The Party Planner

By Kim Murphey

I have been the family party planner since I was a teen. Yesterday I was asked to plan a wedding party. In a week. Five days before Christmas for an intimate group of twenty or so. Not a big deal. It’s just a surprise. No, it’s not for any of my daughters either. It’s for my father!

I have catered Christmas office parties for my father’s business for the last 25 years or more. My mother loved to plan the food and decorations but she didn’t deal well with the stress of putting it all together and cooking everything. That’s where I came in. I became the chef and glorified dish washer/maid all in one. It was a lot cheaper for them than taking everyone to a restaurant and I made some extra money. I put on some pretty good parties over the years too with the menu getting more elaborate as I gained experience in the kitchen. I managed it through three pregnancies and three infants in bouncy seats sitting on the kitchen floor while I buzzed around the kitchen cooking, serving and cleaning. As the girls grew up, they too would help me, eventually becoming my sous-chefs and waitresses, charming the socks off the office staff. But all that ended when my mother died and a few years latter my father retired. No need for parties.

Now my father has found a new love. I’m happy for him too. My job as the party planner continues yet again. Here’s to last-minute weddings!

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