Monthly Archives: December 2011

Never a Christmas Morning…..

“Never a Christmas Morning…….Never the old year ends

But someone thinks of someone, Old days, old times, old friends”—-Anonymous

My Christmas cards several years ago ( probably more like 15 or 20 years ago) had that poem on them. It was unattributed and when I have tried to find the name of the author I have not been successful. I love the succinct way those few lines can make me nostalgic, maudlin, sad and full of fond memories all at the same time.

One of the things the early years of socialization, which in my case consisted of Jack and Jill ( a black middle class, some would say snobby, organization for children), church and school, do not prepare you for the realities of true friendship. Relationships among adolescents, romantic and platonic, rise and fall like waves on the sea. The person who is your BFF this month may be either ignored or despised next month.  I have never been in a fight, never hit anyone in anger or been hit by another, but I remember junior high school and high school fights and they were frequently between girls or boys who had been fast friends not so long before. As a matter of fact some of the most intense fights took place between “friends.” This was partially caused by the fact that friends often tell friends things they do not want widely known.When the friendship breaks down all of the secrets become fair game.

In junior high I remember an epic battle, the two antagonists, Sharon and Cynthia had been fast friends. Who knows why the friendship broke, but Cynthia announced to the 8th grade class that Sharon not only did not have, or need, a bra, but that she had not yet started having her period. This took place while the teacher, Mrs. Brooks, was out in the hall scolding another student for misbehaving. Mrs. Brooks was a kindly, mild mannered woman and she was horrified to find that not only had a fight begun ( I am not sure who jumped who) but that it was spilling out into the hallway where she was counseling her other recalcitrant student.

She meekly tried to intervene ( I learned early in my teaching career not to step between two females.It takes more for them to get mad and resort to physical confrontation, but once they get there there is no stopping them. Teenage boys will pull a punch if a teacher steps between them, teenage girls will not!) and got her finger broken for her trouble. That sent her scurrying back into her classroom, which had virtually emptied by then so that we could watch the battle progress–it had flowed into the girls restroom next door by then, to call the principal, Mr. Page for succor. Mr. Page appeared, separated the combatants and promptly suspended them both.

I will go into more detail about high school skulduggery and fake friendships in a later post.

So, making friends, keeping friends and the nature of friendship is rarely an exact art in adolescence. Nor, I have found is it much better in adulthood.   I have always had quite a few friends, of different caliber of friend of course. Some few are true, no holds barred friends. These are the ones that you can count on even if you have not seen them for ten years. As soon as you get together again you feel like you never left each other. You can still finish each other’s sentences and can talk into the wee hours of the morning. Lesley, Donna, Sharon, Harvenia, Ellen, Jeff, Carolyn, Reva, Janine, Josmell any of them would answer a call for a ride to the airport, or for bail money. You know the saying, ” Friends help you move, real friends help you move bodies.” My true friends probably number about 15.

My semi-friends are much more numerous. These are the ones you get along famously with, like to exchange Christmas cards with, invite to parties and attend parties at their houses, go to lunch with etc. Yet, even among this group  of adults some of them morph, they either become friends or they become enemies, or they simply become nothing, they disappear. If they are open about the transition it is cool, but if they are not it can be disturbing.

Last year I had a “friend” do some dirty things to me, going behind my back to tell people things I had said about them–or in one case making up some things to tell that I had not said–in confidence to her. One of the primary requirements of friendship is to be trustworthy. If you do not want to lose a friend keep what they tell you to yourself, unless they give you permission to tell, or unless they tell you something that it would be in their best interest to tell–like they are considering killing themselves, or someone else,  for example. No one can hurt you like a friend, but then if they do those kinds of things they are not friends anyway, they are dishonest, worthless creatures.

