I want to throw you a party. Yes, you. Name the occasion!
I’ll gladly coat walnuts with sugar and spices. Steve will confit a duck and sear the breast, while simultaneously whipping up a vegetarian option. I’ll drop slices of orange and lime in a jug of water, and float rosemary sprigs at the top. He’ll concoct a drink that is bitter and sweet and sour and salty as well as quite stiff. He will have infused some spirit with sweet potato or rhubarb or blueberry in preparation, depending on the season. My friend from California has undoubtedly overnighted me 25 freshly picked Meyer lemons, ensuring a proper lemon curd to serve with my shortbread.
We will shell fava beans for two hours (with a little help from our friends) and string paper lanterns to soften the space. We won’t just decorate; we’ll alter the décor and repurpose each room. The Bar. The Lounge. The Service Station.
And there will be fire. If it’s Fourth of July, I’ll grill. For New Year’s Eve, we’ll gather round the fire pit and offer up our intentions to the night. And we will never, ever skimp on candles.
We won’t ever skimp on a party. I’ve worn the same outfits to work every week this winter…and last winter. I make my own detergent and Steve has driven two different cars with broken doors for the past eight years.
But we will throw you a party. I will take out my grandmother’s teacups for you. You will most certainly sip something warm from the fragile, prized orphan of some flowery set of four. Could be cauliflower soup, or hand-poured coffee, hot spiced cider or hot spiced wine. We will nourish you.
Body and soul. At the end of the night, we’ll write our dreams for you on the balloons and pop them, all together, releasing our wishes into your future. You will leave feeling tipsy and warm and new.
My wish for my own future is simple. I have everything I need, and I wish for nothing more than to celebrate it, finally, in my own home, with you. To celebrate it, to celebrate you, to celebrate anything and everything.
There is a party upstairs as I write. People in houses have parties. This fact has been loudly reinforced for us as we live, temporarily, in the underbelly of other people’s homes. Parties used to sound like clinking glasses and friends’ laughter and the door to the patio opening and closing. Now they sound like tromping feet, toilet water gushing through overhead pipes, muffled bellows and roars and shrieks, and Lucy confusedly barking a quiet question of me: Is this a threat? Am I to really bark now, or no?
No, sweet pup, there is nothing threatening here. The guffaws and whoops need not even be an annoyance. The overhead partygoers are only reminding us: This is why we bought a home. This is the reason we will be financing our return for the next two decades. Who would we be without sharing, without celebration?
Life’s a Party! Back in the days when it certainly seemed true, I was acquainted with not a few dorm room occupants who carried out all domestic activities in a hedonistic stupor beneath this seemingly shallow and naïve sign.
I wouldn’t mind reassessing the value of this concept in the near future. Who’s with me?