I think one of my friends said it best when she told me that this week was such a showoff: Valentine’s day on Saturday, then Fat Tuesday, her birthday on Wednesday, and Chinese New Year on Thursday. Wait a minute… did someone say birthday?! ‘Yeah, but my twin is going to be out of town, and I have no plans, so I don’t think it’s going to be very good.’ Cue the light bulb going on above my head and spinning wheels in my little brain. I think my pupils dilated a little: I’m going to throw this party for her.
I’m usually not a Martha Stewart type, but everyone loves to break out their good dishes from time to time. Over the next two days, I set to work planning dinner, dessert, a few gifts, decorations, and mainly how the heck I was going to fit 8 people into a 1000 sf apartment with no dinner table. I went into a minor tizzy thinking about color schemes and re-arranging my furniture.
Pretty soon, I was going a little overboard. Sometimes when you’re decorating a cake at 12.30a, you reason with yourself that maybe it’s a good thing to be a work-a-holic. But as I was crafting everything, I began to think: “This is a lot of work. Why am I doing this? And why do I not even mind??” At first, it was about having fun making cute decorations and looking up dinner parties on Pinterest, but I started to realize I didn’t mind because I cared more about giving my friends a memorable day than I did about my own time or even stress. I also didn’t mind because I was putting a lot of thoughtfulness into everything. I’m a maker: I’ve always enjoyed creating things with my hands, so it was almost as much of a gift for me to make my friends’ their birthday dinner.
The party turned out great, everyone agreed that we should do it again, and the teeny weeny glisten of a little tear in my friend’s eyes when she opened her gift made everything 110% worth my party-planning craze. Another reason I lavished so much attention on this dinner was because my friend is leaving in 8 weeks to travel abroad alone for a very indeterminate amount of time and itinerary. She might find herself in hostile places or get homesick or go totally broke. I guess I wanted to give her a little extra love to last her until I’d see her again. So, I gifted her my homemade watercolor kit I made from an old soap dish, a tiny box that accompanied me through Europe a couple years ago. I felt like it wanted to go live a new life and I knew she wanted to paint the places she would visit.
Happy birthday, Kate (and her twin, Becca, who was able to make it!!)