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How Many Pizzas?

     It's party time! Well, not yet. But before the day comes, I have to decide how many pizzas to order.  I get it wrong every year. Too many, not enough, too many again—what's a mom to do?

     The date has been set and the invitations sent. I didn't put the traditional RSVP at the bottom since no one—well, let's say very few—reply to RSVPs these days, and those that do call the day before to say, "So sorry, we won't be able to make it," or "We were wondering… Our son's game was cancelled. Would it be alright if we come?" 

     So who's coming? Who knows? The usual "old faithfuls" will be there, except for the ones who've moved away. Half the people who said they're coming will come. Some of the people who said they couldn't make it will show up. I plan on 30 or 40 people, just don't know who.

     So the pizza.  Son Paul started this tradition years ago by—unbeknownst to us—inviting friends and family and just-met strangers to his birthday party. One day out of the blue he said he wanted to have pizza at his party.

     "What party?" we asked. "My birthday party," he said, as if "Duh…" This was early August; his birthday's at the end of September. "Where is the party going to be?" we asked. "Here," he answered. "Who's coming?" we asked. He rattled off names both familiar and unfamiliar—lots of them—and that year we had a party. With lots of people. And pizza.

     I don't remember if I got it right about the pizza that first year but you'd think I would've learned over the years. A few years ago in the aftermath of the party unopened boxes of pizza shoved almost everything else out of the refrigerator. In spite of my best efforts to give everyone a "going home" gift of slices or boxes of pizza they took up three shelves.

     The same thing happened the next year—too much pizza—even though I'd ordered 10 pizzas instead of 15 and the same number of people came. Another year, thinking we had enough salads, veggie trays, fruit and cookies to satisfy the hungriest, I ordered what I thought would be plenty of—but not too many—pizzas.

     It wasn't. I had to send one of my other sons out to get more pizzas but of course, by the time he got back, everyone was chowing down on birthday cake and ice cream and the pizzas got cold.

     So this year, not having any RSVPs and going by past parties, I figured we'd have about 30 people. I ordered 10 pizzas. We didn't have 30 people; we had 43. So why I had 3 pizzas left I'll never know. Last year I froze individual pieces of the leftover pizzas to eat as we felt the need for a cheesy treat. That worked okay but this year I didn't want to wrap all those pieces individually and pizza boxes don't fit in our narrow freezer so I stuffed them into the refrigerator and announced to the household we'd be eating pizza every day until it was gone.

     That lasted about two days. The third day I broke the chain and went to Taco Bell for Mexican treats. You can only eat so much pizza. We're down to the last box today and although it didn't take as long as I thought it would, I'm seriously thinking of serving something other than pizza next year.

     But pizza's so easy…  if you know how much to order.

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