But, lets not dwell on them, lets go back to the true friends. One of our true friends, Buzz by nickname, died a few years ago. He was one of our first adult friends to go. He was always kind of the father figure of our little group, being the oldest and in many cases the most serious, although he had a great sense of humor too. Every Christmas Eve we could count on him to come and enjoy himself and start to convince his wife that they should leave at a decent hour and each year he would fail, even if he put on his coat and threatened to take the kids home and leave her there. He was all bluster and crazy about his wife.

About ten years ago we went to Florida with him and his wife and he booked the tickets. Turned out they were on Valu Jet and we razzed him for years about the spartan service. He also frequently complained about being the one who got the smallest portions when we all went out to eat. I remember going to a steak place 20 years ago. We all ordered Surf and Turf. When Buzz’s came his lobster tail was about half the size of those of the rest of us, we almost all fell over laughing. I think about him every December 24th when our guests ( including his widow and kids and grandkids) arrive at our house, and how much he loved the annual gathering.

Most of the time when I think of old friends I laugh, like the time 15 years ago when  my friend Lesley was driving us all to the airport for yet another trip to Florida, and after telling us she knew the way quite well, drove right past the airport exit and had to go about three miles before she could turn around. We still tease her about not being able to read an exit sign after all her bragging.

Or the time my friend Harvenia was dancing at a pool party in Orlando  to Reggae music, provided by a DJ who called himself Reggae Man and hurt her back doing a too athletic move. She tried to pretend all was well, but the next day when we were touring Epcot she kept making little moaning sounds whenever she had to move much. To add insult to injury she had bought some shoes while we were shopping at a local outlet mall and they rubbed blisters on her heels! It was not funny then, but since she totally recovered the next day it got funny then.

Or the time our friend Patty Lou, who died young as well, called the IT Pizza House after midnight only to be told after she had blurted out her pizza order that they were closed. Patty Lou was an earthy young woman and she promptly said ” Then what the F*** did you answer the phone for?”

Ah memories of old friends, some still here, some passed on, Christmas and New Years both evoke these memories in me, and as we all age–the one philosopher who said ” Time is the fire in which we all burn” , had it right— memories become more and more comforting.Many Christmas’s now we end up dragging out albums ( that is what you used to put pictures in for you millennials who think pictures are stored in files and on cameras) and looking at old pictures  and howling about the stories they remind us of.

As we approach New Year”s Day I hope you are enjoying happy memories and making new happy memories. And for some of you I hope I am part of them!





Posted by on December 29, 2011 in Uncategorized


Ruminations on Christmas and shopping and strategic saving!!

I remember as a child going to Dayton to see the animated display in Rike’s Department store window. It was a big deal and it always seemed like the lights were brighter and the trees were more fragrant and the bows were more elaborate at Christmas in department stores. In many ways it still does.  There are those who rail against the commercialization of Christmas and shake their fingers at us to remember the reason for the season. Unfortunately, a lot of them seem to be unaware that at its core Christmas was invented for commercial, or at least semi-commercial reasons.

Supposedly the celebration of the birth of Christ, Christmas was not established as being in late December until 440AD  (I am using AD rather than my more usual CE since that might both confuse and irritate! ) . In historical terms this makes the celebration relatively young.  Historians set the birth of Jesus Christ as sometime six months on either side of Easter, which makes it either September/October.  The decision to set December 25th or close to the Winter Solstice was, according to legend determined for several reasons:1) Winters were long and hard and cold and a celebration in mid-winter ( yes I know winter technically starts on the 21st of December, but really, do you think Thanksgiving is in the fall, remember all those Currier and Ives pictures with sleighs and things going to grandmother’s house?? ) was needed to keep the peasants and serfs from getting unruly, and to give the ruling classes a legitimate reason to kill and eat stuff and drink a lot ( Note: this is still true today, but usually they salve their consciences by contributing to charities, although some of them have recently taken to paying off layaways evidently, which does cloudy the waters about Christmas and commercialism since people say that is  in the true meaning of Christmas. So paying Walmart or Kmart for toys made in China is congruent with a religious, solemn occasion? Just sayin’) 2) It helped legitimize and make popular with the surging Christians the old Druidic and other pagan cultural celebrations associated with the solstice like the Roman Saturnalia— which by the way was celebrated by bringing in evergreen boughs along with other less wholesome practices–sound familiar?, 3) it sold a lot of candles and oils for lamps, kind of like a precursor to Black Friday for the shop keepers.

