Sunday, October 30, 2005

Rebecca moved to Orcas Island and all I got was this lousy party

Well, those of you that did not come to my party missed a good one. And, you have no idea what we did or did not say about you in your absence. :-)

I had intended the party to be an open house and expected people to stop by, kibbitz a little and then go, but people stayed and talked to other people besides me. I love that about parties. I don't do well in groups of friends. I have lots of individual friends that I see for coffee and dinner but the TV show Friends has never been my story. Over the years, though, the friends that come to my parties have found people that they socialize with there when I'm off talking to other guests. It's really intense to observe. My friends impress me.

So, we (my parents and I) fed people pizza and offered them beer and pop. My friend from preschool, Carrie, is so naturally a mother. I met her baby Caitlin for the first time. Carrie is so much more sure of herself, confident. It was such a visible shift from who she's been to what we never realized was the real her.

I answered people's questions about where I'm headed in the next stage. I put out of bowl of quote scrolls and offered CD's full of music that resonated with me while I lived on the island. My friend Joanie, who is in her sixties, came and coyly, girlishly revealed that the man with her was her fiance. So full of the life that hope for the future gives a person.

I expected to do a series of 3-minute slide presentations with the pictures I took on the island. I dubbed it a "cool, retro slide show" on the invitation. I love film and doubt I'll ever shift to digital. So I took 85 pictures on slide film and pulled out my mother's old projector from the closet, took some framed pictures off a wall and started right up. Since it wasn't an in and out group, I was reluctant to break up their conversations with each other to gather them all in until 7:00, which was only an hour before the scheduled end of the open house. So, I had one continuous slide show, with breaks for people to get up and walk around, get another beer, go to the bathroom, head out the door for home. At least four people got what I was trying to communicate and that was enough. The rest were, at least, polite. :-)

My brother came even though he had declared he could not. I had called him in the morning, worried that no one would come. Although I had not asked for an RSVP, several people expressed regrets that they could not come ahead of time, but only three people (two of whom did not ultimately show) had said they would come. That made me very nervous. Daniel gave me a pep talk on why I shouldn't take an empty house personally since my friends tend to be like me, which means they tend to enjoy evenings at home with a book. But I bet 30 or 35 people showed up, including my softie brother.

It's good to feel loved. It's good to feel home.

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