“And that’s what makes a good party – when the evening and the people and the conversation and the feeling in the room are allowed to be whatever they need to be for that night.”
Bread and Wine, by Shauna Niequist
Chapter 23: present over perfect
Just last week, I texted a few of my girlfriends and invited them over for the next eve…for apps and drinks and conversation. The “old me” may have organized this weeks, or at least days in advance, planning and grocery shopping, and stressing to make this a “perfect” night. But I am growing older, and hopefully wiser…and much less frantic.
So, I hit the grocery store on the way home from work and grabbed fresh shrimp and cocktail sauce, as well as ingredients for a Layered Greek Dip, complete with hummus, feta, cucumbers, tomatoes, kalamata olives, green onions…even though one of the three girls coming over didn’t eat hummus OR feta, I still stuck with my plan. (The “old me” would have chosen to make something else. Instead I just found some smoked almonds in the pantry, and sliced up an apple to sit in fresh squeezed orange and lemon juice to add to the options.)
The entire night was spent sitting around my table…with March Madness basketball on in the background and U of M women’s hockey streaming live on an iPad (Kathy’s brother is a coach!) There were Twitter updates being checked as we chatted…text messages were read and sent to Ann’s teenage daughter, who was at home nursing a pulled tooth…video clips were viewed and created on the Helium Booth app to share with my sister’s fam and my college girlie…Amy brought over ingredients to whip up crab cakes in my kitchen for a dinner party she was serving the next eve…my husband’s buddy, who was crashing at our house that night, arrived and joined us at the table.
The night was full of giggles and excitement, shared conversations about marriage and parenting and teenage romances & break-ups…about adoptions and Haiti…about books, movies and TV shows…and so much more.
It was random and chaotic. It was life.
Call a friend…order a pizza…whip up a salad…pour a glass of wine.
Be present. Not perfect. Enjoy the people. Share the love.