Young One attended a classmate's Carnevale-themed birthday party as "Mulan," wearing her kimono from Okinawa, in a church parish recreation room where she had her face painted by heavily tattooed Italian clowns hired as animatori. The only other dad present besides Richard was another foreigner, who matched Richard's 6'2" stature exactly. The 20 or so moms chatted, the kids ran free and wild. Inside. I zoned in and out of conversations, mostly about the teacher, the school, the upcoming distribution of report cards. Being "on" in Italian in this environment for three hours straight is difficult.
The portable CD player blared children's songs like "Cocodrillo Come Fa?" and "Il Cuoco Pasticcione," loudly, louder, really, than the tinny speakers could handle. The clowns were overwhelmed with the number of children. I saw a boy agressively smack Young One several times on her head, just out of the blue as she sat on the floor during the grand gift opening event. She cried. She screamed with indignation. The festeggiata was perturbed by the interruption. The short clown consoled her with a giant hug and spoke sternly to Spider Man (so I didn't have to), while his mother continued to gossip, unaware of her son.
Afterwards, we went for sushi at a restaurant run by Chinese people and packed with American diners only, none of whom I recognized . . . except for one distant acquaintance who shared a long story of unrequited love while she waited for her take-out. He dumped her several years ago; she spoke like it was yesterday. I don't really know her that well. Richard ordered a Thai dish. The hired help at the party was a Thai woman. The mood music at the Japanese/Chinese/Thai place was Kenny G-ish. We brought our six-year-old there dressed in a kimono and a bad face painting.
Disjointed writing, I know.
Glad that it is over.
I'm watching you, Spidey.