Had a 40th birthday party at my place last Saturday. No, it wasn’t mine, but thank you for thinking it was. My friend Kim’s longtime buddy Mike was the birthday boy. And the theme – wait for it – was bacon.
A bacon-inspired soiree is new to me, however, if you Google bacon parties, there are many who have already hoisted a piece of fried fatty meat in place of a glass of champagne. Granted, bacon decorations are slim out there (you can purchase a lovely bacon pennant -sturdy and reusable, in case you were wondering), but there are numerous bacon-inspired presents including soap, air fresheners, dental floss, bandages, and wallets, all either smelling, tasting or looking like bacon. Are you religious? No worries, you can start you day off praying to the Patron Saint of Bacon in lieu of a high cholesterol breakfast.
To bulk up the decorations, my roommate Kim worked hard into the night designing, drawing, and cutting red construction paper in the shape of bacon and gluing white strips on the front to hang around the living and dining room. In addition, she printed pictures with various bacon-inspired slogans – a flag with the caption God Bless Bacon, a little boy eating a piece of bacon, and a particularly creepy little girl ogling her plate of bacon.
All 30 of the people invited attended and Mike at least appeared to be having a great time socializing, opening his presents and answering the door to greet all his guests while in a tall felt hat with faux candles shooting out the top. I did suggest that we invite a Bacon brother, but for some reason, no one was interested.
The music, organized by another friend, was circa 1972 with tunes such as April Wine, The Stones, The Supremes, Frank Zappa, CCR, and Chuck Berry’s hit My Ding-a-Ling. “I bet you and I are the only ones who remember this music.” The DJ said to me. I pointed out that while I was only around eight years old at the time, I definitely remembered the 70’s as I was not old enough for this period to fly by in a drug-infested blur.
The big deal of the evening were the two cakes that yet another friend provided. A savory one made of layers of meat loaf, cream cheese, and bacon with a mashed potato frosting and pieces of bacon on top as well as a vanilla cake with caramelized bacon on the sides held up by a to-die-for creamy frosting made with mascarpone. I know of no other person who could have pulled this off but Bebbie the magnificent (who also swooped in and got the last minute party details completed).
As usual, there’s always a belle of the ball, and at this party it was Camille, my 20 year old cat. She casually sauntered through the living room winding her way around people’s feet, making sure to say hello to all. At one point she was passed around the kitchen, comfortable leaning into everyone who held her and kneading the air with her paws. Phoebe, my other cat had a less engaging evening, deciding to spend half the night in a cupboard under the bar in the basement and the other half under my bed, that is, once I carried her (legs flailing) up to my room. Mind you when morning came, Phoebe was bright eyed and bushy tailed while Camille lost a whole day sleeping do to her excessive partying.
In the end, I realized hosting a party without having to be the primary hostess is far more fun than being concerned with every detail, whether or not my guests are having a good time, and wondering how long people will stay. In fact, when I had had enough, I went to bed.