In a little over 24 hours whatever control I have in my home — real or illusionary — will disappear under a juggernaut of estrogenic proportion.
And this is not one of those husband-as-the-victim narratives — I created this. Much like Dr. Octopus in “Spider Man 2” the creation has taken on a life of its own, beyond my ability to manage it.
This story began about 11 years ago when I suggested to my wife, Carol, that we ought to invite just girlfriends to celebrate her birthday.
My theory was that people tend to relax when members of the opposite sex are not in the mix, thus, the party might be a little more fun. I was right about everything but the “little” part.
That was the birth of what has become known as Girl Party. Just like the Super Bowl, they are recorded numerically — this one will be Girl Party 11. I’d use Roman numerals but I can’t count past 10 in that manner, and I have enough on my plate tomorrow.
The cast of invitees has changed through the years and leveled off at about 20. One friend has come to all 10, and if there is ever a Girl Party Hall of Fame, she will go in on the first ballot.
It is such a fixture in the lives of these women that this year when Carol underwent successful brain surgery they all asked two questions:
“Is she OK?” and “There’s still going to be a Girl Party, right?” By the way, a picture from her surgery was used on the invitation.
My role is to pour the drinks, light the occasional cigarette and grill the food. When the ladies gather around the dinner table I retreat, literally, to the kitchen to wash dishes. I feel safer there.
Speaking as the only male who has attended all 10 parties, I can tell you what the highlight is for me. That would the noise that comes from the dining room when Carol and her friends sit down for dinner.
In spite of the legends of rowdy debauched behavior, the wonderful din that makes this party special has little to do with the Chardonnay and frozen tequila drinks.
Likewise, it has nothing to do with what is actually said — most of which cannot be printed here. It would be the tenor of the noise. It is the sound of friendship, joy, happiness — full and unbridled. And this is what I mean when I casually use phrases like “out of my control.”
What I planned as a one-time birthday ritual has become an observance of affinity and love.
You may ask whether I have learned anything about women; the answer is yes. But the only thing I will share here is one of the strictest maxims of the gathering.
What happens at the Girl Party stays at the Girl Party.
Jim Osterman has lived in Sandy Springs since 1962.
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