Our farewell to Summer and why I think pinterest kind of sucks…

A couple of days before the kids went back to school we decided to have a semi-impromptu end of summer water bash.
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It was a crazy day for everyone but I’d decided that this thing was going to happen come what may and so I grimly forged on. I only got around to procuring the 200 or so water balloons a couple of hours before the party  (harder to do at the end of summer than one might think)….but I have my sources man, and after a frantic text or two…I got a tip about a gas station that had a stash.  I cleaned out their supply and left feeling pretty smug about having beat the system…. yes we had just a couple of hours before the party was due to start but what can I say? I like to keep things interesting.
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I did not however procure any sort of attachment with which to fill the balloons but hey, I was sure we could figure something out. I dropped the gas station balloons at home, told the kids to get to work and continued doing several other unrelated errands thinking that it would be no big deal to have everything ready to go in time once I finally settled at home base.
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I soon got a phone call which assured me that this would not in fact be the case. The kids had “tried EVERYTHING” and couldn’t get the balloons filled. This necessitated an emergency detour to the dollar store to get a very tiny funnel. Which proved to not be tiny enough which meant that we were wondering around the house having dismantled various faucets to varying degrees in order to get this water balloon show on the road. We tried a syringe, we tried a water gun, a squirt bottle, a turkey baster, you name it we tried it. Eventually I was able to find a very VERY tiny funnel stashed in the back of a random drawer, and that, together with some serious faucet fenagling and a now permanent case of carpal tunnel syndrome,  finally worked. I estimated that once the learning curve was complete, it took Gracie and I approximately 3 minutes per balloon and my hands have now frozen into claws.  Imagine my delight then, when I walked across the road a few minutes before the party kicked off, to find our neighbour nonchalantly filling balloons with his hose, upon which was a handy dandy attachment which allows one to fill water ballons in about 5 seconds with a casual flick of the wrist. Turns out that if I’d just gone to a regular store I’d have found the same….on clearance. 
Bygones.
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We had a great time…how can one not? Take kids, add water. It’s a great time. No need for pinterest or pretty dessert tables or individually labeled water bottles and elaborate party favours.
Fill a few water balloons (also known as going to the 7th circle of hell), add kids. And…good times.
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Speaking of pinterest….Ok let’s put aside my pet peeve which is that  it has taken all the fun out of coming up with something creative and original which used to be one of my most favourite past-times.  Now nothing is original. Everyone is so jaded.   I used to love coming up with original ideas for parties but now every time I do someone says airly, “oh you must have got that off of pinterest”. Um no, I actually got it off of my own brain but  I’m sure you will find it on pinterest if you look. Pinterest has put to rest any delusions I may have that I am creative or original. Anything I do, someone has already done. And no doubt bigger or better than I could have ever conceived of.
Apart from all THAT….I feel like pinterest has crippled us in a way. Aside from taking away any motivation to be independently creative it has set the bar way too high for real life.
Hey, I have a pinterest account. I love the inspiration and resources as much as the next girl who is never going to do any of that stuff…but I think that even if it’s  subconsciously, it’s kind of stifled our spontaneity.  I think it can make people too intimidated to just throw something together with a few hours of notice. And those are almost always the best parties.
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I would bet the farm on the fact that nobody would have had any more fun at our little bash if we’d had paper straws sticking out of mason jars of lemonade, rather than a broken cooler filled with bottled water.
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I’m pretty sure it would have been no more memorable if we’d sent out elaborate invitations two weeks earlier or brainstormed for hours over the entertainment.
Sending out a few “pass it on” texts the day before served as invitations. Food was potluck, We played 3 or 4 simple water games, most of which I came up with as we were playing them loosely adapted from games me or my kids had played before and there ya go.
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Because I had invested virtually no time and just a few dollars into the venture, I was relaxed and had a good time, which meant people weren’t getting snapped at and I didn’t leave my house trashed to return to, exhausted, that night. We tossed the balloon bits and pizza boxes and all that was left were the happy memories.
The low key nature  of this bash meant that I am way more likely to throw something fun together at the spur of the moment again.  Don’t get me wrong, I do think elaborate soirees have their place and are totally fun. I mean hi….I’m the queen of over the top parties. But not everything has to be that way.
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Toward the end of Summer I did notice a huge silver lining to my low energy state. I stopped caring so much.  I had to. I just physically did not have the energy to care.  If my house was a pigsty and my kids wanted to have their friends over, I didn’t care…if they wanted to have a sleepover I didn’t think, “no we need to plan this for a time when I can do this properly and make everyone a good breakfast and plan fun midnight snacks”. I was like…”yeah sure…whatevs” and threw a bag of  generic cheese puffs and a few boxes of junky cereal in their general direction and everyone was cool.
It helps that really, my kids have cool friends. They really do. I absolutely love spending time with our little community of kids. They are funny, kind, polite, energetic, happy and did I mention..FUNNY? I love to laugh and I love that my kids have friends that I genuinely enjoy being around. It would suck if they were jerks. It’s a bonus that I really like their parents too.
Anyway…here’s to not caring so much and just doing stuff.  No more putting things off until things are perfect and we can do it “right”. Because that often means it won’t happen at all.  I wish I’d stopped caring so much years ago.  Life is way more fun when it’s not picture pefect. Here’s to many more pinterest unworthy gatherings…..stick around summer!

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3 comments:

JDaniel4's Mom said...

I have to avoid looking on Pinterest if I have post I am planning on a topic. I really don't want to know that many others have had that thought too. It is fun to think I am being orginal.

Moore Minutes said...

You always say things smart and I like that. ;)

Love the end of summer bash idea too!

Anonymous said...

I have never been there,and plan to keep it that way!
Loved, LOVED your water bash. Sounded delightful and the spontaneity is what did it! Well done!!! Summer, kids and water! What an awesome combo.