Saturday, June 4, 2011

Pin The Tail On The Donkey At Eric's Party

I lost at Pin The Tail On The Donkey.
This weekend, about 33 years ago, was Eric's birthday. Eric was my friend in first grade. He lived in a big, beautiful Tudor style house. It was a corner house shaded by oversized trees and greenery. It was unlike any home I had ever seen as a child. In high school a buddy of ours lovingly referred to Eric's home as "Stately Manor."

If you ask me about any birthday parties from that year, I honestly cannot recall them. Although the memories of that day are somewhat cloudy and confused, here's what I do remember ... For one, I loved Eric's parents. They were classy, artistic, sophisticated -- like city folk in the suburbs -- and I liked that about them. They were different than my other classmates' parents. 
I was a dancing machine!
I remember that Eric's sixth birthday was the only party I ever attended that had a dance contest. Let me tell you, I needed to win this dance contest. I leaped on top of a table and gave it my all and somehow boogied my way into winning a handful of pencils. I swear to you those unsharpened yellow #2s made my week.

Clutching my prize, I was so very proud. Sliding my forefinger under the smooth tan rubber band, I counted them and recounted them. I remember sitting in the back of my mother's car on the ride home from Eric's, bragging about how I was the very best dancer. 

I wonder if I told Mom that I lost at Pin the Tail on the Donkey. I felt such anxiety being blindfolded and turned around, left to navigate in darkness while other the children watched. I cried to Eric's father that Pin the Tail on the Donkey was unfair. I needed to win one of the games at Eric's party. I couldn't go home a loser. Was I really the best dancer at Eric's party? I'll never know. But thank you Eric's parents for making me a winner that day. 

Happy Birthday, Eric. I will always remember your first grade birthday bash on East Dover Street. 

17 comments:

Bossy Betty said...

What a sweet memory!!

TS Hendrik said...

Wonderful post Ally. Reminded me of why I fell in love with this blog in the first place.

I bet your dancing skills have only gotten better too.

Ms. A said...

You are the Dancing Queen! Guess what tune my brain is singing?

You're Lucky I Don't Have a Gun... said...

i love that the prize was a handful of regular old pencils. if only today's birthday parties could be so inexpensive.

Rawknrobyn.blogspot.com said...

I love this story, Ally.
The one time I won at Pin the Tail on the Donkey, and my family was SO PROUD of me for beating out a slew of kids, I cheated. I couldn't help it. I could see under the blindfold. This is the first time I'm admitting it. Shh.
Dancing, though, beats that stupid donkey game any day!
xoRobyn

Ally said...

Thank you Betty, Ms.A and TS.

@Lucky, I forgot to mention like my parents, Eric's folks were teachers :)

@Robyn, I know this party game is impossible so don't fret!

ed said...

congrats, must of been a proud moment

Belle said...

I'm happy for the child within. We all needed moments like this. I'll never forget winning a dance contest when I was 15 and we got a free pizza. It was a sweet moment.

Zander said...

Cool blog, pal! followed, MC-hammer style!!!

Ada said...

Awww, cute story :)

Jomak412 said...

cool post following supporting.

ThirtySeven said...

I don't know why I felt I had to cheat at this game. The prize usually involved a piece of candy... I guess, to a child, that's worth it's weight in gold.

Blast from the Past said...

Ally -

I think you should grab your video cam and give us an updated version of that dance! :)

BTW - we had that exact same pin-the-tail-on-the-donkey set.

Great blog post!

HiFi said...

I remember attending birthday parties as a kid. They were so much fun. For some reason, it was obligatory back in the day to play musical chairs. It was so stressful to play musical chairs! :)

Zander said...

great blog! I added you picture to my blog page!

Jenny said...

Hey, I think we might have been at the same party. You were the one who got the pencils...grrrr...

Actually, you're way younger then me, but I remember something darn similar to this, although the prize was a bottle of Windsong perfume!

Nina said...

Only contest I ever won was a dance contest at a bar mitzvah party.. With a cute guy even! ( my last good social memory involving the opposite sex until 16 )... Won long distance voyager by the moody blues on vinyl...

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