So, my religious friends who are so quick to draw yourselves up and chastise us pagans for worshipping at the feet of Macy’s,aka Memnon rather than celebrating the birth of Jesus, you actually co-opted a pagan celebration to associate with the birth of the King of Kings.  That does not, of course, mean you cannot use the day to reflect and worship and give praise and thanks, but it does mean you might want to chill out on using that phrase “ the reason for the season.” I am afraid the reasons for the season were far less pure than Jesus Christ.

One of the things I love about Christmas time, besides family and presents and food and the tree and friends and cards and carols and the hope most people seem to have for good or better things, is definitely shopping! To me shopping is a game of strategy, like chess, only you get to wear or use or eat the victories rather than simply bragging and annoying your opponents. Unless you are like the woman who decided to use pepper spray on her fellow Walmart shopper who were also vying for special bargains, you do not really attack people when you shop strategically, no, the opponent is the department store!

Now before one of you Debbie Downer or Nathan Negatives remind me that if you do not shop you can save 100%, let me remind you that going around without clothes on is not only illegal it is antisocial. Virtually everyone looks better clothed. There are too many things that should not be in places they are currently located on most folks to make being seen naked a good thing for society.  But I digress.  We need certain things, at Christmas we need more of those things. This makes it a halcyon time for us shopaholics.  There is an excuse to buy! Which means there is an excuse to strategize.

Oh, you novices probably know the obvious. You know about department store coupons, special two-fers, all that. But that is for beginners, rookies,neophytes. Those of us who take this passion seriously know all of the ins and outs, and no, it does not include showing up at a store like some dork with 100 coupons for cough syrup. Those uber coupon people are scary!!

Let me walk you through some of my Christmas shopping—this would be a good time for you non-believers in the joys of shopping to excuse yourself. I start in January. The very best time to buy anything associated with cold weather, is January. Because the least fun people to buy clothes for on my list are the males, husband, two sons and son-in-law, I always buy their gifts in January for the next Christmas ( they get cash as their main gift, but being a dinosaur I refuse to only give money or gift cards) . This year it was monogrammed therma-fleece half-zips from Land’s End for most of them. They regularly cost $69, plus five dollars for monogramming and about $7 for shipping. I paid $17 each including monogramming and they were shipped free. Onward to my mother, LL Bean had all of their sweaters on sale last January, including cashmere blends, eventually they were 75% off and again, free shipping. The internet is a fabulous place to shop, you can compare thousands of sites’ prices and there is always a deal of some sort. If you are not familiar with it do visit to check for bargains online, they almost always have coupons for free shipping or discounts.

I saw a centerpiece I wanted for my coffee table at a  department store. It was $79, I took a picture of it with my phone. I was able to use a decorative bowl I already had, buy the other contents at a craft store and created a virtual duplicate for $7.  Got lots of compliments on it at my NC Christmas party.

Speaking of Christmas parties, we gave two this year, one in NC for 24 people and one in Ohio for slightly more. The party in NC starred a turkey dinner , of course. You know how much turkeys cost after Thanksgiving. My 22 pound bird only cost $16.  I buy the makings for the other things, like cookies and cakes when they are on sale. You can always get cheaper nuts and chocolate chips, the summer, they keep. Because I was serving a full dinner at the NC party I did not want to use paper plates, but I did not want to deal with a bunch of plates either–your hostess leaving to load the dishwasher is tacky.  I went to Walmart, found nice red plastic plates ( dishwasher safe no less) on sale for four for 75 cents. So, I bought plates I can use at Christmas for years and paid $3.75 for the lot, cheaper than decent paper plates and because they are thin they stack up nicely in the sink until you can put them in the dishwasher later.

