Monday, February 18, 2013

galentine's day 2013.

Occasionally I exhibit what I call absent-minded-professor tendencies. I spend weeks prepping for a party, but can't figure out who to invite. I pick out decorations, themes, appropriate colors, but the food we'll all eat remains a mystery. Thus begins this year's Galentine's Day tale.

I sent out invitations to my book club weeks ago detailing this year's event, encouraging them to invite their own friends since Galentine's Day is most assuredly one of those the more the merrier kind of holidays. I emphasized Leslie Knope and "hos before bros," but figured details like where and when were less important. I just assumed we'd hold the party where I'd held it last year, at one of the only local restaurants in town that serves breakfast past noon. (Breakfast for dinner is a big part of the Galentine's Day concept for me, mostly because: who doesn't love night-time pancakes?)

A few days before the big event, I tried calling the restaurant to make sure they'd be okay with nine of us coming in for a party, equipped with our own decor. They'd laughed at me last year when I'd called to make reservations, so I figured a phone call a couple of days in advance would more than suffice this time. Unfortunately, no one ever answered the restaurant's phone, not any time I called. And while normally, I'd find that disconcerting, I kind of shrugged my shoulders and figured something was wrong with their telephones. 

By the time Tuesday finally rolled around, I had Izze sodas; colorful napkins, notebooks, slap bracelets, and treat bags (thank you, Target dollar bins); but no confirmation the restaurant would actually be open. About four hours before festivities were set to begin, I decided to call the restaurant one last time.

Guys, someone finally picked up. 

Turns out, they're now closed in the evenings. (Tallahasseeans must not like breakfast for dinner, which is just about the most ridiculous thing I've ever heard.) My Galentine's Day party was all dressed up with nowhere to go. 

Luckily, my friends all check their phones religiously, so a few mass texts later, I'd moved the party to a different restaurant -- one that would also let me bring my own decorations and goodies -- and Galentine's Day commenced with the usual fanfare. 

I used to kind of hate Valentine's Day, mostly because in high school, Valentine's Day is pretty miserable. It  is. There's no more "everyone gets a Valentine because everyone is special" mentality. It's the most intense of popularity contests, with flowers held in the school office and names called over the intercom. It's the one part of high school that really is like the movies we see and the books we read, and it's never fun for those who aren't at the top of the food chain. Even in college, when Jordan and I were dating, Valentine's Day wasn't my thing. I'm not overly affectionate or romantic -- not in the red roses kind of way -- and a holiday with loads of pink and chalk-flavored hearts seemed silly to me. 

Now, though, I choose to celebrate all kinds of love on Valentine's Day. Last year, Galentine's Day really helped me see that a holiday devoted to love -- all kinds of love -- isn't silly at all. It's fun. It's fun to celebrate those we love. Valentine's Day is a way to express our gratitude to people who choose to be in our lives, choose to love and appreciate us, and it's a small way to appreciate and love them right back.

A lot of people shy away from throwing parties, maybe because it requires work and effort and yes, vulnerability. But I am learning all the time that life is really worth the effort. Parties don't have to be perfect to be fun, and most of the time, our friends and family are eager just to gather together.

The specifics of hospitality (even though I love them) are rarely as important as the act itself.

I guess what I'm saying is: Throw a party. Get together with your friends. Show them you care. And it's still February, which means you could legitimately throw a Galentine's Day party tomorrow. I bet your friends would be thrilled. 

1 comment:

Kristin said...

What a wonderful party!!! I love this idea of "Galentines"...maybe I'll have to throw one for my girlfriends next year?!