It was 3 months before my 40th birthday. Taking a walk on the beach, as I so love to do occasionally, I thought how blessed I was to have another year added to my life. Not everyone was so lucky. Normally, I celebrate my birthday quietly with a few close friends; no hassle. Not that I had not seen all kinds of celebrations going on, but not for me. I was therefore taken aback when one day, out of the blue, my best friend came up to me and shrieked, “It is almost your 40th birthday. We must have a party!” I looked at her like a deer in the headlights.
“P-l-e-a-s-e! “P-l-e-a-s-e,” she pleaded, a pained expression on her face, like she was going to die if I said “no.” And when I just kept quiet, she batted her long false lashes at me and gave a wry smile.
“And who is going to be doing all that work?” I asked.
“I am,” she squealed, taking that as a “yes,” and shooting her hands up in the air like she had just won a medal. “AND IT MUST BE THE TALK OF THE TOWN!!” She added joyfully, giggling, jiggling and doing a jolly good dance.
‘Gossip Queen,’ aka’ Lady Whistledown,’ is what I call my best friend. A social butterfly, she is the very opposite of me. There is no high-society party she has not attended, whether or not she knows the host. I mean, I have seen her negotiate, bargain, and even kneel down to be invited. I don’t know how she does it, but she seems to know every RSVP at every high-society event. And even when she doesn’t, she seems to know someone who knows someone. She can be a little bit, let me say, ‘crazy’ if I may say so. The funny thing is that in all the time that I have known her, she has never celebrated anything herself, not even her own birthday. For someone who has never celebrated anything herself, she seems to have lots of opinions on other people’s events. Whose party vibed and whose was a flop? Whose banquet went well and whose was a disaster? Which colours stood out and which were dull? So, I am definitely not getting cold feet about putting my party into her able hands.
“We must absolutely have a theme!” she yelled.
Wait a minute. I had never thought of it. A theme? Now the birthday bash was beginning to sound like fun.
Talking about themes, the first thing that jumped into my mind was Bridgerton. Ever since I chanced upon Netflix’s Bridgerton series, I have been taking my chance on living the life of a princess in my imagination, which takes me back to my childhood. I remember asking my mom once whether I would ever be a princess. Her response? That I was the princess of her heart. But that didn’t come with a robe, tiara, or sash, so I concluded that it was better to be a real princess than a princess of hearts. I know better now.
What better time to live out my princess dreams? Guess who is going to be the diamond of the season? I put myself forward! I can see myself doled out in a regent-era ball gown, sparkly jewellery and accessories, and a glimmering tiara.
While I am busy dreaming up my theme, the gossip queen is busy giving me a lecture on why I should have a theme for my birthday. Okay, Professor, bring it on. I am all ears!
She walks all around me like we are in a classroom, and says,
“The theme must reflect the celebrant.”
That’s exactly what I’m referring to. Pomp and pageantry are my thing. I was born to be a princess. Elegance, elegance, elegance is the name of my game, and that is what a Bridgerton theme would bring to my party. “Preach on, Professor!” I yell. She stops talking, gives me a cautionary look and taps my head gently with her pen as if to say, “Tut-tut naughty, naughty child! Stop disturbing my class. ” Then, she dishes out her second point.
“Having a theme makes it easier to plan your party.”
Sure, I can see the point in that. Now that I have chosen my Bridgerton theme, I can easily envision the setting, the attire, and the venue. Professor Party has already started suggesting some star-studded venues. It is like she would be paying for the party. She writes something in her book and then moves on to her third point.
“Having a theme sets the mood of the party and motivates the guests to get involved.”
That is good because I don’t want my first ever self-held party to be boring, with guests looking at their watches and wishing they could be somewhere else. I can almost see all the guests arriving in their ball gowns and dapper suits. That is what I am talking about. I need this party to stand out from all others. Now that I know the theme, I can imagine the kinds of party games that would suit the occasion. Professor Party is pacing up and down, looking all serious as she makes her point.
“Having a theme would make our party memorable.”
Hellooow, “our” party? Last time I checked, this was my party. Anyway, on a serious note, I really need this party to be memorable. I am not thinking of dishing out such money only for the guests to forget about it when their backs are turned. It must be fun. The decors, entertainment, setting, and food must exude splendour and luxury enough to create lasting memories in the minds of our guests. I must have a photobooth and a violinist as well. At last, the professor says with a relish,
“Having a theme reflects your creativity.”
Okay, Prof, I think I might be leaving this bit to you. Think outside the box. Put all your experience into action. Bring out all the sparkle, glitter, and glamour.
So that is how I came to have the best 40th birthday bash ever. It was Bridgerton, and it was swell!! Check out our pictures. Next time you are thinking of a party, don’t forget that a theme helps.
Photo credits: Cynthia Okoe Photography