I serve wine at my Christmas parties and since virtually every guest brings a bottle as a hostess gift I always get enough wine at one party to serve at the next one! So throw those Christmas parties!

After Christmas sales are not to be missed either. I went to Beerman’s yesterday, scored two of those faux suede jackets, one black , one purple, that had been $59 each for $14,99 each, and I had a $10 off coupon clipped from the newspaper. So each jacket cost me $10, plus tax of course. Also bought a new comforter marked down from $159 to $35, two other coupons brought it down to $21.

Finally, if you do not belong to Groupon or Living Social you are missing out.  When I got back to NC I have a coupon for brunch for two at Cantina South that I paid $14 for and a mani pedi at a local beauty salon I paid $22 for. There are fabulous vacations, half-price dinners and tickets to events and all kinds of beauty products and services offered every day.

I love nice things, and I love good clothes and I love to eat out at  cool places and I love facials and manicures and pedicures and massages. Alas, my employment and bank account do not afford such luxuries at full price. Fortunately, neither at Christmas time nor any other time do I ever pay full price. Maybe I  will start a contest to see who can save the most on a single shopping outing. That would be fun!!!

Happy Christmas season, and happy shopping!



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Posted by on December 27, 2011 in Uncategorized


The Invisible Curriculum: What middle class and or decent people do and don’t do!

I had my monthly breakfast with my friend Donna at the Carolina Inn this morning. Donna is one of the sane, intelligent people on campus that I can talk to and bounce ideas off of without either scaring the crap out of her or confusing her totally.  I shared with her that I am frustrated sometimes by what I see as a lack of understanding of what used to be considered common knowledge for a certain group of people.

Now days we would probably call them middle class, but back in my childhood I believe they would be called decent people. When I was a child, back when the earth was still cooling, decency was not necessarily tied to class or to money, it had more to do with the character and aspirations of a people than with how much they had in the bank. Some of the wealthiest people in the East End of Xenia made their money in nefarious ways and they were basically socially shunned, even by those who had very little, as bad people.

I explained to Donna that I felt some people needed a course in how to have middle class/decent values. I also acknowledged that in this century some black people would call what I was talking about acting white. But the things I am talking about never belonged solely to white people. I went on to say that I am not  talking about using the right fork at dinner, or at least not just that, I am talking about what one does or does not do if you want to meet certain standards, or simply fit in with certain kinds of people.  Donna gave me the term, “Invisible Curriculum” which I love!

So, here is the gospel according to St. Cookie on what decent people should do and should not do. I welcome your critique and objections, just make sure they are based on something.

Let’s start with the list of  some things one does do:

  • One gets married by at least the birth of the second child bred with another
  • One finishes high school at least and if that is the end of one’s education one finds a career that supports one and any offspring
  • One speaks standard English except when socializing with folks who do not outside of the workplace
  • One wears clothes that cover most of the body unless one is going to a club
  • One wears clothes that fit, just because they make it does not mean you can wear it
  • One wears said clothes in the areas they are supposed to be worn in. Bras should be covered ( yes, even the straps) and pants should not allow your underwear to show, either through the fabric or due to “sporting the droop”
  • One is polite in public, keeping outbursts of raucous laughter and/or profanity to a minimum. There are other, more positive, ways to attract attention.
  • One sends thank you notes, one rsvps when asked and one does not ask if one can bring someone else or who else is going to be there
  • One is on time unless something truly dreadful has happened to them. Being late not only proves you are disorganized, it proves you are disrespectful of other people’s time
  • One objects to injustice and unfair treatment, no matter who the object of the injustice or unfair treatment is.
  • One says “excuse me” when one walks in front of someone or otherwise invades another’s space
  • One says “please” and “thank you”

