, so after the round that had started before 10pm finished up (after 10pm, of course), I mentioned bedtime. And so we started trying to get cleaned up. It had not been a particularly untidy party, so there wasn't that much to do.
Everyone seemed pleased to have met everyone else, and the refrain seemed to be "glad to finally meet you, I've heard so much about you." Purple apologized to JD for not having been able to make it to Eurovision. The Eurovision party had been more low-key than JD had been figuring on, as it's often balls-to-the-wall glitterenthusiasm.
It turned out that JD was on quartzpebble
's way home, so that carpool worked out. Purple consulted the map on his iPad to figure out how to get back the way he'd come. Guide Dog Aunt sent the bread home with me, and I got my stuff (bread, games, bag, flowers, crocheting) loaded up in my car, and had a last round of chat and hugs with Purple before he leaves for a month.
Even though I've been making sure that my place is tidied to at least Purple-safe, the "I have to still do laundry and finish packing, but I guess it's mostly under control" moment is not the time to say "hey, do you want to afterparty at my place??" but I was just pleased as hell because omg he came, he had fun, and everybody got on. Everybody else, it would have been sad but okay if they'd not gotten along with my family. But Purple? Purple is super important.
I was home just about at 11, as my watch nudged me with the "hey, it's 11!" update as I was walking down the path.
I think Guide Dog Aunt thinks Purple and I might be dating? It's ... not a bad assumption, just incorrect in a few particulars.