Thursday, April 08, 2004

Birthday at McDonalds Part Deux

Today was Bruce's birthday party. It isn't his birthday, his birthday is on Thursday. Today was just the party and a party it was. There were at least 20 kids treasure hunting in an area of 2000 sq ft, built up. There were kids on bookshelves, drapped over the piano, climbing over a 42 inch Sony Vega television, smearing chocolate on themselves, their clothes and the surrounding furniture. The couch definitely needs to be upholstered. I don't think it could see another birthday, although I suspect, the couch will not be changed/reupholstered/thrown out until the kids are both in school and they know the eventual outcome of smearing drippy chocolate hands on said piece of furniture. There were kids everywhere! Now, if you had a treasure/scavenger hunt requiring you to find children of any age between 2 and 12, we had them, in excess.

My brother, K, was genuinely horrified at how the kids were tearing apart his house right in front of him. He was also exhuasted by the fact that his wife,T had made the pinata, an ice cream cake, the gift packets with homemade chocolates and put up decorations in the house. It was alot of work. When K told me, I declared that if my children wanted parties, they either had to organise it themselves or have it at McDonalds. The kind folk at McDonld's would do it for us, at a fee of course, but if it saves preparation, the hassle of cleaning up and more importantly, entertaining the kids, then why not, I say. K agreed wholeheartedly with me but he also said it was an "Ng" thing.

We have this running joke in our family that most of our family, the "Ngs" married Tans. And there is a great difference between the Ng and the Tan. The Ngs are practical, find the path of least resistance, do not like making a big deal of things, grumpy on occasion and have no qualms showing it. The Tans, they're creative, they go all out to make a big deal of any occasion, no effort is too great, will work till they drop and mess up the whole house to get something done. So there. K and I would at a drop of a hat organise parties at McDonalds because at the end of it, you come back to a house still standing. My mother and K's wife, T, have shown today and many other occasions how way out they will go to make the party different and enjoyable. My question is, how much of this will Bruce remember when he's 21? But that's the cynical Ng talking.

My brother did caution me about having married a Tan myself. I might want parties to be held at McDonalds. But the Tan in my life may not. We'll see.

I've met people who divide people they meet into different groups, essentially your in and out groups. One girl I met in Stuttgart would divide people into people that she could and could not do the Amazing Race with. Then there was another one who divided people up into those who watched The West Wing and those who did not. Yet another who drew a line between people who would group themselves according to gender and those who grouped themselves according to sexuality. Mine, far less complicated- the Tans and the Ngs. My world basically fits into these two groups of people, even though I know as many non-Tans and Ngs as I know Tans and Ngs. Actually, the only Ngs I know, I'm related to all of them. Ooops.

My flatmate Jo, once christened the strong characteristics in my family as the "Ng-ness" in us. Usually, it's said with negative connotations, seeing that it is in every one of my siblings and I that when we get grumpy, we get grumpy and make life for the people around us- the Tans or pseudo Tans- miserable. Plus, we all have the evil eye in different degrees of powerful-ness and we all have the ability to make anyone cower with the use of our evil-eye beam.

So there, I'm an Ng and I'm proud of it.
I won't make the birthday cakes. I'd buy them.
I won't cook up enough food to feed an army, I'd cater it.
I won't allow my house to get messed up, I'd book somewhere else to get messed up.
I won't make my own invitation cards, that's what Kalms is for.
I would hold parties at McDonalds.

It'll still be a great party, just not done the hard way.

I'm an Ng and I'm proud of it, that's why I'm still Ms Ng and not Mrs Tan. :)

Ondine tossed this thought in at 15:46

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