A Tale of two themed Parties

The Party

Two 50th birthday Parties

Two Parties

Two parties that stand out in my life were both fiftieth birthday parties.

The first one in !997 was mine. This was a difficult ime in my life. My son had recently been killed in a car wreck and a sparse few month’s later my 50th was coming up.

It was winter. It was cold. The landscape was bleak and life was not really a joy at that time. My ex wanted to give me a landmark 50th birthday party. The last thing in life I wanted was a 50th birthday party.

Events of 1997

  • Toni Braxton's "Unbreak My Heart"  was the number one music item at that time
  • David Bowie was also celebrating his 50th birthday in that year.
  • The spice girls are making it big and I think this is a great group for my youngest daughter to enjoy.
  • Bill Clinton starts his second term as President of the United States. Scientists announce to the world that a sheep named Dolly has been successfully cloned.
  • John Denver is killed Nasa has many space shuttle launches throughout the year including one to fix the hubble space telescope.
  • Also Diana  Princess of Wales is killed in a car accident in the same year.
  • It was the year of my 50th birthday

The First Party - Barbeque or Garden Party

My ex decided that she should invite 50 people to the party to mark the event. She decided that a pig and a lamb on the spit should be the highlight of the day’s fare. She kept all of this from me as I had said I did not want a bash. So it was a “surprise Party”.

On the day, the caterers pitched up and setup the spit braai’s (barbeques) and I could not stop the event. The guests included family and even old fiends from both school and my rugby playing days. How she managed to find these people and contact them was and still is a complete mystery to me.

The event was fairly low key despite the 50 guests and was a muted event never quite reaching the heights of a great party. On reflection I think that party and the arrangements were more as something to keep her busy than to really give me a party. But so be it.

The Second Party

Fast forward a bit. The events that would lead to a divorce after 34 years were in play and we had bought and moved to a farm in Mphumalanga. I was commuting to Johannesburg to work in Johannesburg.

Events of 2001

George W. Bush succeded Bill Clinton, as the 43rd President of the United States.

2001 was the year Lady Marmalade" by Christina Aguilera was the top tune.

Enron files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy

Douglas Adams author of “Café at the end of the universe” and “So long thanks for the fish” dies

9/11 happened and we see it live on Television.

My ex was turning 50.

The Formal Party

I planned a surprise party for her. The entire village was in on the secret and we planned a sit down supper, music and a dance in the local hotel. 50 invited guests and my children came from out to town to be there.

I thought we had a great party. Life was wonderful. Who knew that a few short months later she would leave me.

Conclusion

So that is the contrasting tale of two fiftieth birthday parties seen through the unseeing eyes of yours truly.

 

Another great hubmob by sixtyorso

53 comments

Tom Rubenoff profile image

Tom Rubenoff 7 years ago from United States

It seems a sad story, but you do not seem a sad man. I would like to hear more about the second party. What was it like? Were there clues there to what would happen later? Are you sorry or happy you made the party?


lyla profile image

lyla 7 years ago from India

Sixtyorso..so touching,brought tears to my eyes.You have written this so..so..I really dont have words.Hope you find peace and happiness.The most poignant party story I've ever read.


ocbill profile image

ocbill 7 years ago from hopefully somewhere peaceful and nice

this happened with a relative of mine 30+ yrs and they parted. Unfortunately one of them parted our world for good. I hope for happiness as well. Who knows. Perhaps one door opens which leads to an opportunity.


The Captain profile image

The Captain 7 years ago from The Carribean

I'm so sorry about your son, Sixty. I had no idea. I would very much like to hear the continuation of the story. What in the world happened? Anyway, I was riveted to the page.


Christoph Reilly profile image

Christoph Reilly 7 years ago from St. Louis

That goes double for me.


blondepoet profile image

blondepoet 7 years ago from australia

Wow Sixty you have been through a lot and here you stand, one of the most beautiful spirits of all. You are like me we have gutso lool. Hell yeah.


