We had a party the other day. (Let me say this up front: If we like each other and normally hang out and you weren't invited it is because Evite apparently ate half the invitations. I tried to clean it up via email where I could, but still, people fell through the cracks and I will continue to feel badly about that. But I am moving on. There. Hugs.)
It was by far the best party we've ever thrown (and we've thrown some doozies). It included some of each of my favorite knitters and writers and musicians (and isn't it awesome when someone lands in all three categories?). But that mix is normal for a Chez Hehu party (normal and AWESOME). This is why it was my favorite party:
I gave up hostessing.
In the past, I've always felt that my role as the Party Thrower should be making sure everyone is having fun. I must talk to everyone for at least long enough for them to feel heard but not to the point of neglecting anyone else. I must make sure glasses are filled. I must make sure food continues to come out and be consumed. I must mingle and introduce people (my least-liked task since having to make an introduction stresses me out to the point of forgetting my own name let alone those of the people I'm introducing). I'm a social person, and I like parties. But I vastly like attending parties at other people's houses, so I don't have to be the person who is taking care of everything (or worse, the person who feels like she has to take care of everything but actually doesn't).
So at this last party? I played music.
I got out the accordion early in the evening, and I was still playing it on the back porch close to midnight (luckily, the neighbors were invited and present). We had a clutch of rotating musicians: Lala played the standup bass and the banjo (and the guitar, I think), and Tom kicked ass on the guitar, Rom played a blow-organ (I don't know if I'd ever seen a melodica in action before), Laura played the fiddle, Carol played the uke, and others jumped in and out. Camilla, who brought the KEG of beer (!), rocked OUT on the accordion and I just kind of tried to back her up.
Now, people. A two-accordion party is perhaps one more accordion than any party needs. But I was in love and having a ball. I've never really jammed on the accordion to anything but my iTunes library, so it was a rush (and I don't think I sucked too badly. I wasn't good, no — but I kept up sometimes with my simple playing).
And I finally got it. I'd kind of felt it with my uke playing, but this cemented it. All those times you've wondered if the musicians have more fun at the party than you do? They do. It was more fun.
It kept my hands busy. It kept my worried-hostess-mind mostly quiet (it still squawked every once in a while — I should be mingling more! I should put more white wine in the fridge!) and it was just plain damn fun.
I didn't knit much. I didn't talk writing much. But I looked around at my friends and saw them doing the things they loved, and I saw them all talking and laughing with each other, and I was so happy.