There's this girl that will have a 17th birthday* in a big hotel, said my dad - a photographer
and I got to be her photographer, said he again
maybe you know her, she's from the same high school
Hm? Ok. What's her name, I said.
K****I (Ha! Censorship rules)
Oh! I know that girl. She is pretty. Rich. Very sociable. High-class.
Yea, I know her. I told my dad. She is my age. We know each other, but not too close. She is from a different league.
He nodded. And then he asked. Do you want to help me carry the equipment bag? You may have the chance to go to her party.
I was silent for a minute or two. Thoughts raced, mixed feelings popped: anxiety, excitement and all that. All of my middle & high school friends would be there! But the party is going to be cool! (Girls just want to have some fun) But I gotta help my dad with his camera equipment during the party! Everyone would make fun of me!
Then images of my dad slowly came to focus. He was in his 60s, but he's still strong to bring food to the table & pay both tuition for both his daughters. Everytime he's back from a party, usually around midnight or so, he would ring the bell, my mom would open the door for him. I would pretend I didn't hear anything and sleep.
It's not that he always carry the bag alone, sometimes he hired someone to help him. But this time he asked me. Maybe he thought he's giving me a chance to go to a high-class party and I would enjoy it. He's trying to be nice.
So I thought: what the heck, I'll go. I nodded to my dad.
And there I was, on the D-day, the girl who wasn't invited. Out of their league. Carrying a huge camera bag in a 5-star hotel. I arrived very early, along with the birthday girl & her bday-maids-of-honor. They were in a room together, putting dresses & make-ups. Some of them recognized me, Those who don't were staring at me, questioning the purpose of my existence.
Hey there, one of them greeted me with smile. You're here for the party?
No, I'm here to help my dad. I said, and I pointed to the old man who gleefully asked everyone to stand for group pictures.
For some reason, they wanted me to join in the group photo before the party begin. I wore white. All the other girls wore black. Of course, that didn't really helping me to blend in. They were nice nonetheless.
Couple of minutes later, the party began. Guests started to arrive. The young people - friends, classmates - exchanged gossips. The old people - parents, relatives & business partners - exchanged other things.
The party was perfect. Food was excellent, DJ did a great job, guests dressed really well, very high-class, everyone smiled at each other, even the polonaise was great. And of course, the obligatory crashers from all-boys school came, solidifying the party as one of the 'IT'.
The night quickly fell despite everyone unwillingness to depart. It was midnight or so when the DJ announced that it was over. There goes the discobeat, crashers & all things glamoury.
The hotel lobby was soon full of boys & girls waiting for their chauffeurs. SUVs, Benz & BMWs would then came to get their princesses. Couple of minutes later, our brown Honda 1980 also come to claim his king & princess, driven by the queen herself.
As I sat here in my San Diego condo, I suddenly remembered her party from reading a mailing-list archive. Then thoughts went racing, feelings went popping. It was weird, surrealistic. Images of MTV's "My-super-sweet-16" slowly came to focus.
*In Indonesia we celebrated Sweet-17 instead of Sweet-16.
a0z0ra @ 9:34 PM  |