As I got up Saturday morning at the crack of noon, it occurred to me that over the past couple of days, I’d developed a pretty strange sleeping pattern. I’d get the sleep I needed, on average anyways. I’d sleep five hours one night, ten the other, it’d add up to 15 hours of sleep total or 7.5 hours of sleep per night. It seemed a pretty strange way of doing things, but at least I’d feel well rested every other day.
Sleeping till noon did bear some implications on my day. I did initially have rather a lot of plans for the day, the most important of these being that Saturday was the day of Tina’s uncle celebrating his 40th birthday and I had been hired to plate and serve foods and drinks for the occasion. We weren’t leaving for the party until 4 PM’ish, but I’d hoped to get a lot of other things done before setting off.. But what with my deciding to sleep till past noon only to wake up to a fridge completely lacking something suitable to eat for breakfast, most of my plans got canceled in favor of finding food and getting ready to head out. Tina, being the sweetheart that she is, did offer that I could drop by for lunch, but that would have kept me from showering and getting ready which would also have been bad.. So I settled for staying home, running to the store and scrambling around feverishly to get food on the table before showering and getting ready and heading out – all while chatting happily with Tina on MSN, of course, as I still like to pretend I’m good in the whole multitasking department.
Needless to say, things got hectic in the end. My understanding was that Tina would be picking me up at around 4:15 PM and as such I didn’t even consider showering or starting to get ready till some point past 3 PM. I also somehow forgot to consider that I’ve been growing my hair long for three years now and that long hair takes longer to wash, dry and tame.. I don’t know how I keep doing that.. Either way, I ended up eventually doing pretty good time until Tina shot me a message asking if I’d have time to stop by her place and help her pick out shoes to match her outfit.. Which I’d of course love to do, but it also meant that I’d have to be ready and out the door about five minutes after receiving said request. A task I of course managed because I’m simply that damn good.
So, a little before 4 PM I was out the door and on my way down to Tina’s as fast as my legs could carry me and my new shoes and fancy clothes permitted. I’m not one to usually dress very fancy like, so dodging my way down dusty paths, zig-zagging between mopeds, happily newly wed couples and random drunken strangers while trying not to get my new clothes sweaty and dirty was an experience to say the least. But I managed. Barely. Almost. Which is to say that by the time I tumbled in through Tina’s front door, she remarked “Oh, you look good.. But there’s a huge smudge on you right there!” – Well, I try.. And the smudge wasn’t something that Tina’s expert advice and a barely damp paper towel couldn’t fix. Tina, as could be expected, looked smashing and picking out shoes turned out to be only a matter of my confirming that the ones she had already picked out looked great on her.. Which wasn’t much of a problem for me as they were red stilettos, so, umm, yeah.. Duh!
Having thus taken care of smudges and confirmed that Tina did in fact look very pretty, we set off towards the small neighbor town of Vejen where the party was to be held, chatting happily and listening to a bit of metal on the way – as we usually do. Tina eventually dropped me off by her uncle’s place before heading on herself to pick up her grandmother and finish a few things before returning later to take part in the festivities. As she drove off, I got acquainted with her uncle, aunt and their dog Whiskey and set out to explore the perimeter.
I should point out that I have next to no experience in the field of catering and serving at parties, I just somehow once in the past got tricked into doing it by Tina’s parents and apparently her entire family took such a liking to me and my efforts that they’re now regularly requesting my help for such chores. I’m not entirely sure why, but I’m not complaining as the money is pretty good and I do enjoy me a challenge and meeting new people. My lack of experience should prove an interesting facet this very night, though. I don’t know why, but I’d somehow guessed that they were hiring more people than just me for the job so during the tour of the house, the garden, the tent where the party was being held and the various caches of beverages and food, I was sorta starting to wonder when the others would show up but eventually deducted that they weren’t going to show..
As Tina’s uncle, Lars, at this point was on his second beer and aunt Pia seemed a little stressed out to a point where she was uncertain about the contents and stage of the menu she’d ordered and whether or not it would actually be delivered, this realization meant that I suddenly had to start taking additional mental notes and start actually planning things in my head. It also led me to conclude that I’d probably just have to go with the flow throughout the evening and improvise at times.. All in all, I didn’t have time to worry, though, because by the time they were done showing me around and reminding me not to hit my head on the low door frame that I kept bumping into, guests started arriving and the first calls of “where the hell is the food?” were heard.
Luckily, the caterer arrived with the food at around the same time that the last guests made their arrival. So I quickly paid off the man and started carrying the obscene amounts of food into the kitchen while guests mingled and had drinks. I’m not entirely sure how many people Uncle Lars and Aunt Pia had ordered for, but they certainly got their money’s worth. Some of the food arrived on serving platters, some had just been dropped into aluminum trays. Some had been carved, some needed carving. It was interesting.. But by way of an electric knife, whatever serving dishes I managed to pull from various cupboards, and despite of Tina’s dad who had snuck into the kitchen partially to make my life hell and partially to steal food, I managed to get food on the table while guests busied themselves having drinks and getting seated.
