Monday, April 28, 2014

Not a Party Animal

My last two attempts at hosting a party were unqualified disasters. You've read about one in this blog, or if you haven't, you should (check out "What a fUn-Party"). But actually, I misspoke when describing that event since at least it was one. Last weekend was the party that really wasn't.

Now, before you go thinking that I'm just a lousy and/or boring hostess, let me chime in. I have hosted great parties before! Not the falling down drunk, going home with strangers kind, but good ol' family get-togethers filled with good food, fantastic conversation and lots of fun. Granted, I'm not known for my spontaneity, so when I entertain it's a well thought out, preplanned and stressed-over event that usually leaves me exhausted and in need of a glass of wine or two at a more casual gathering hosted by someone else. Because of this, I generally wait for a BIG EVENT to invite folks over.

 But, back to last weekend.... I was supposed to host a Pampered Chef party. As a foodie, I just love the product line even though the only items I'd ever owned were gifts from someone else. Recently though, I'd attended a friend's PC party and splurged on my own early Mother's Day gift - a spiffy new ceramic omelet pan. That got me thinking about how sweet it would be to have a whole set of cookware that wasn't pieced together from grocery store incentive programs and rummage sales, or add worn Teflon to my family's diet. The only way I'd ever be able to do that was to earn free stuff. So, despite the fact that the whole premise of marketing parties makes me a little queasy for a variety of reasons, I thought I'd give it a go.

I think God's trying to tell me to stick to birthdays and graduations.....

Out of almost 60 invited guests (they tell you to over-invite - same logic airlines use with booking) only two good friends told me they were definitely coming. And since one of them was the hostess at the party I had just attended, and the other a guest, it was looking more like a pity-party. Now, I'm not begrudging anyone the extremely important other events already cluttering their weekend plans ---- I had several other things going on myself, including a daughter's dance recital that I was informed of only two days prior. And I'm not saying that anyone should have tried harder to squeeze my party in - no guilt trips coming from this direction! But I am saying that when I pick 'em, I really pick em! This was the second date in as many parties that just was a lousy fit for everyone.

So, I cancelled. And then I got to thinking.... the reason I enjoy having people over is that being with friends feeds the soul. So much of what we do everyday doesn't. And most of that has to do with stuff: earning $ to buy stuff, caring for stuff, losing or breaking stuff, wishing we had more stuff, having too much stuff.

One friend told me after I'd cancelled that she had actually been looking forward to my party, even though she hadn't committed, because she needed a little girl-time. She's the mother of four boys, so it wasn't about stuff for her, but nourishment. And so, as much as I had been hesitant to host "stuff" parties, I guess as long as my intent is focused on the people part of things, even they can feed the need.


Here's wishing you all a place at the table.