Shared Stories: Party Invitations from 2014

In this essay, Cynthia Vanasse looks at last year’s events through a humorous lens. Shared Stories is a weekly column featuring articles by participants in a writing class at the Norwalk Senior Center. Bonnie Mansell is the instructor for this free class offered through the Cerritos College Adult Education Program.  Curated by Carol Kearns

By Cynthia Vanasse

I wish someone would have informed my teeth that they’re too old for a “Coming out Party.” They wouldn’t have listened. Their definition of a party had nothing to do with a good time; it was a scheme to deplete my bank account and teach me that an implant has nothing to do with indoor greenery.

In a similar vein, the tile I installed four years ago decided to join my teeth with a “Coming Apart Party.”  Little crumply pieces began to show themselves in the grout.  A few of the tiles were working free. A quick call to my contractor proved that getting old is not the only reason for falling apart. My subcontractor did a “lousy job.” Oh well, I’d certainly rather have a bad tile job than a bad dentist!

I guess the tile must have been talking to my ceiling window. This makes sense as the same wonderful subcontractor did this too. After a recent rainfall, my beautiful, expensive, silk rug had been treated to an unauthorized bath. Mashing my teeth, I yelled “help” to the same wizard who fixed the tile.

My best pal, Quincy, decided this was the year to invite me to a “Support Your Vet Party.” He thought Dr. K. needed a new consultation room and that I wouldn’t mind paying for it. He is 13 years old and has troubles far exceeding his teeth.

To make my “Vet Party” even more fun, in his parking lot I crashed into a wall covered with vines; I thought it was a bush. So I invited my body repair expert to join the “Delete Cindy’s Account” bash.  By this time, my teeth were beginning to look like “small potatoes.”

Of course, we all have a seat at Uncle Sam’s festive April table.  I’ve tried to not accept the pleasure of his company, but my C.P.A. didn’t think this was a good idea.  So I again found myself at a “Number Crunching Event.”  I think I was also the one being crunched.  I added a few dollars to an investment giving Sam the right to deplete dollars from my Social Security.  I didn’t find anything social about this.

If you live in California, we are all a part of the “DWW Party” (Don’t Waste Water).  Things have become very dry—not as in humor or a drink. I have gritted my teeth and given up gardening. There are no more flowers, vegetables, or green lawn in my life. Long live cacti and succulents! 

To top off the year I was asked to an expensive dinner party at a well-known restaurant. My teeth and I were in rapture with thoughts of sinking into wild salmon. The evening did not start off well, as we were ushered through a cozy, intimate setting out to a cold, white tent; this would have been great for Santa.  

Things went downhill from there. The salmon didn’t go downhill however; it was from a still-water farm. This fish’s last trip was to our table in all his over-cooked glory. We asked for some mashed potatoes, or anything to give this fish company; we were informed seven dollars would buy mashed potatoes. All of a sudden, the rolls looked better than before. I would call this dinner a “Don’t Return Policy.” 

Experience has proved that life is one long party and we are lucky to be a part of the celebration.  I can hardly wait for next year’s invitations.