I love throwing parties.
I love inviting people. Who doesn't love to get an invitation? Who doesn't love to sit and think and make a decision. Its the best for both hostess and the invitee. The person doing the asking knows that party will happen whether or not person A will accept or decline. Person A gets to have the power of bestowing a kingly ay or nay.
I love the build-up. Trying to keep track of the RSVPs and who is bringing what. Actually, I usually give up about a week before the party, when I have heard at least 1 yes.
I love the day of the party. The rushing around to 5 or 6 Centers of Retail. Knowing that the good veggies are going to be in the Richmond, whereas the light bulb will be found for sure at the funky hardware store on Sacramento St. Dutch accompanied me on this step and it usually worked out that by the time he found parking I had grabbed the stuff from my list and we were ready to move on. I am looking forward to throwing many more parties with Dutch in the future. Not only is he an excellent chauffuer, but he took out the garbage, vacuumed before and after the party, replaced a lightbulb, helped me make decisions, charmed us all with his blues singing, made sure there was a cold beer in my hand during the party and set up the MP3 player. I wouldn't have had nearly as much fun the day of the party if it wasn't for Dutch's hard work. I'm in love.
I love the fevered chopping and sauteing and sweating. This time I made Mago's salsa and the old pilaf. The old pilaf didn't turn out at all, but my father and the rest of my family gamely ate a whole serving just to make me feel better. That's love. The salsa fared much better. The mild version was embraced by the heat-o-phobes and the hot version was a triumph of the Nightshade Family (oh how I love the combination of tomatoes, serranos, jalepenos, habaneras, garlic, red bell peppers, garlic, cilantro, salt and onions all roasted and blended together).
I love the five minutes of pure anxiety after the cheese has been laid out and before the first guest arrives. I used to think this was pure hell, but now I know its just a part of the ride. Like that moment of peace when the rollercoaster train is right at the top of the peak and it stops a moment before plunging straight down.
Mr and Mrs Dumpster Divers Anonymous pose for the camera
I love the guests. Oh how I love the guests. Everyone who went to the store and brought something special to share, or who went to the store and then cooked, or who brought gifts, or even just themselves, who gave up a Saturday evening to be with friends and strangers just because I asked them to is amazing. It makes me so happy to see people I love chatting and eating and drinking, gathering by the fire, talking to people they haven't met before, making connections. Earth Hour happened to fall during my party, so promptly at 8 we turned off the lights and lit candles. It was so magical, that I'm going to do it again.
The H*ster took all the pictures (thank you!). A candid of me wearing a princess top and a vintage 60's Sears farm coat
I love the flow. I love the beginning of a party, when people arrive but they are still a little nervous. Then an hour or so later, coats are off, people are relaxed, the lights are down. Then they get tired and some people go and some stay. They do a slow, complicated, mingling dance. Then, finally, a few more sweet minutes are squeezed from the day and the last guest leaves. I was lucky, this time I had 6 overnight guests. The party never really ended, it just went into "cleaning mode." Eleven spearheaded the Operation Cutting Board and tackled the mess in the kitchen. Dutch gathered dirty dishes and put out fires. I scrounged up blankies and pillows for those who didn't bring their own. After I tucked everyone in, I collapsed in a happy coma.
I didn't drink all that booze. Really.
I love the next morning. The house was relatively clean, so it was a pleasure to romp into the kitchen again and get the percolator going (this group needed a lot of coffee- two batches). We scrambled some eggs, toasted tortillas and resurrected the salsa. We didn't even have enough chairs in the kitchen, but that was okay. Who needs chairs when the company is so good?
Niles loves parties.