Can you plan a party without getting a divorce?

We are in the thick of it, less than 11months to plan a big fiesta for our little girl- who is not so little anymore and would prefer a DJ and dancers to her dad and I dancing around and entertainngi her cronies while we play music on her Barbie CD player. We are headed into the unchartered territory of planning a shindig that will pacify her needs without forking over enough green to kick start a lagging third world country’s economy.

photo courtesy of 1funny.com

And here’s the long and short of it– my husband and I are basically on the same page–in fact if I could get a redo my own wedding that my husband most graciously footed the bill for I’d have an intimate party and only invite people who felt incredibly special to me. My husband and I felt this obligation to invite many people who we only knew peripherally, because, it was the right thing to do, never mind the fact that there are tons of pictures in our wedding album of virtual strangers. I would tell my younger self to take tradition and convention and stick it where the sun don’t shine.

Of course trying to impart such wisdom on  my daughter is lost on her. And I get it–as I’ve only gleaned it as a result of having grownup life experiences which have taught me that the party itself- the bells and whistles, the chocolate fountain (yeah my kid wants a chocolate fountain) are far less significant than the actual act of being surrounded by people who love and adore you. That the most important part of celebrating your special day is about the moments- collecting those precious life moments- and the ones you’ll remember most are the moments you felt loved, adored and collectively supported by your inner circle of confidantes–sure that cotton candy maker and photo booth might make blips in your memory banks, but they are not what will truly be permanently etched in your consciousness.  While I have tried to explain this to my daughter–the lure and promise of happiness via materialism is a SEDUCTIVE son of a bitch and a hell of a sparring partner. It’s virtually impossible to pontificate about collecting moments versus getting a chocolate fountain.

I am not so sure my marriage will survive without being permanently scathed by this party planning experience- as I’m the people pleaser mom and the sugar daddy is the life of hard knocks dad- who is forever reminding the kids that he slept in his bedroom each summer sans air condition.

So, for those of you who have weathered the planning  and eventual celebration of a momentous life occasion, and had your marriage stay intact– please share your tips n tricks with the rest of us!