My dearest readers, I woke up this morning at 6:45 sweating and filled with stress. What if no one comes!? I haven't gone shopping! There's no play list! Speakers!?!? It was clear that sleeping long enough to hear my alarm clock wake me at 8:00 was an idle dream. I bundled up in my bath robe and shawl and shuffled downstairs to stoke the fire. Ensconced in my high-backed wooden chair pulled up to the stove, I grabbed my arsenal of notepads and pens to guard off the encroaching stress.
I do not normally put off party planning until the day before a party. Just the thought of such last-minute preparations makes my stomach tense and my mouth dry up. A to-do and to-call list grew from one page to three. My shopping list, though manageable, could have been better managed earlier this week. I reminded myself, as the stove's heat permeated my rough knit shawl, that there was ice skating to be had, games to be played, and that my dearest friends would be coming over to celebrate. Needless to say, my last minute party will be nothing like what Epicurious.com suggests. Hired help!? A fully stocked bar!? You have got to be kidding me! But even if the champagne is cheap and it's the worst party ever (which, of course, it won't be), it will still beat the political misery of this past decade.
And then there are the nagging little questions: where do I by lamp kerosene that doesn't reek like the kerosene for heaters sold at the gas station by the gallon? Will people want to dance, or should I leave the living room for lounging? Do people really expect champagne? What if it's too cold and I can't heat the house through? Hot chocolate or hot mulled cider? I'm leaning towards Spiked Hot Chocolate
But it's going to be a full moon. And it might be snowing a bit (the two don't cancel each other - they offer two equally exciting prospects). And what is better than laughing with good friends? And a fire by the side of a stream frozen solid? And hot chocolate (or mulled cider?)
But now I'm listening to my favorite calm-me-down music - the beautiful harmonies of Sarah Lee Guthrie and Johnny Irion (also here), and I have plenty to do at work, so it's a simple thing - calming down and trusting that tonight will be fine, will be fine, will be fine, will be fine, for a while. (I choose the rooms that I live in with care)
I didn't realize I was writing a blog on being a hostess...honestly.
Dear New York Times Style Section...just think about how you could sell it...a hip, young, down-to-earth, and green version of Martha Stewart! Get those yuppie-cum-farmer kids in and make a killing!