I've never been to a blow dry bar before, but I thought Friendsgiving would be a good occasion to give it a try since every time I do it myself my sisters laugh and insist my hair isn't actually straightened. It's really hard to get to this odd extra curly section at the back of my head and, well anyways, I thought I'd get some assistance. My stylist was helping train a new employee, so instead of making conversation with me, she made commentary to her trainee like "She doesn't have a ton of hair and her head is really tiny, so this shouldn't take that long…"
I ended up liking how she styled it and my sisters approved, so I guess that's all that really matters.
We had 19 people over, putting our house close to its maximum capacity. We borrowed tables and chairs and decorated them with drop cloths, natural fiber runners from Target and mason jars to help the great big dining table go with the rest of our house. The mason jars and bamboo cutlery from Party City helped minimize the carbon footprint that I was worried about leaving.
I used raffia and wooden leaves from Paper Source for the name tags, in case you were wondering. Scott and I wrote our guest's names on the leaves with a wood burner (and I'll be honest, it was mostly Scott since my handwriting sucks). On the back we wrote three things we were thankful for about each person. I knew we were all going to get pretty rowdy with Bill bringing two pony kegs of home brew and all, so I wanted to make sure there was still a sentimental aspect to the party. I also feel constantly compelled to make sure the people I love know it, and think about how to show them often. Where would I be without them? I wonder this all of the time too.
I was still tying the name tags to the cups about an hour before everyone arrived. With the kitchen turned pretty much to dust eight days earlier, putting together the party took until the last possible minutes. Thankfully, we finished the kitchen at 9pm the night before and no one was on time.
It didn't rain like it was supposed to, but the clouds that did show up to the party were a great canvas for the sun.
My parents came over in the middle of the party just to show us how to make the gravy (as a vegetarian, you can try to guess how many times I've done that) and had been at our house for the last two days helping us prepare. They gave us the lights for the backyard and Kevin's neighbor let us borrow his heat lamp. Our friends brought all of the side dishes so all we had to do was not burn the turkey or gravy. We just might have without my parents though. I think it goes without saying that this party was possible because of the generosity of others.
At dinner Scott and I decided to sit at the heads of the table. There was a moment mid meal where we finally made eye contact. Even from 20 feet away I could see the content in his eyes. These get-togethers are like sunshine for him and me.
We seated everyone boy, girl, boy, girl, with no one next to their significant other, my mom's idea. It was a good one.
The drop cloths became canvases. We will pass them on to the person who hosts Friendsgiving next year.
We played Reverse Charades to see if boys or girls had to do the dishes. The boys lost, but I think they somehow got sidetracked by the hats in the garage while the girls thought this was the perfect occasion to go through my underwear drawer and get rid of things…
I think I probably said this at least seven times at the party, but of all the scenarios I considered, never once did I think my hat rack and underwear drawer would get raided.
The house was trashed in the morning, but I think you can guess what I'm going to say: of course, it was worth it.
While I was cleaning up, I started thinking about how everybody is searching, sometimes hurting, sometimes hoping, sometimes laughing, sometimes crying in life. I know I've been doing all of those things lately. It's really good to be reminded that we have each other as we go through it all.
p.s. my favorite song right now. I like this version a little more than the Bob Dylan one, and it somehow seems like a holiday song even though it isn't.
p.p.s. if you need a really delicious and easy Thanksgiving appetizer, you might want to try this Carmel Apple Cream Cheese dip. I'm going to make it for Thanksgiving at Scott's parent's house.
p.p.p.s. a fun thing we did with family: What's Your Animal Personality Type? I'm a wolf.