On Sunday my second cousin, Carter, turned one. My cousin and her partner went to extraordinary efforts to make it a day to be remembered, and remembered it will be by all but the birthday girl, whose youth ensures that her recollection of the extravagant day will be basically non-existent.
So how did the party stack up, and how will everyone else remember it?
The Entertainment: 8 out of 10
Face painters, a jumping castle, the horse races on the living room’s TV and an old bloke actually yelling ‘Go you good thing!’ – there was entertainment for all at Carter’s birthday party. I was told that I was too old for the jumping castle, which was disappointing, however, I would be able to have my face painted if I wanted. In the end I couldn’t decide between the butterfly design and the lion, so I stuck with my normal face. The music was mostly suitable for the event, though Kendrick Lamar’s new album DAMN. did have a brief stint on the Bluetooth speaker at one point. While enjoyable for some, it was a peculiar choice for the party’s young demographic.
The Food: 9 out of 10
There was quite the spread for Carter’s big day. Roast meats were the hot ticket item – the pork was particularly popular – but, as the family’s difficult vegetarian, I stayed well away. Instead I was served a cheese and spinach gozleme that my aunty, beaming, told me was from Aldi. It was twice cooked, in the oven then the frypan, giving the pastry a beautiful golden crunch, the cheese oozing out from between its layers. Unfortunately, I’d been to a 30th birthday party the night before and was rather hungover, and the delicious, salty gozleme was not an optimal meal in my state of dehydration. I could not finish it, though the effort was sincerely appreciated nonetheless. Other highlights included the salads and the bakery fresh bread rolls, which did wonders for my nausea, as well as the cake, a layered sponge festooned with flowers and purple macaroons.
The Speeches: 6 out of 10
The speeches were short, and one of them, made by the birthday girl herself, was almost entirely (perhaps avant-garde-ishly) wordless. Her father thanked guests on her behalf, and she looked away as he did, focusing her attention instead on the lolly bags perched on the table. Both speeches on the whole unfortunately failed to captivate the partygoers, who were mostly too busy playing with their toy cars and soft toys to listen. Many did appreciate the speeches’ brevity, however, particularly those parents who had forgotten to grab a fresh beer for the toast.
Apparently, the birthday girl was a little more vocal once the party was over.
The Decorations: 7 out of 10
Purple was the colour theme for the party, with the balloons, tablecloths and cake all conforming. Pom poms doubled as a cheap form of entertainment for the less discerning of the crowd, as did the streamers, and many partygoers set out to prove that the purple swirly lollipops weren’t the only edible decorations. It was a considerable task to coordinate so many decorative elements, and I commend my cousin for her efforts.
Overall Party Rating: B
All in all, Carter’s first birthday was a success. The food and entertainment were the real talking points, while the speeches left a little to be desired. I wouldn’t hesitate in recommending Carter’s first birthday to others, and I look forward to her second.