IT WAS meant to be a small affair, in pink. We all have our place in the social scheme of things and putting on a children’s birthday party isn’t mine. But this was only going to be a small affair. It just needed lots of pink. And a few little girls to twirl, nibble eats and have a jolly good time.
One’s daughter turns seven only once and it’s then that you realise that the theory of escalating time is probably true. Today, plastic dolls; tomorrow, plastic surgery.
I had to do it – she’d be all Hannah Montana in a blink and wouldn’t be seen dead in a tiara.
Also, I tend to be a bit of a minimalist. It’s more eco-friendly and phenomenally easier than making your own gel-stickered, monogrammed party packs using glitter glue. I’ve always been a believer in throwing ’em a few sweets, popping champers for the big ‘uns and letting everyone do what comes naturally.
Which is nibbling eats and having a jolly good time, regardless of the quality and quantity of streamers, napkins, silverware and trinkets.
Minimalists, I believed, tend to worry and do less. They just wear and decorate in grey, black and white. They throw away a lot and buy very little. They don’t coordinate or delegate: they flow. Minimally.
I always thought this was a good place to be, because then I could get away with serving finger snacks from Woolies (my one non-minimalist indulgence) instead of embracing a hot, sweaty stove all afternoon in prep for a six-course meal followed by baked Alaska and graced with polished candlebras and Granny’s goblets.
So my very pretty, very pink, very princess bash for a little girl with stars in her eyes went not only against the grain, but against my wallet and any good sense. This just wasn’t me – how could it possibly work?
Happily, in hindsight, how couldn’t it? The Pink Affair was a froth of candy colour, silver bits ’n bobs, screaming poppets, grown-up fairies wearing wings and doing make-overs, feather boas, a no-holds-barred princess cake by Shona – the best baker this side of the equator – and hundreds of sprinkles, plus gaudy helium balloons.
It worked because, at the end of a 21st century day, girls of all ages could do with a little cheer. We’re so busy saving the planet and paring down that we’ve forgotten how to be Dolly Parton: brash, bold and beautiful.
There is virtually nothing a lick of cerise icing and a coat of fairy dust can’t fix. Kitsch is my new therapy. Bling it on.