Mighty Mom profile image

Mighty Mom 7 years ago from Where Left is Right, CA

Oh Sixty, this is beautiful. The inclusion of what was happening in the world -- good, bad and indifferent -- that year really helps but things in perspective.

I'm very sorry about the loss of your son. I can relate to that horrible place after a death -- even if a party is the best medicine, it's still difficult to swallow. I bet the same surprise party for you would have felt entirely different if given under other circumstances.

As for the party you threw for your wife -- it sounds grand. I would love to know the details, also.

Thank you for sharing so much of your inner self with us! MM


sixtyorso profile image

sixtyorso 7 years ago from South Africa Author

Tom I was very happy to give the party. the people I arranged the party with were conspirators and in fact one of them was the new beau in the eventual break up. I had no clue of the impending breakup and was very happy to give the party. It was grand. The entire village was there and there was great revery, merriment and fun. I think the 50th birthday was a mid-life crisis point.


sixtyorso profile image

sixtyorso 7 years ago from South Africa Author

Lyla thank you for your kind words. Much appreciated


sixtyorso profile image

sixtyorso 7 years ago from South Africa Author

OC thanks for stopping by if you look at my other hubs you will see they are mostly a celebration of life. Thanks for your comments much appreciated


sixtyorso profile image

sixtyorso 7 years ago from South Africa Author

Captain and Christophe. most of the story is in this link divorce. My son was an insurance statistic, 26 years old ,late night alone the car after an night out. We will never know hat happened but is was horrific.


sixtyorso profile image

sixtyorso 7 years ago from South Africa Author

Blondie you too are a special person and I always value it when you stop by and make your generous comments on my hubs.


Writer Rider 7 years ago

Great hub. A lot of stuff-good and bad, happened on your 50th. I'm sorry for the loss of your son, I can't possibly imagine your pain and hope I never experience it.


sixtyorso profile image

sixtyorso 7 years ago from South Africa Author

MM thanks so much for stopping by and giving me your lovely input. it is so much appreciated.


sixtyorso profile image

sixtyorso 7 years ago from South Africa Author

Writer Rider Thanks for stopping by I sincerely hope that you don't have to experience such pain either. But I believe all these life experiences have moulded my character and personality. I am a better person for all the life experiences I have had.


Princessa profile image

Princessa 7 years ago from France

I admire your attitude, it looks to me like you know how to make the most of life. You had good times and bad times (like most of us) but you have the courage to share those moments and the ability to bring out the best of the worst.

xxx


marisuewrites profile image

marisuewrites 7 years ago from USA

I cannot imagine your pain when you lost your son.  I do not want to imagine.  I admire your glow, you have a gift of "glow" and perhaps are not aware of it; but it transcends miles, distance, grief, death, struggle, pleasure, hope, faith, endurance, understanding, even now.

Parties can be deceiving, as most people are "acting" during the time of the event.  I bet people were picking up some undercurrent of emotions at your 50th...and tho' you had fun at the 2nd one...she was obviously "somewhere else" in her mind.  I am sorry for that; why do bad things happen to good people?  By the time I know the answer to that, I'll be in a different place.  =))

Wisdom is never purchased cheaply.  You, are wise.

Milestones of life...

Here's to happier birthday parties ahead!! 


sixtyorso profile image

sixtyorso 7 years ago from South Africa Author

Hi Pricessa Yes life is great and you must take the rough with the mooth, The sour makes the sweet such much more of a delight. On my eptiaph they can say see He has lived!


sixtyorso profile image

sixtyorso 7 years ago from South Africa Author

Marisue Perhaps t some level I knew but perhaps I did not want to know. My pain was perhaps not as great as hers, percieved or real. I am a "trudger" I will keep going forward. I love every moment of life I am blessed and will suck the marrow out of life to the last drop. If my teeth were strong enough I would even eat the bone.

I love people like you you perhaps even define my life. I am always so greatful when you stop by, comment and touch my life!

