The Old Broad Asks – ‘When is a Gospel Brunch NOT a Gospel Brunch?’

by on February 22, 2019 · 0 comments

in Ocean Beach

By Judi Curry

If you read my article on the trouble I had with redeeming the tickets I purchased on-line at the AMC in Fashion Valley, you are aware that I had a BIG birthday coming up this week. In fact, when this is published it will have already happened.

I have never liked to celebrate my birthday. I do not like to be the center of attention and had told my children that I would just as soon not have any celebration this year. I thought I was going to luck out, because I have two children visiting India, and I knew that they would not be able to be with me.

However, I should have realized that my daughter – Michele – did not go with the other two, and for years and years and years she has been the one that has planned parties for everyone.  And not just parties for family; parties for colleagues; parties for friends of colleagues; parties, parties and more parties.  She must have an extra chromosome –  a party gene.

When she asked me if I would like to go to the “House of Blues Gospel Brunch” I said “yes.”  We had gone last year and had a delightful time. She said she would make reservations for all of us on February 3rd because her sisters would still be in town.  I balked.  I don’t want to celebrate this birthday and I certainly did not want to celebrate it three weeks early.

She capitulated and said we would wait until they came back and go to the brunch on March 3rd.  By that time my birthday would have passed and in my own mind we were not really “celebrating” me.  She let me know that the sisters would be there and maybe some of my grandchildren.  (One of my grandsons is getting married in March and that part of the family is caught up in wedding plans so I would not expect them.)  After all, with 18 grandchildren it would not be unexpected if some of them didn’t show up.

I have been going along my unconscious way not giving much thought to March 3rd until just a few days ago when I opened my Face Book account and was met “head-on” with my picture (at 3 years old) on 40+name cards – and let me tell you that many of those names were NOT my grandchildren.  These name cards were on “Michele’s story line.  I immediately wrote to Michele and here is the conversation:

Judy “Michele, Love.  What in the hell is this?”

(M)  What?

(J) These name tags with my picture on them. It says it your continuing story.

(M) I don’t do story

(J) So…what are you up to?  This came through on Facebook.

(M) I don’t do story & I don’t see what you are talking about.

(J) Interestingly enough it is gone now.

(M) So Facebook is doing something weird

(J) Yeah – and I’ll buy the bridge when it’s for sale again.

(M) OK.  So I was going to do placecards with your photo for your BUNCO night but I guess I can’t now. I screwed up that surprise – sorry.

(J) Gee…I didn’t know that Kailey and Cody come to Bunco.  Open mouth – change feet.

(M) That’s my story & I’m sticking to it.

(J) You didn’t get the academy award this time.

So through this little scenario I found out that my daughter was throwing me a surprise party.  (Wouldn’t it be a real surprise, I thought, if I didn’t show up!)  That kid of mine invited a former boss I had in 1992!  I asked her where she got the list of people but she played dumb and wouldn’t tell me.  I can’t imagine where she would have found Prudence’s email address from so many years ago.

I also found out that she has been working on this surprise of months! The other girls have also been working on it, but not to the extent that Michele has been.

At first, I was upset.

For the first time in my life I feel “old”; useless; non-productive, etc. I remember thinking how old my grandparents were when they were in their 60’s; what must my grandchildren think of me, so much older than my relatives.

When we heard the Gospel Singers last time those of us that were having birthdays had to get up on stage and “dance” to the music.  That was okay and fun – then. But I don’t want to do it this time.

I really would just like to crawl into a hole and let the day go by.  As I later found out, she had collected a great deal of money from those people that were going to attend. The “House of Blues” would not reserve such a large party without a deposit.  I don’t know how much she collected, but the “grapevine” told me it was close to $1000.

And then a horrible thing happened.

One that made even me feel awful. Michele and I were talking – the first time since the name tags appeared – and she dropped a bombshell.

Just that morning she had received a note from the “House of Blues” informing her that the musicians that were going to perform the evening of March 3rd needed to get “into the venue” earlier than usual, and THE GOSPEL SINGERS BRUNCH WAS CANCELLED!

She was so upset – and justifiably. The “House of Blues” had been dunning her for money for weeks.  They knew all of the planning that she had gone through to get this party going; to keep the information away from me.  They made suggestions; they offered her seating choices, and then, they just up and cancelled it.  I personally am very curious to see who will be entertaining that night – curious to see why they needed more time for their set-up than was expected.

In a way I am relieved to know that there will be some kind of get-together – somewhere – (Michele won’t tell me where!); relieved to know that I will not have to get up on stage and have an entire audience looking at me.

But on the other hand I feel so bad for Michele and all that she had done to make this a perfect birthday.  And I am furious at the “House of Blues.”  I do not think that I will ever attend another one of their venues; They were so “flippant” regarding the cancellation.  Their “apology” was so phony; so without compassion that I no longer care to patronize an organization that, obviously only cares about the monies received.  They will not have any more of my money to put in their coffers; I’ve been there for the last time.

As for Michele – she only gives me a sheepish grin when I ask her where we are going.  I can only hope that her fingers slip again and I know what to expect before March 3rd!  Can’t help but wonder what she will do for my 90th birthday!




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