I rushed to the front doors of the reception place we rented only to find them locked. I had a massive carrot cake in the back of my van and all manner of bags filled with plastic table ware, paper plates, and punch for 100. This followed driving 200 miles while running on the fumes of not enough sleep and some truly awful coffee.
Did I mention I showed up for the party a day early?
Luckily, having forgotten the poem I was going to read to help toast my friend necessitated making some phone calls to transport said poem via computers, and in the conversations, I found out why the doors were locked. “Caryn, I’m sorry to tell you this, but the invitation says December 27,” a good friend told me. What?
What along with our favorite family word that begins with the letter F followed in great variety and volume. Natalie and Daniel, tired also but here to help me, along with Ken, were all throwing our hands into the air.
It’s been a day of such gestures, beginning for me about 3 a.m. when I sat up in bed, wide awake. After a day when I did everything right to avoid insomnia (a long walk, a lovely session of solo yoga, swimming and time in a hot tub, and a great day with family), despite being in a very comfortable and plush bed on the 9th story of a lovely hotel, I had just spent two hours unable to sleep. To put an end to my thrashing, I took a pill only to wake up at 8, feeling like I just missed getting hit by a train.
The ride home, hurried because I had to get back for the party, was a blend of surrealistic napping (no fears — Ken was driving) in between popping chocolate-covered espresso beans followed by discovering the back door of my house had popped wide open. In between unpacking while trying to stay warm, I felt the layers of fatigue envelop me, but no sleep for the wicked: I had a party to host.
Fast-forward to having just gingerly loaded the biggest cake I’d ever been responsible for into the car and driving to the reception while my family discussed who would be the least likely of us to drop the carrot cake for 100 on the ground. Daniel felt my lack of height coupled with years of yoga made me the best candidate. In any case, that cake needn’t have been hauled quite so fast. It sleeps happily in the back of my van (too large for any refrigerator I know of, and the temperature outside of perfect).
As for me, I’ll sleep too, and then tomorrow night, return to the scene, ready to right whatever I miscalculated, and celebrate my friend from a (hopefully) less harried and exhausted vantage point. Meanwhile, tomorrow I’ll be driving around with an party in my van, ready to spring into cake and punch at just the right time.