Thursday, December 17, 2009

Countdown to Christmas - Making Memories

"The whole of the holy life is good friends."
The Buddha (to his cousin Ananda)

[Photo by Jack]

I find it hard to believe that I haven't been at my blog since Monday. Needless to say the last two days were a whirlwind of activity. Final decorating touches, last minute runs to the grocery store, 10pm kitchen floor mopping, then the party itself. Both nights I poured my aching self into bed and fell into deep sleep punctuated only by leg cramps. I remember having parties before but don't remember being so tired. I have a feeling the weariness is a combination of physical and emotional exhaustion. Still, I had a wonderful time and think my guests did too. I'd like to be more confident, more Martha Stewart-esque, but that probably comes with having a large staff to do all the work!

When it came right down to it, my timing was perfect. Everything was done when the first guest appeared; everything, except pinning on the corsage Dad sent Sweetie out to buy at the last minute. I felt loved and cared for by both of my boys who were being pushed into the background for a few hours.

As the ladies arrived I began to feel festive. My habit has been to prepare everything then force myself to stay present and be a part of my own party. But this group really makes it easy to feel included. The house took on a festive air as the women, dressed in bright holiday colors, exchanged greetings, drank tea, laughed, ate cookies, shared stories, and pet the dog.

Someone told me I looked calm. In the middle of it all, I stopped to reflect and I think I was calm. Well, up until it was time to serve lunch. Then I got a little nervous just because of the logistics. However, I learned that when you get a bunch of women together one of them is going to know just how to serve the soup (from the kitchen) and salad, (at the table) and when to bring out the dessert.

I made magnets with quotes on writing from famous authors. Each person got one and we went around the table reading them. It was interesting to see how each woman seemed to get a quote that fit her to a T. After lunch we went back to the living room to get the work of the group. We had four or five stories to critique. As always there were plenty of laughs and a great amount of helpful comments. I'm learning to accept that people can offer suggestions and it doesn't mean my work is shit. It's not all one way or another. And I'm learning to trust that I have a talent for writing. It's not a flash in the pan. It comes from inside me and, imagine this, is REAL.

All that said, today I am in the middle off post party depression! Mostly because everything that was so lovingly arrayed now has to be placed back in the closet where it reside for another 10 years. I had forgotten how beautiful a silver tea set could be but the whole time it's been out, polished and gleaming in the twinkling lights, I've been afraid of a home invasion. And of course that means that meek and mild little Mary would be forced into her Superhero persona and attack with an unknown strength when someone tried to take the tray that was given to my parents on their wedding day. No way, Jose, you're not getting that tray! And then I'd be dead. No wonder I'm depressed!

[Photo: Boy Cat trying to decide if he wants coffee or tea!]

It's kind of like Christmas morning spent with little kids. All the build up, all the anticipation, all the waiting, and then in a matter of minutes the beautiful wrappings and bows are all over the floor and the "gotta-have-it-toy" Santa brought has been discarded for the box it came in. The let-down is almost programmed to happen.

I've got enough to keep me busy, though. I've got Christmas shopping to do! And package wrapping! And standing in line at the Post Office. Oh Joy!

Wishing for you good times with good friends,

Merry ME


Molly said...

Congratulations! The group certainly looked happy and excited, and the table beautiful.

Fire Byrd said...

I'm so glad you had a good time.I always think 'the down' at the other side is a sign of how good something was. You know, like the phrase, Grief is the price we pay for love.That phrase keeps me sane in the dark moments.