Things one does not do

  • One does not call one’s baby daddy one’s fiance ( or baby daddy for that matter, I typed that for shock value)
  • One does not brag about one’s material possessions. Being seen in your new Lexus is not bragging, telling people who have not seen it about it is.
  • One does not call people rude  racial, ethnic or other personal characteristic terms, not even to be “funny”
  • One does not wear pants that have anything printed on the derriere area. If you must advertise that your buttocks are “Juicy” please save that for private moments with your significant other
  • One does not cut line, not ever, not for any reason
  • One does not ask for “to go” food containers at events that are clearly not to go affairs ( weddings, receptions, luncheons, etc.). The penchant for free food, expressed maniacally by some I have known is a clear indication you did not have enough food when you were young. I once had a colleague who would ask for a styrofoam container to take food home no matter how posh the event. This man made a six figure salary, but could not leave the ragged boy he had been behind when it came to leftover chicken wings. Free food was more precious to him than his dignity evidently.
  • One does not rsvp that you are attending an event and then not show up. That is truly classless
  • One does not name one’s children things that sound amazingly like aliens or exotic plants or food dishes. This includes virtually anything that begins with Da or De or La and anything that ends in ikwa,nanay or bazz. My maiden name was Mann,if I had kept my maiden name I would have resisted the temptation to name my child Da or Milk, or Post or Spider.
  • One does not thank God for things like winning football games or copping that last copy of the Tyler Perry DVD. The idea of a deity who takes sides in a sporting event or wants you to watch drivel is not congruent with my concept of the Almighty.
  • One does not watch Tyler Perry anything
  • One does not use words one knows neither the correct pronunciation nor the definition of. One of my former colleagues, who holds a PhD, once told a candidate we were interviewing for a position that we were going to leave the room and give her some time to genuflect on the offer. Since said offer was in a file on his desk I was reluctant to leave the room, curious to see if she would do it.

Okay, I think you get the picture. I know I am a dinosaur. I do use place cards for dinner parties, actually give dinner parties, attend the theater, cringe when someone tells me they “seen” something and send both thank you notes and Christmas cards..heck sometimes I send Easter cards and Halloween cards and Valentine’s Cards and Thanksgiving cards, it just depends on the mood. I love the internet, but getting an email Christmas card is not the same as something you can put on the mantel.

The list of dos and don’ts above is certainly not exhaustive. There are all kinds of things one can do that make people think you have drifted from your class moorings. But, it is a good starting list. Add your own dos and don’ts, perhaps we can turn this listing ship of society back on course.


Posted by on December 13, 2011 in Uncategorized


The Holidays are upon us!: Bring on the Figgy Pudding, and the side order of greed and guilt!

Okay boys and girls, we are, by my calculation, slightly less than three weeks from the BIG Day, also known as Christmas ( never Xmas, I do not want the fundamentalists egging my house).  We have had a fairly uneventful shopping season so far, only one casualty ( he had a heart attack at Target, not sure that really counts, unless he was being garroted at the time by someone with an X-Box cord), and a few minor kerfuffles like the woman in California spraying her competition in the electronics department of Walmart with pepper spray. Pretty civil all round.

I always miss the big days like Black Friday– it is quite refreshing isn’t it to see the word black associated with something positive in the media for a change–because I start shopping in January and am usually done by then. I would be in severe panic mode if most of my gifts were not wrapped and under the fake living room tree immediately following Thanksgiving dinner.

Christmas has, for a long time now, been a time of both great joy and anticipation and some tension. For example, balancing a joyous and memorable Christmas with impulses of crass materialism is hard. If you see something you know your spouse, kids, grandkids, parents, significant other, etc., would absolutely love, why not buy it for them. Never mind that their pile of gifts already threatens to stress out the floorboards under the tree and go crashing into the basement, they WANT it, and you can BUY it!

