I have re-published posts before, but I haven’t always added to them. Somehow, though, I felt some invitations were necessary.
It’s been many years since I have had my “Women I Like” party. It began with the concept that I was integrated into myself enough that the people I liked would truly like the people I liked. (In my younger years I didn’t have that comfort. I was a chameleon who changed for different people. I was so unsure of myself that I was uncomfortable when the different aspects of my life would intersect.)
Huge healing took occurred in my life when these parts of myself came together with my acceptance. The women had provided great healing, too. Each on her own was a special friend with individual strengths and weakness that somehow dovetailed with my idiosyncrasies. They were all women who were at ease with themselves in their places world – at times, more than others.
In the years since I have added only a people to my list. Many have been lost thru death and/or dementia. And now I have lost two more dear-to-my-heart friends, But the women i like and have liked are always with me, if only in spirit.
First published 2010
Last night I held a gathering of some of my favorite women. They are my favorites because I find joy in being with each of them. They make my life richer and fuller by knowing them. Every friend represents memories of laughter, or tears or intellectual challenge. We share habits and happenings. Some I see often, some rarely; but each plays an important role, balancing me and filling in the blanks of my shifting self.
My gathering is a gift to them and to me. The morning after, I have moments of wondering if I walked away in the mid-sentence or failed to respond to a question or statement. But I think that’s part of being a host. It isn’t the easy sitting and chatting without care, but it has its own reward.
It is the joy of deciding who is so fun, so thoughtful, so interesting, and comfortable to be with that my house will light up with their presence. And then looking at the list and knowing that each and every person will see someone who will entertain her.
It is wandering the house for days visioning the event: checking the lighting and ambience, getting out the holiday dishes and the colorful napkins.
It’s planning the menu and hoping that each new recipe will be great. And remembering to peel part of the cucumbers because one friend doesn’t like peelings on ANYTHING. Or leaving the garlic out when possible so that another friend can enjoy the flavors without an allergic reaction.
It is having friends who love to come early (whether it is the day before or the hour before) and help make everything come together by putting the pieces in place.
It is that moment of sheer relief when guests gather and greet each other as friends even though they may see each other only once a year.
It is hearing the steady hum of chatter from each seating area. And the occasional burst of loud laughter that tells me where certain people are sitting even if I can’t see them.
And it’s having friends who love to stay late; who have one more funny story or are enjoying themselves and hate to leave.
It’s even the dirty dishes and leftover food scrambled together on the countertop in the morning. Mental pictures of why there is a wine glass behind the vase and a plate of cheesecake in the cupboard bring back snippets of conversation and the sensation of warm hugs.
These are the women I like – in my home and in my life.
P. S. I missed every one of you who couldn’t be here. Next year…