Thank you so much!


blondepoet profile image

blondepoet 7 years ago from australia

I only do it for my favourite hubbers of all time like you Sixty :)


sixtyorso profile image

sixtyorso 7 years ago from South Africa Author

Aaw shucks, blush blush what can I say!


blondepoet profile image

blondepoet 7 years ago from australia

You could say "Throw another shrimp on the barby", LMAO


sixtyorso profile image

sixtyorso 7 years ago from South Africa Author

I could! So long as we have enough good wine to go round!


blondepoet profile image

blondepoet 7 years ago from australia

I am feeling really lost lately here Sixty with this challenge going on. I think it is crazy, and for what.!!!! We could all leave for the month and no-one would notice lol. So many are going Pest, GT, C.C JJ,....


sixtyorso profile image

sixtyorso 7 years ago from South Africa Author

Yes BP I am afraid that the "unintended consequences" are real. I wonder if that was not part of a broader plan to negate the cosy "chat room" environment that we had created. Also I believe there was a strong "commercial" aspect to the challenge to get more ad-sense viewable pages which are after all revenue generating for hubpages. Oh well we are still here. Are we?


marisuewrites profile image

marisuewrites 7 years ago from USA

Thank you for your warm words sixtyorso, I feel the same, you are so sensitive and passionate about life and I connect with that.  I, too, keep going even when I can't see very far ahead.  My job now is chopping away at what optimism I keep giving daily birth to, and it is a painful experience.  I will be glad to get to Oklahoma in a few more months.  We had to delay it to help out one of our sons.   Sigh, but it could not be helped.

Still, I keep going, like the diehard battery that I am....and your comments and comraderee help to keep me going.  I agree, blondepoet,  I feel like I'm writing and only receiving the echoes of my own words in an empty warehouse.  sigh....is 30 days up???  it seems 300   Hello??   anyone there???   =)))


sixtyorso profile image

sixtyorso 7 years ago from South Africa Author

Hi Marisue a few of us still reading and commenting but we had turn off the new hub alerts. So now I have to troll hubativity but my time zone works against me on that one. I have too much to wade through.


marisuewrites profile image

marisuewrites 7 years ago from USA

I hope all will get back to normal soon...I am so surprised that HubPages did this; without much thought of any of the possible negative outcomes.  sigh.

still, I always read you!! I am floating thru my writers I love to read, there's just too much of the other...I'll probably get to it eventually. have a great day. I'm off to corporate hell...


sixtyorso profile image

sixtyorso 7 years ago from South Africa Author

Marisue Have a great day anyway.


blondepoet profile image

blondepoet 7 years ago from australia

Let's all go on a cruise for a few weeks wooo hoooo


marisuewrites profile image

marisuewrites 7 years ago from USA

Yep, I will Clive, have to shake off the hard things, and look for the good in the day. It's cloudy and drizzly here in Florida today and that's always a good thing. Toooo much sun here!! Blondepoet....lets go!!! I'm so ready for lighter sweeter days!! =))


blondepoet profile image

blondepoet 7 years ago from australia

My bags are packed can't wait to be lounging on the deck with a few hard cocktails LMAO


sixtyorso profile image

sixtyorso 7 years ago from South Africa Author

Badco Thank you for you kind words much appreciated. I am humbled by your the generosity of your praise.

Blondie and Marisue. yes lets go! Yaaaaay!


sixtyorso profile image

sixtyorso 7 years ago from South Africa Author

Thank you

Enjoy yours too. I will be back on air Monday or so.


blondepoet profile image

blondepoet 7 years ago from australia

Hey dear wee Sixty, I'm packed. Damn I get around am sailing with BC and Cindy somewhere...meeting Sufi under the docks...playing poker on the Captain's ship....a woman's work is never done. Going on a cruise with u and marisue


sixtyorso profile image

sixtyorso 7 years ago from South Africa Author

Hi Blondie Great stuff! I wish I could find all the bloody hubs you are playing on. Oh well perhaps tomorrow I will get a chance. Baby I could go cruising with you LOL


Just_Rodney profile image

Just_Rodney 7 years ago from Johannesberg South Africa, The Gold Mine City

Hi there Sixty, well eventually got around to read, finally, the hubs again. No excuse but this place is not the same.

