My mother-in-law recently threw a party for her father – my wife’s grandpa – for his 93rd birthday. Between friends and family, more than 60 people were invited to what was surely one of the biggest and most important family events of the year. She threw this party on Saturday, February 5th.
In late January I had been wandering through our kitchen and happened to peruse the calendar for upcoming events. When I noticed that we were scheduled to be at my wife’s folk’s house on Saturday the 5th, I immediately questioned my wife.
“Why does this say we will be in Morro Bay next weekend?”
“It’s my grandpa’s birthday party on Saturday.”
“IT’S MY GRANDPA’S BIRTHDAY PARTY!” (Sometimes she mistakes my incredulous voice for me being hard of hearing.)
“I heard you the first time. I just don’t believe it.”
“Why?!? The 6th is Superbowl Sunday!”
Oh? That’s all I get? I couldn’t believe it. Allow me to explain… The birthday party was being held 317 miles away from our house. It takes us five hours to get there if there is no traffic and no pee breaks. This is California, so there is always traffic, and we have three kids, so instead of no pee breaks, we have about thirty pee breaks every 100 miles. (To be fair to the kids, more than a few of the pee breaks are instigated by their soda-drinking parents.)
I stared at my wife, and she just stared right back. It was obvious I would get no help from her in rectifying this mess.
I called my mother-in-law.
“Is your dad’s birthday party really on the 5th?
“Because the 6th is the Superbowl!”
Whoops?!? Again, not the satisfying solution to the problem that I was looking for. I realize that she had more logistics to worry about than just my schedule, but come on. Who throws a party for out-of-town guests on Superbowl weekend? It became clear to me that I would be waking up on Superbowl Sunday six to seven hours away from my television. I had already invited people over to our house to watch the game. I could cancel that plan and stay in Morro Bay to watch the game with my wife’s family, which would be fun, but I would have to take a day off work to do it. I like to use my sick days for when I’m really sick, or when there is a meeting I need to avoid, so I didn’t want to burn one on this.
This event scheduling debacle really highlighted for me the need for a universal nationwide calendar of blackout dates for party and event planners. I mean, come on, ladies! The Superbowl is only the single-largest and most watched sporting event of the year. I would have thought you might have heard it was coming up.
We obviously need: The Universal Event Planning Calendar of No-Go Dates Due to Sporting Events and Other Guy Stuff.
The calendar would include the obvious sports that every American party planner should already be aware of; namely, NFL and college football, NBA and college basketball, major league baseball, golf, hockey, and Nascar. It would also include the lesser-known but still relevant sports, such as the Olympics (both summer and winter), pro rodeo, soccer, minor league baseball, Indy cars, tennis, curling, rugby, logging competitions, boxing, Scottish highland games, lacrosse, and the Tour de France.
We will need to include hunting and fishing seasons on the calendar as well. Nothing spoils a wedding faster than an absent groom who’s off in a duck blind because his fiancé forgot to check the calendar. Seasons that should be included are deer, elk, moose, duck, pheasant, salmon, and steelhead. Again, the calendar will need to include the slightly lesser-known, but equally important seasons for dove, quail, snipe, ground squirrel, mockingbird, catfish, opossum, mongoose, tree squirrel, and tiger shark.
In addition to the obvious sports and hunting categories listed above, the calendar will also need to include major non-sporting events. Whether us guys choose to attend personally, or catch all the action on TV, these events cannot be missed. They include Octoberfest, all three of the triple crown horse races, any major WWF, WWE or MMA fight, the world series of poker, and the running of the bulls. A few lesser-known events will, again, need to be included if this calendar is to be deemed at all credible. These include Novemberfest, the all-Mexico bull fighting series, the inter-Irish pub darts championships, Septemberfest, the world series of canasta, and Decemberfest.
Basically, if you want to throw a party or have a wedding, you need to do it on Saturday, July 23rd. That’s our only open date.
If the birthday party had been on July 23rd, I wouldn’t have had to haul my kids out of bed at 3:30 in the morning to be home in time for the pregame show! Could someone get started putting that calendar together?
See you soon,
Copyright © 2011 Marc Schmatjen
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