Let’s just say the first party was a sparkling cider with a dash of white wine and a big paper plate full of latkes kind of affair. The second party was pomegranate vodka all the way. In either case, now is the morning after, and those of us who just indulged in the first party, which started about 5 p.m. and was over by 9 p.m., are wide-eyed and bushy-tailed (as my husband’s grandpa used to say). Those of us who indulged in both, e.g. my young adultish children, are fast asleep in their beds.
The morning after the party has always been a time of curious calm and delight for me in the quiet of who’s still sleeping. As a child, I loved rushing downstairs after my parents’ parties in our narrow Brooklyn triplex, aiming myself with great speed toward the silver bowl of leftover Wise potato chips and small dishes of M&M remnants. It was lovely to sit on the plastic-covered couch, eating the dregs, and imagining what the adults talked about, which I knew induced explosions of laughter, usually after my dad told a joke I was forbidden from hearing.
I was kind of a loner as a child, and not by choice. My intensity tended to drive off the other kids, and bursting into renditions of Barbra Streisand’s “People Who Need People” in the school yard didn’t exactly win me friends. So parties seemed especially magical to me, mystic explorations of joy on steroids in my book. I told myself as a kid sitting on that couch that one day I would become an adult and throw parties. I would be the one pouring potato chips into bowls and putting out bottles of seltzer and chocolate milk so we could make our own egg creams.
It’s all come to pass, even the egg creams one year. Our annual Hanukkah, and on inauguration years for Obama, Obamakkah party, has overflowed my childhood cup of wishes decades ago. I’ve also learned, for the most part, not to let the party planning or prepping wear me out too much, a lesson tested yesterday when Ken and Daniel were out burning the prairie (for planting of prairie flowers into the tall grass) while Natalie, Forest and I were cleaning the house. There were a few challenging moments — such as when Ken called us to say, “Get out here to help now. The fire is heading toward the house” and later, when I was scrubbing the bathroom floor only to have a neighbor call to say he had my puppy dog — but all in all, I felt happy, peaceful and grateful when our friends began arriving.
Now it’s the day past, the food processor (the new one) ready to go into hibernation for a while, and all is shining. I have muffins in the oven and coffee ready for those-who-must-not-be-disturbed (who surely will wake before mid-afternoon). The fire burns brightly in the pellet stove. The dogs snore lightly.
The party’s over, and all is well.