Tuesday, June 1, 2010
When I watched the quirky, poignant movie One Week last year, I resonated with the main character's love of big monuments. I have no idea why, but I love the kitchiness of these big fiberglass monoliths. Of course, there's the Big Apple on the 401 and the Big Nickel in Sudbury, but I was very very happy to go have my picture taken with the Big Axe in New Brunswick and the Big Pineapple in Australia, and was quite disappointed not to find the Big Banana. (You'd think a big banana would be hard to hide, wouldn't you?
This past weekend was my grandmother's 90th birthday and I was the main event organizer. I was thinking about the party this morning and realizing that I adore planning big events, and always have.
As a child, I came home one day to announce to my mother that we would be hosting a backyard skating show as a school fundraiser. We lived directly across from the school and my mother recalls her growing horror as swarms of children headed our way to watch a group of us skate to the Mexican Hat Dance.
In university, I loved running the kitchen at retreats. For me, the challenge was to cook the best tasting, simplest, healthiest. most gourmet food for a fraction of the cost of previous retreat budgets that had majored on Eggo waffles and prepared lasagna.
Last fall, my mania got out of control. I single-handedly cooked for a mostly sitdown, many coursed fundraising dinner for 35 people in my home. I was the Big Banana that day! The big tired banana.
And then, this weekend. This time, I had a funder for the event (my uncle Jack, who lives in Australia and wanted to host this party but couldn't really plan it at a distance). We started planning last fall. The theme was lilies of the valley. My grandma wanted something simple - but there should be a shrimp ring and no paper napkins. She wanted no alcohol; my uncle wanted people greeted at the door with options of beer and wine. Would we send out invitations? (yes) Would we advertise in the paper? (yes) The decisions were endless, but I still enjoyed almost everything. I forgot a crucial photo in the memory book we had made - which necessitated a reprint. Other than that, the day went swimmingly and my grandmother was delighted to be surrounded by 200 people who adored her.
She was the Big Cheese and I was happy to have my picture taken with her.