Are we altruistic in our giving? Do we want them to have it because it will make them happy? Will it make them happy? (Warning!! Dinosaur memory moment coming up! ) When I was a child, back when the earth was cooling, we got toys twice a year. On your birthday and at Christmas. When I say toys I mean maybe a doll and something smaller like a yoyo or one particularly memorable birthday, a hula hoop. Now kids get $20 toys on Tuesday evenings. Are they happier? Do they appreciate them? Do they even play with them? I know children who have literally rooms full of toys. They do not seem particularly content.

And what about adults. I do not want to admit what my closet looks like, but my husband’s makes mine look sparse, not counting the plastic containers of clothes he has stored at various storage locations at both the condo and the Ohio house.  Does anyone really need all those clothes? Remember he is retired. I am only a couple of years from retirement, I presume all you Xenians are ready to see me strolling the hallowed halls of Walmart dressed to the teeth for the next decade or so. Be kind, I will not have anywhere else to wear all those clothes! If I happen to appear too often in velvet or sequins, do pull me aside and have a word. But I digress.

For Christmas we all try to give the perfect gift. One that is thoughtful, something the person wants and needs and something we can kind of afford. Or, like some folks, including some of my family members, you give gifts someone gave you that you did not like, did not fit or you cannot use. Anyway, we all try to adhere to the spirit of giving of the season. But is it really a season of giving? When I toss a dollar bill into the ubiquitous Salvation  Army kettle and buy a pair of mittens for the Angel Tree at the mall why am I doing it? To help the poor or salve my conscience?

I claim to be a great proponent of social justice, but guess what i asked Santa ( aka hubby) for this Christmas? An iPad! Do I need an iPad to go with my iPhone and my Mac Air? How will an iPad change my quality of life? ( That was rhetorical tech-addicts)  I do not know. I just know I want one. Because I gave him a Bose system two years ago he will probably pony up on the iPad. And, as every year, I will read the sob stories published in the paper about the woman with 7.9 children who lost her husband to a rabid badger bite , incurred when the badger was driven from under their house when it caught fire due to the candle catching the curtains because their lights had been turned off due to no money to pay the bill, because they had both lost their jobs at the chicken gutting plant in Snake’s Navel due to the Recession, and I will feel bad that I am sitting in my warm home, with lights on, without 7.9 children, too high up in the air for a rabid badger to get to unless he has a jet pack and with a job.

Perhaps I can write a stirring editorial for the local paper on the way we haves need to help the have-nots. I will try it first thing Christmas morning, on my new iPad.

Merry Christmas to all.

God bless us every one.

Free the Elves!!

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Posted by on December 7, 2011 in Uncategorized


Amateur psychology at a party: What fun to identify other’s psychoses , no doubt missing one’s own all together!

I went to a fun party last night, given by a colleague and friend. The party’s host was Latino as were most of the guests. It was an interesting and eclectic bunch, although I do believe my husband and I were the only two folks there that did not have some variety of Spanish heritage.

Good food, great music and fun. We did a White Elephant gift exchange, which did not take long since everyone was happy with the gift they got to begin with. I decided to introduce a game called ” How’s Yours?” It is a very fun game, with no need for supplies. The rules are simple. One guest leaves the room and the rest of the guests decide on an item. It has to be something everyone in the room has, but can be a body part like lips or a possession like a sofa or car. The person who left is then called back in and can only ask each guest one question, ” How’s Yours?” The guest can only answer in one word adjectives. The person who gives the answer that allows the guesser to get the right object has to leave the room next. Fun game.

When we arrived at the party there were only a few people there. One couple and the father of the male of the couple, the sister of the hostess and the host and hostess. It seemed that things were just a bit tense. It soon became obvious why. The woman of the couple, who I will call Louise, was a handsome woman, I do not know how old she is, but she has three grown children, so no spring chicken. She had on a short, tight dress, a red coat which she kept on the entire evening, and spike heels, with a black organza bow near the open toe. My first thought was, where did she think she was going? My second thought was admiration that she could totter around on those high, high heels, especially at her age.