It smacks of Colonization principles and now that the only glue of this once tranquil haven of avid writers has changed. There are so few of us left.

It appears that the only thing that is driving the hubs is the Dollar, AdSense, and how Google favours us.

Well this is not the place to air those views.

Great hub and yes the half century parties and festivities I think in retrospect pathos, and angst.

Over the years I had catered, spit braais, for at least three fiftieth events and all of those had that similar bitter/sweet mask of tragedy/comedy, that shows us life goes on, kicks you you and smiles on you, Ce La Vie. The Band Plays On.

Again thanks for the hub, and the floodgate of memories are once again breached.


sixtyorso profile image

sixtyorso 7 years ago from South Africa Author

Hi Rod Don't worry your views on hub pageshave been aired extensively in all sorts of places. Maybe sanity and the hubbers will return in due course.

Your comments in the hub so true. My hubs seem to be mainly about life.


blondepoet profile image

blondepoet 7 years ago from australia

Bring life-boats though Sixty after we drink all those cocktails, bask all that sun, whoop it up, there is bound to be some kind of disaster of some sort as I will be aboard lol.


sixtyorso profile image

sixtyorso 7 years ago from South Africa Author

Blondie Let the fun begin! Bring bail money in your shoe!


sixtyorso profile image

sixtyorso 7 years ago from South Africa Author

Badco Thank you enjoy your weekend likewise. BTW I have tickets for the Super 14 final Bulls vs Chiefs tomorrow. @Blondie wish you were here but I guess I will just have to take my dearly beloved.


marisuewrites profile image

marisuewrites 7 years ago from USA

Ok, guys I'm ready for the cruise...but I warn ya, I'm a dancin' fool!!! =))) wouldn't we all have fun?? we could talk until sunup and write a hub together...ahahah


AEvans profile image

AEvans 7 years ago from SomeWhere Out There

Well good things and sad things happened on your 50th Birthday , you must share when you hit 70. :)


blondepoet profile image

blondepoet 7 years ago from australia


sixtyorso profile image

sixtyorso 7 years ago from South Africa Author

Marisue believe me on a cruise you do dance the night away. I never quite got to write a hub but did a few comments. Bandwidth was a bit pricey.


sixtyorso profile image

sixtyorso 7 years ago from South Africa Author

AE I will do so but perhaps I should think about doing one about my sixtieth. The pic on virtual friends is from that party. That was just a great fun black tie event at my club.


sixtyorso profile image

sixtyorso 7 years ago from South Africa Author

Hi Blondie For some strange reason my pic and CJ Stone's don't come up when I open the Hub? So I guess I can't see any resemblance! For now that is.


marisuewrites profile image

marisuewrites 7 years ago from USA

All the stress I've been under lately, I' d either be a partyin' fool or a party drip. LOL I'm willing to try it out tho....dang, I'd like to have some fun just to see if I still know how!!! =))


sixtyorso profile image

sixtyorso 7 years ago from South Africa Author

Marisue with your irrepressible nature, you can always find something to smile about, if not an outright laugh. Go gettem girl!You will certanly have fun anyhow.


sixtyorso profile image

sixtyorso 7 years ago from South Africa Author

Badco Why thank you and you too!


Lgali profile image

Lgali 7 years ago

Great hub and yes the half century parties I wish you more like this


sixtyorso profile image

sixtyorso 7 years ago from South Africa Author

Thank you Lgali and thanks fo stopping by and enjoying!


sixtyorso profile image

sixtyorso 7 years ago from South Africa Author

Getting there. getting there! You have a good 'un too.

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