The baby shower v. Wiffle ball tournament

Last month we had one of those terrible scenarios where we had conflicting parties on the same afternoon. By terrible I mean they were both parties for friends who had hit major life milestones and we really wanted to celebrate both of them. And by terrible what I really mean is I lost the friend faceoff and we went to my wife’s co-worker’s Jack and Jill baby shower instead of Bernie’s 40th birthday party extravaganza featuring Wiffle Ball, pulled pork bbq and a keg of cold beer. Terrible.

That’s just the beginning of the travesty. The Wiffle Ball field was right down the street from our house! Anywhere we can walk to with the kids without having to pack up the Town and Country (yep, that’s how I roll) is the gold standard for parties I like to attend these days. The field had been carefully measured out, baselines were lined and a home run wall was erected. An official sized strike zone bearing Bernie’s likeness awaited the first pitch. My anticipation rivaled the elation of childhood trips to Yankee Stadium when the field crew took the covers off of the gleaming white bases and the last bit of infield grooming was complete. Beyond the left field fence was a spread of delicious barbeque, snacks and beer. What the Friends of Bernie Party Planning Committee had put together was quite possibly my holy grail of parties. So, yeah, we went to Alpharetta.

To be fair, Kristen is very close with her co-worker Becky who had just delivered twin girls after five months of mandatory bed rest. The pregnancy was high risk and the fact that everyone was home, happy and healthy truly was a reason for celebration. To boot, Becky and Shawn are very cool and I always enjoy hanging out with them. I think if Kristen had only taken my suggestion to tell them about the Wiffle Ball, they would have ditched their own party and opted to join us at Bernie’s.

The party was in suburban Alpharetta at Shawn’s step-sister’s house. The address on the invitation said GA but Mapquest showed this particular section of Alpharetta to be located in central Tennessee. So I’d guesstimate it took about three innings worth of time to get there. The house itself was enormous and beautiful with 700ft ceilings and a live-in kitchen. I immediately felt inadequate and snarky. “Sure, we could buy a house like this out here but where will we keep the helicopter??”

Now, I love throwing parties and I’ve learned well from my brother Mike that you should always have too much of everything, especially beer and wine. The silver lining of the Jack and Jill party was that no kids were invited so we had a babysitter watching Elliott and Margo. Of course they were at the wiffle ball party down the street from our house so Elliott kept texting me to me to give me guff about it. You know how 3 year olds are with their cell phones.

Anyway, at the very least we figured since we were sans kids we could have an adult beverage and relax a little. Except this particular party suffered from not having enough beer and wine on hand, and by not enough, I mean none. Mike would have been appalled. I think it was a religious thing. I’m not sure what the host’s exact affiliation was but the framed picture of George W. Bush, kneeling in a church pew, while hoisting a glass of milk high in the air offered some insight.

We grabbed a decidedly soft drink and sifted through the assorted cheese balls and cheese straws and cheese cubes and settled in for the opening of the gifts. This tradition has always baffled me. It was invented and propagated by grandmothers the world over and continues to exist only because of them. I’m not saying they don’t have any good ideas but this is the same subset that deems it okay to reuse a Kleenex. The Jack and the Jill sit up front on display and carefully open all of their loot, pausing to comment and thank each guest for their thoughtful present.

Only I wasn’t sure how this was going to go since Becky explicitly told everyone the only gifts they wanted were diapers and wipes. They have a three year old at home so they already have all the standard baby fixins on hand. So there we sat, anxiously awaiting the peeling of paper and untying of bows.
The first package revealed a large box of—you guessed it—diapers and wipes!!

Becky is one of the funnier people I know and all she could muster was “Thanks so much. We are definitely going to go through A LOT of these!” Everyone chuckled. The second package turned out to be some more diapers and wipes. Everyone giggled. The third, fourth, fifth, sixth and seventh exquisitely wrapped packages all contained some iteration of diapers, wipes and the occasional ointment. About the 1oth or 12th gift was a set of UGA onesies with “Bulldogs” on the butt.

Laughter erupted as if W.C. Fields emerged from the cake. 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5 Responses to The baby shower v. Wiffle ball tournament

  1. Mike Benzie says:

    Testing.

  2. Eileen Sullivan says:

    Haha! Great story! Well, maybe not a great story, but a very well-written story. Keep ’em coming!

  3. Bernie says:

    brilliant!

  4. Megan Schulz says:

    Where *would* you keep the helicopter, anyway?

    Smaller spaces that cost more in the city are always better.

    Right?

  5. Pingback: Cabbagetown Run Club: The end of the email list | TimmyDaddy

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