It quickly became apparent that Louise is the type of female who wants to be the bride at every wedding and the corpse at every funeral, in other words she wants to be the center of attention. That is not necessarily a criticism, I have quite a bit of the same pathology myself. I do, however, I hope have more subtlety in my approach to garnering attention. This was the first time we had met Louise and her virtually non-verbal husband. I could not decide whether he did not have anything to say or if he simply could not get a word in edgewise to say it.

In order to start conversation I asked her what she did. She had asked where I worked first. She launched into a ten minute oration on her education, her career, etc. When she told me she had a doctorate I asked her what her dissertation was on, usually a good conversation starter among those Piled Higher and Deeper holders like myself. She stumbled on words for one of the few times that evening and I figured out she is not a Ph.D but an Ed.D., also known in academe as children of a lesser god.

Louise went on from the dissertation discomfort to tell me she is a “green belt” and Six Sigma and that she left the world of education after becoming disillusioned with the way education was conducted in the US. I have some sympathy with that position, having often said we need to burn it down and start over again, but she was not looking for a conversation. When I tried to insert my agreement with some of her statements she rolled right on telling me how much money she makes and how well her employers treat her, and reward her for doing well.

We could have had a good conversation about how society values certain things and people and disregards others , but, as I said, she was not interested in discourse, she was interested in performing. I actually was fascinated watching her, and wondering if I did not sometimes do the same thing. I know that I tend to be very comfortable being both the center of attention and sharing my views, but I certainly hope that I do not project a personna that not only will not allow anyone else time or space, but also indicates a truly deep seated insecurity. The need to convince people you do not know and may likely never meet again how wonderful you are is a sign that you are not so sure they will discover it for themselves in short order.

When we played ” How’s Yours” her answers were almost universally self-congratulatory, ” Sexy, Pretty, Expensive, a gift from God”  in answer to the words, toes, feet, dining room table and tongue. I think you get the picture. She was trying so hard to be fabulous that she ended up being a parody of herself.

Her daughters, who were at the party, two beautiful young women, are very quiet, reserved, almost timid. I have known one of them  for several years, the other for a couple of years. I always wondered why they are so shy, I now know why. There is no way the sun could get to seedlings in the shade of that Mama tree.

One of the other couples who came in later, a professor and his wife, are both fairly quiet, although both of them have a great sense of humor. My husband and I ended up talking to them quite a bit, mainly about the differences in race and racism between the North and the South–he is from Michigan originally, she is from New Hampshire.

During the game the wife of the couple, I will call her Nan, was empathetic to the point where she wanted to give the clue that could allow the person guessing to get the right answer. Louise kept yelling at her telling her ” don’t say anything ( or actually anythin, she did have an accent) more!” Yet, during the game Nan, with her quiet laugh and pleasant, outgoing nature, managed to steal the spotlight more than one time with her answers and her good humor. If you asked the other guests who they would invite to their own party, Nan or Louise, I do not think it would be any kind of contest.

So, my first party of the holiday season has given me food for thought. I need to take the lesson learned by watching the would be diva perform and be less flamboyant myself. If you are fabulous people will figure it out, if they do not then you always have your own knowledge of your marvelousness to comfort you. And, you will not have made a fool of yourself in front of a bunch of people!

I am giving a rather large ( 24!) dinner party next week myself. I hope people do not mind sitting  on the stairs to eat! Actually I will have enough space for everyone, but some may have to balance plates on their laps on the couch or in a chair. I willq1have three tables, the dining table seats six, the card table four and I will clean off the computer table in the study and seat four so only ten will have to find a roost, and hopefully everyone will not arrive at once.

Although being the hostess does carry with it some kind of guaranteed star power, I will try very hard to make my guests the center of attention. I will have to recognize that the turkey may, however, be the star for at least part of the evening.

Hope your holiday party season is fabulous! If you are not invited to a party, throw one! 🙂


Posted by on December 4, 2011 in Uncategorized