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Monday, December 29, 2008


I do apologize. I know you were all on the edge of your collective seats just waiting to hear from me. I'm sure the speculation was far more interesting than the reality. Isn't it always? I was busy. That's all. And a little uninspired. The best cure for lack of inspiration, I've found, is to start writing. Seinfeld was about nothing and so is my blog. How old-school!

One thing keeping this busy little housewife occupied was a party. Not just a party, but The Party of the Year, at least in our house. It started one year when we couldn't get a sitter and had a few friends over the night after Thanksgiving. We don't get to see our out-of-town friends often and holidays are the perfect time. The next year, it turned into a small party. The year after that, it grew. Soon enough, I received a Sendomatic invitation from my friend J, an arbiter of proper behavior, to a cocktail party at her place. That party was canceled when her mother died a few days before it. J and her husband, as stylish as they are proper, sent an email to all the invitees explaining they would be at home to receive visitors that evening instead. Never cancel a caterer. But I digress.

J's use of Sendomatic proved that email invites were absolutely socially acceptable, fabulous even. Sendomatic has a cleaner look than most and it costs a few dollars, which implies a classy intent on the part of the sender, n'est-ce pas? Ergo, Sendomatic it was for our Post-Thanksgiving bash. We had so much fun obsessively checking to see who had viewed and responded. Last year was big: my husband was nearly 40 years old, so we upgraded from beer and wine to liquor. Nothing says fun like a bunch of liquor. If there is one thing our friends have in common, it's liquor. Go, Liquor!

We invite about three hundred people, because there is no way they'll all show up, given its proximity to the holidays, when many are out of town. Also, it's quite possible more than half the people we invite don't know who we are or don't like us. If everyone came, we'd have to order pizzas or something. As it is, I do all the cooking, which I actually enjoy. This year, I did order a couple trays of sushi from the Social Pig, but I'm still pretty proud of myself. I catered a party for a hundred people*. All by myself. Yes, I'm bragging, but it's my blog.

This year was also notable for the addition of a bartender. We found the bartender, who recently quit working at Nightcaps, through a friend who recommended a bartender who couldn't come but recommended this bartender. As these things go in my tiny town, Amanda the bartender happened to have been on my sister's softball team in high school. Amanda rocked. She is at the top of my list, right up there with Landa. Some people need too many damn directions and supervising them is a full-time job. I like to hire a pro and let them lead the way, which Amanda did. She suggested we buy a bottle of Sweet Tea Vodka from Wadmalaw Island. Y'all know I love local stuff, so I did it. The expert was right; the bottle was nearly empty by night's end. I might suspect it was her favorite and she was drinking it, but she seemed sober to me, definitely more sober than the self-appointed bartender we had last year, a guest who took it upon himself to pour drinks for everyone. next year, we'll hire a bartender and a waiter, although I still plan to do the pre-party cooking myself, if only for bragging rights.

On the day of the party, I had very little to do, having made most of the food and consumed most of a bottle of wine the night before. Which gave me time to plan my outfit. Given that it's my party and my damn time to shine, I couldn't wear something old. I panicked and sent a Facebook message to the buyer at my favorite store in town, asking if they still had this Phillip Lim top I wanted in my size. Alas, they did not. Also, they were closed, but that saint, clearly understanding my desperation, offered to let me come to the closed store and see what was available. Lo and freaking behold, my shirt in my size had been returned by some idiot with no taste a lovely woman who obviously cared more about my feelings than her own. I also wore my brand new, go-ahead-and-mock-if-you-like-I-don't-care Current/Elliott 1957 Boyfriend Jean as Seen on Reese Witherspoon** and a fab pair of Louboutin flats bought at an obscenely low price in the Coplon's sale. If you are still reading, I *heart* you for caring this much about my outfit. You might also want to know that, while I wore flats, I had a pair of heels on reserve if I started to feel intimidated. My outfit was a carefully chosen combination of dressy and casual so no guest would feel under- or over-dressed. I refuse to specify a dress code on the invitation, because I think people should wear what they like. I care far more about what I'm wearing. The rest of the world can wear paper bags for all I care. Aren't I charming?

The last guests left at 2 am and we cleaned up and talked about them until 3 am. I'm so old, I'm still tired. Time to rest up for next year. Speaking of next year, we are terribly last minute about composing our guest list. if you were inadvertently left off (and if you've ever met me, it was inadvertent), please send me your email address for next year - or just show up.

Namasté, y'all!

*For the curious: Turkey barbecue and rolls, ham biscuits, baked Brie, Salmon Endive appetizers, veggie tray with blue cheese dip (nobody ever eats the Ranch), asparagus wrapped in prosciutto and various bowls of stuff, like nuts, wasabi peas, sesame cookies from the Korean market, Whoppers and cheese straws. I had pimento cheese, a cheese tray and frozen Spanakopeta and mini-quiches as back-up. I plan to share the turkey barbecue and baked Brie recipes soon, but I'll warn you - they're so simple I can barely call them recipes.

** If you're interested, I used the code GRECHEN to get 20% off my jeans at that site. Not sure if the code is still good, but it's worth a try.


Suz said...

I'm so sorry we missed it! Next time, we will come to YOUR party first! Of course, we are rarely invited to 2 parties that happen at the same time..

Anonymous said...

Sorry I missed it as well...I was under the mistaken impression that it was a fancy, formal affair. I stayed home from shame I had only jeans and nothing to bring (remembering a recent post about such things, natch).
Now I know!

Blog O' Beth said...

I wasn't even invited and I'm sorry I missed it. LOL! Hey, nice to see you back among the blogosphere. I tagged you on my blog - check it!

Anonymous said...

It was a fabulous party and your outfit was tres chic! Thanks for the invitation.... Juliet

Unknown said...

The party sounds fantastic--congratulations! I would like to see a picture of the outfit--the shoes, at least. My own party-going efforts have been shameful lately. On our way out the door last night, for example, I noticed that there was a hole in my tights. Rather than take the time to change them, I decided to pretend that they got ripped in the cab. Sad, really. But I did stay awake until past two, so I'm proud of that.