One of the earliest memories of my birthday parties is easy to recall. It was my 10th birthday; grade four.
In fact, I really wish I could forget it.
Or rather, rewind and do one tiny little thing over again: Choose a different fucking movie.
The party was going along nicely.
Games were played.
Presents were opened.
Cake was eaten.
My mother has purchased a huge makeup kit for the 'gimmick' of the party. We all applied hideous amounts of eye shadow, lipstick and rouge on each other. By the end of it, we closely resembled a group of midget zombie clowns rather than 10 year old girls. I have photos - they are terrifying.
The final wind-down was movie time. We all nestled in various positions around the couches and pillows on the floor, like a pride of lionesses; colourfully painted lionesses.
I had chosen 'Fine Things' for the movie. It is a Danielle Steel tearjerker but with some action and a love story. Even at ten, I really got into dramatic story lines like this one; I loved it. In hindsight, a Danielle Steel movie probably wasn't a wise decision for our age, nor for a party, regardless. I'd like to try and blame that one on my mother, but I know how stubborn I've always been and there was probably a "warning speech" that I chose to ignore, I'm almost certain of it.
We were all into the movie; it is definitely a roller coaster of a plot. Once the main characters were finally together, the woman gets cancer. It gets drawn out and is very revealing about the ugliness of cancer. The problem? One of my friend's little sister had recently been diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor and was under-going chemotherapy at Toronto Sick Kids.
Needless to say, at the dramatic scene where the mother dies, (If you haven't seen the movie, sorry for ruining it. It was made in 1990; get over it.) my friend goes into a complete meltdown. Extreme. We had to call her mother to come and pick her up.
I felt like a fucking twat. I still do, even to this day.
There really wasn't much of a party after that. We didn't watch the second half of the movie. We just kind of sat around in awkward silence... crying... and waited out the final hour before other parents arrived.
Worst. Party. Ever.
The next year? I think we watched 'House Party' with Kid n' Play.