Sunday 04 Dec 2016

Sweet 16 Party
Matt Seinberg

Well, it finally happened and thank goodness, it’s finally over. We had Michelle’s Sweet 16 party, today, 22 April 2012; all had a great time! We saw friends and relatives that we haven’t seen for a while and Michelle saw friends she works with, but doesn’t go to school with.

Michelle also invited Rick, who I call the Out Of State Boyfriend. She made me admit that she has a boyfriend, but I’ll only admit to it with the OOS in front of it. He lives in Massachusetts; he and his entire family drove to Long Island on Friday for the party.

This was the first time Marcy and I met Rick. I will admit he is a very nice young man. Melissa made it a point to mention Derek Jeter, my Louisville slugger. I did leave it in the front entrance, if only to make a point.

I was prepared to dislike Rick, but I couldn’t. In fact, Michelle introduced Rick to our entire family at the party. Everyone, our family and her friends, liked him.

Rick's parents and brothers were very nice as well, along with a friend of his that came for the ride. The original plan was to take Michelle to a movie, but since they were hungry, they went to dinner at “Phil’s Italian Restaurant,” in Massapequa, about 10 minutes from us. Naturally, with Michelle directing they got lost.

I did two special things for this party. First, I made a photo collage of Michelle from newborn to now, and put it in a signature frame, so everyone could write something mushy that would be a nice keepsake. The other thing was a music montage from 1996 to now, using clips from a Top 10 song from her birthday.

The best part was having two of my radio friends record an introduction and closing for the montage. Al Levine, from WBLI-FM, in Babylon, New York, did the intro; since he’s known Michelle for a long time, it was really quite funny. Then I had Chunky, aka "Big Boy," from WXRK-FM, 92.3 NOW, in New York City record the closing, wishing her a Happy Sweet 16. You should have seen the looks on all the kids’ faces when they heard the montage.

My friend, Mike, also did me a huge favor by taking pictures throughout the party and making he missed no one. He was an invited guest, but acted like the professional photographer that he is, at least part time for now. He hopes to build his photography business and get out of retail. I’ve seen his work before the party and it’s fantastic, so I’m sure his wish will come true.

Our host, at Coral House, was very nice young woman, Victoria, who kept everything moving along. She helped us set up the table flowers; gift and favour table and coordinate with my friend Dennis Falcone, our DJ. Michelle and I danced to Faith Hill’s version of “Butterfly Kisses,” which I think is better than Bob Carlisle’s original. The she and Rick danced to “You and Me” by Lifehouse.

Dennis tried his best to get the kids up and dancing, but this was tough crowd. They were more interested in texting and talking than dancing. If we could have had a jamming signal installed, that may have done the trick.

My sister Elyse and her kids flew in from Illinois for the party and it was great seeing them. Because her kids they didn’t know any of the other kids, they didn’t have that much fun. I wish we had more time to spend with them.

Anytime Dennis needed help in handing out the party toys, he called Melissa to do it. She didn’t know ahead of time that this was going to happen, so she was not prepared. What did want to do is keep an eye on Michelle and Rick, and report back to me.

It’s hard for me to admit being the father of a 16-year-old girl, simply because I know what teenage boys want. Remember, I refer to them as walking hormones, because I used to be one. I will admit all the kids were well behaved and respectful, and looked to have a great time.

All I can do it keep Derek Jeter handy, keep a supply of Valium close by and keep a watchful eye on both my girls. After all, that is a father’s job, to keep them safe, secure and happy, and make sure the walking hormones don’t do anything they’re not supposed to do.

Matt Seinberg lives on Long Island, a few minutes east of New York City. He looks at everything around him and notices much. Somewhat less cynical than dyed in the wool New Yorkers, Seinberg believes those who don't see what he does like reading about what he sees and what it means to him. Seinberg columns revel in the silly little things of life and laughter as well as much well-directed anger at inept, foolish public officials. Mostly, Seinberg writes for those who laugh easily at their own foibles as well as those of others.

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