Friday, July 01, 2005

The devil is in the details

Do not accuse me of being detail oriented. Really, don't. Because I have proved yet again that I am not so good with the details.

M-Girl's 5th birthday is coming up and we're planning a party. She has asked me everyday for the last week "When are we going to do my birthday cards?" (translation: cards=invitations). Last night when she walked in the door there was no "Hi, Mom!", "I love you, Mom!" or "What's for dinner?" It was "Mom! Did you buy the things for my birthday?!?!?" (translation: things=invitations). Luckily for me I had and after dinner we set out to fill in the blanks. Big D and I decided to start the party at 10:30 am because that would give the kids time to swim before we eat lunch around noon and then the party would end at 1:00pm.

M-Girl and I managed to finish 16 of the 20 invitations before she was falling asleep at the table, gel pen in hand. Big D and I addressed, sealed and stamped the completed invitations. M-Girl woke at the crack of dawn asking to finish her invitations. (Yes, this is the same child who can't get out of bed most mornings without much coaxing, cajoling and general coddling.) So we finished the last four and she proudly showed one to her sister who furrowed her brow and said "Mom, why does the invitation say 11:30? I thought you guys decided on 10:30?"

You guessed it, on every single one of the invitations, I wrote 11:30am as the start time instead of 10:30am. I can just see us now, sitting in the party room for an hour wondering where the hell everyone is! And having everyone wonder why M-Girl's party was only an hour and a half instead of the traditional (and reasonable) two to three hours.

I tried to steam the envelopes open but I burned my fingers and ruined the invitation on the first one so that wasn't going to work. I ended up opening every invitation with a letter opener, changing the time and taping the envelopes shut. So instead of wondering why M-Girl is having a short birthday party, everyone will wonder which of their neighbors opened their kid's mail! Nice.

Thank goodness A-Girl has a fabulous memory and is far more detail oriented than I am. Big D is very detail-oriented but I apparently have far too much faith in my ability to get the details right and I didn't ask him to check even one of the invitations to make sure I got it right. I'd love to say that I've learned my lesson but we all know this will happen again. I just hope that someone like A-Girl or Big D is looking over my shoulder!

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