Molly's Retirement Party

On Friday, February 14, 2003, Molly left Packer to rest up before Rufus gets here.

Yes, at the ripe old age of 27, Molly retired from the workforce.

What else could we do in this situation but throw her a surprise retirement party?

So, on Saturday, February 15, many of our friends from the New York area gathered at a little place in Chinatown called Asia Roma. The literature billed it as a Chinese/Italian fusion karaoke bar. Such potential....

Jo and Anna set Molly up by telling her they were throwing her a baby shower, location unknown. When she arrived and saw all the men in the room, she was perplexed.

But she quickly got over it and we all got ready to have some fun.

And then, the karaoke started...

To get the real sense of it, though, you have to listen to sound accompanying this video (the image and sound quality had to be sacrificed to make it a smallish file).

At this point, we weren't sure that there was any English-language karaoke available, so we all laughed about the ridiculousness of it all and resolved to get as drunk as possible.

And we all did.

So, we ate dinner and drank as much as we could. yes, we had it all.

And it turned out there was English-language karaoke available, so it wasn't long before we got drunk enough to actually start singing.

And then, Anna took the stage to sing "Copa Cabana"....

Let's pause here for a bit of background. When planning the surprise party, I had asked for ideas on locations and activities. Inevitably, someone suggested karaoke (though not Chinese karaoke, oddly enough). When this idea first surfaced, Mike and Anna demurred with a vague reference to an earlier "karaoke incident."

I think I know what happened...

Seems harmless enough, right? Some enthusiastic karaoke dancing. All in good fun.

But the video of her singing gives you the full effect.

The thing to keep in mind here is that Anna is not from Brooklyn (or Long Island) and actually has a relatively low voice.

So, with the comedy gauntlet thrown down, we all got in the spirit of things. We did our second round and third rounds of shots and things really got cooking.

Matej decided to do a little Britney Spears.

The men sang "Like a Virgin."

Followed by a little "Paranoid" by Black Sabbath.

As the night went on, our Chinese-speaking karaoke neighbors sometimes tried to take back control, but we made the best of it.

And then we took back the floor. Mike and Jamie did "Ebony and Ivory." Mike was Ebony.

And here is some shocking video of the event.

Matej retook the stage to follow up his earlier Britney performance with a little Backstreet Boys.

And we have video of this, too, but it's sideways (and the sober Mommy-to-be was filming!).

Mike and Anna did a stellar rendition of "Sweet Caroline."

And finally, just to wrap up with some nice moments, people smiling.

And by the way, the Chinese-language version of that Celine Dion song from Titanic?

A must.