The rest of the evening is a challenge: a birthday party, and a disorganized one at that. Personally, a couple hours on my own would have been a welcome gift, but the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few, or the one. Making anyone feel bad won't buy me any quiet; they all mean well and mustn't be faulted for it. Smile, say my thank-yous, and look for the gracious exit. Don't despise the gift of their presence.
Screened three calls within the last half hour. Just give me a few moments, people— I need them.