I set the party that far in advance, hoping the ample time would surely give me the opportunity to avoid the usual stress related to preparations. However, as usual, I put off doing too many things until the day of the party. Four hours before it took place, I wondered why I had ever wanted to host a party.
There were some things that occurred the day of the party that I could not help. An unexpected event came up, which took longer than I expected. Then, an editor called and needed a last-minute article, which I hurried to complete within an hour. All of those last-minute tasks left me with little time to do what I needed to do the most – straighten and clean my house.
Hosts and hostesses know that, on party days, we see dirt we normally never see. Dust bunnies pop up on the floor. Food drips emerge on surfaces, such as the top of the dishwasher and the refrigerator shelf, places I never notice on other days. Bathrooms always need a last-minute swish or two. So, just before the meeting, I was faced with several tasks and also needed to freshen my hair and make-up.
Before doing any of these things, I sat down and took a few deep breaths. My guests would certainly want a relaxed hostess. Afterward, I looked in the mirror. I fluffed my hair, droopy from the high summer humidity. There was no time to apply fresh makeup. I wiped surfaces, I swiped doorknobs, and I vacuumed for about 30 minutes. I promised myself I would clean more on another day. The next thing I knew, preparation time was over. My friend who was picking me up knocked on the door, and we left for the meeting. Once there, Beth Duke talked to us writers about how important it is to write daily, even if only an hour a day. We had a good crowd, and about a dozen members went to my home afterward.
Thirty minutes later, I sat in a lawn chair on my newly renovated concrete patio and laughed with my guests. Some members read excerpts from humorous quotations. One friend played us a gospel song on his guitar and sang. One told a meaningful story. Another shared a poignant moment from her week. We ate sandwiches made of chicken salad; and we ate snacks the others brought, including cupcakes that our speaker had made. (Beth, you write and speak well and you bake. I’m glad to know you.) We drank lemonade punch and enjoyed the 75-degree evening.
As I sat and listened to my talented friends, I remembered why I like being a hostess. Successful parties give us a much-needed opportunity to enjoy time with friends who feel like family members. My party was one of those happy times to share with friends. I was also reminded that everything worthwhile requires effort and probably some last-minute stress.
Best of all, I forgot that my makeup needed freshening, and I did not mind because a smiling face is the best makeup of all.
By the way, any writers are welcome who might want to join the Writers of Calhoun County. We’ll meet again in September. I can’t promise another party, but we will enjoy our programs.
Email me, and I’ll add you to our roster. The meetings are free and open to beginning and advanced writers.
Email Sherry at firstname.lastname@example.org.