The food was being kept and prepared in the kitchen while the party took place across the yard in a large tent situated on the lawn, so I got a fair bit of exercise running back and forth which was all good. When guests were seated and had started to dig into both food, wine, beers and what have you, I was reasonably sure that the worst was over.. Which, of course, was entirely not the case, because now began the grueling task of keeping the serving platters full, the beer supply stocked, all while trying not to drop things, keep myself from crashing into guests who’d snuck outside for smoking and also answering various questions and performing various chores.. All while keeping an eye on the clock and the natural progression of the whole master plan – which had been related to me once, in a hurry. It was interesting, but for the most part worked out, even when people started fighting over whose song or which piece of entertainment were to come on next..
In short, it was quite a mouthful, but also quite fun, even if I didn’t know what I was doing half of the time but still had to pretend that I had everything under control when people dropped into the kitchen to say hi, chill, hang out and talk – which a surprising number of people actually did. Many of whom I’d never seen or spoken to before, but also familiar faces such as Tina’s parents, Tina herself with brother and brother’s girlfriend in tow and of course the dear hosts who most certainly seemed to be enjoying the whole ordeal.. Good times!
I eventually got to sit down and have some food myself at around 10 PM and was also joined by Tina, brother, etc for a beer in the kitchen before I was officially relieved of my duties and told by aunt Pia to go relax, sit down and have a few beers.. See, that was the best part of the whole ordeal: Since I was depending on Tina for transportation and what not and she, given the fact that there was an open bar all night, certainly wasn’t driving anywhere that evening, the plan was that once the food and everything was out of the way, I’d simply join the party, have a few beers and attempt not to make too much of a fool of myself in front of Tina’s family. So essentially, I got paid for the ordeal, got my fill of free food and eventually a party as well. Not an entirely bad way to spend a Saturday evening!
I joined the party at around 11 PM which was about five hours after everybody else and I pretty quickly felt that.. Let’s just say that mostly everybody else but me were in pretty high spirits and there was some catching up to do.. On the other hand, I’d been at it pretty hard the weekend before, so I wasn’t really in the mood to catch up too much. As a result, I kicked back in a safe little corner with the few people that I knew, popped open a beer.. Which eventually turned into a few beers.. and watched the mayhem ensue.. And as far as mayhem goes, I’ll have to hand it to Tina’s family!
Her uncle, the birthday boy, was pretty well liquored up by this time, as was his dear wife and in many ways they seemed to act as the catalysts for the party because everybody else just seemed to follow their lead, resulting in a lot of really drunk, really happy and fucking funny people. I’d barely managed to sit down before I witnessed Uncle Lars receiving the wedgie to end all wedgies at the hand of one of his friends who managed to literally nearly pull Lars’ boxers up over his head, effectively destroying the boxers in the process. Which Tina’s brother, Kim, may or may not have taken as an invitation to break more garment.. At any rate, it wasn’t long before he walked up to me, took one look at my new button up shirt, nodded and declared that I needed to show more skin before grabbing me by the collar with both hands and pulling in each direction, effectively ripping my shirt open, popping two buttons and baring my chest. I suppose it was his subtle way of saying “I’m drunk, welcome to the party!” – and what a party it was! I’m not generally very comfortable about showing skin, but I suppose after Kim’s makeover, I’d have to. Which also meant that I’d have to get some more beers in order to become more comfortable with the whole situation. Luckily, there were no shortage of people willing to drink them with me and no shortage of odd and weird sights and sounds: To name but a few, I saw a moped on the dance floor, a one armed man getting told off for beating people over the head with a small scale flag pole, I saw Tina getting dropped on her back from two meters in the air (poor thing).. And three generations headbanging to AC/DC. Now, I come from a family where parties can get pretty wild, but this was an absolute riot and good times were had by all until way into the wee hours when Tina decided that we were apparently heading out to take a look at the town..
And so we did. Or, well, made it all the way downtown just to discover that absolutely nothing was going on down there, so after a long and grueling walk, we just gave in and called it a night. Kim’s girlfriend’s dad had been nice enough to offer to come pick us up at any hour, so at around 3:30 we gave him a call and being the cool father that he was, he set out on a long drive to pick us up.. While we set out to get some pizza and figure out sleeping arrangements for the night..
Which were an interesting story of their own. Tina and I were too far away from home to sleep in our own beds and had originally thought that we’d be spending the night at Tina’s parents. Tina’s parents, however, not only left the party early, they’d also forgotten about the arrangements and owing to this and various personal issues, sleeping there was not and option. So Tina had spent the night exploring various alternative sleeping arrangements. It was eventually decided that we’d spend the night at her brother’s house which was all fine and good, though apparently Kim and his girlfriend weren’t spending the night there, too, but were rather going to be staying at his girlfriend’s place. I’m not entirely sure of the reasoning applied here but the result was that we waited for our ride to show up, drove by Tina’s uncle’s house to pick up some stuff, then by Kim’s house where Tina and I were dropped off and let in as the rest of the crew traveled on to new destinations.
Regardless of the reasoning, I was pretty tired at this point and was happy to just have somewhere to sleep, so while Tina got ready and settled into her brother’s bed, I got out a sleeping bag I’d borrowed from her and got settled on the couch. Which proved a little difficult in the pitch darkness of a strange house, but after some bumping into stuff, I eventually managed to find the couch and the sleeping bag and curl up for a few hours of sleep.. The clock had now past 5 AM, but it was still to be a good two hours before I got any sleep at all which I found kinda strange considering it had been such a long tiring day..