Tag Archives: party

Yahoo, shall we just say yes?

Oh yes we have nearly finished! Today marks the penultimate post in the challenge from A to Z and boy am I grateful that I can see the end.

Saying yes to the daily posts has been a blessing in many ways I have learnt a lot about blogging, I have learnt so much more about me and yes I have been bitten by the bug and will be posting (not daily) frequently from now on. Can I yell “yahoo” as an expression of joy, it no longer seems appropriate to be screaming the name of a well-known search engine in celebration. But then Yahoo does not have all the answers does it?
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Today I am grateful that I said YES to this challenge but that three-letter word should be used with caution. In life it can be all to easy to say yes when it should be no, to end up in a bit of a pickle. I found this out 8 years ago a tale that I shall endeavour to tell.

Back in the year 2005 I was a mature student in a small university in west Wales, I was reading English Literature and recovering from a horrible break up. My former partner blamed my friends, we were branded the “single mums mafia” by him. This group of educated women were held responsible in his eyes for everything that had gone wrong in our relationship. To be frank, I feel that he was slightly unreasonable in this assessment of my support network, I am sure that my friends did not make him have a string of affairs, they did not hold a gun to his head and make him play the field, forgetting the relationship he was in. Still, when his bags were packed because of his indiscretions it was the single mum’s mafia that was seen by him to be solely responsible.

Finding myself single, after almost nine years was hard for me, I threw myself into my studies, my work and my family, anything outside of this was irrelevant. If a party invite was issued I would offer to babysit for my friends a guarantee that I could escape the small talk and uncomfortable chit chat that singletons are subjected to. This did not go unnoticed by my coffee drinking companions. One morning at about three months single a good chum told me that it was time I started to enjoy being me and that the next invite I got regardless of the logistics I should say “yes”. Her instance was followed with a promise to babysit for me, hell she would even run me to and pay for a taxi back. It was time to come out of hiding it was time to say yes.

Soon, too soon an invite was issued, (names have been changed here) Alex a first year student who shared a house on the edge of town chatted to me about a free party that he was hosting with his girlfriend Emily. “Pop down, bring a bottle, there is plenty of space if you want to crash…” the flirty chit chatty invite was issued and Brigitte sat opposite me mouthing “say yes” giving me the thumbs up. Before I knew any more I had agreed to go…

Saying yes was supposed to be a liberating feeling, after all what could go wrong. I was heading out with a few friends going to a party of a student in the year below. I polished my boots slipped into my little black dress and pulled my purple velvet frock coat on for good measure. Butterflies gathered in my stomach but at least I looked good!

I ordered a cab had arranged to meet my friends Pete and Sue there, I was away. The party started at nine, as always I turned up a little too early to be cool but hey Alex greeted me with a smile and showed me round the house, three floors, three lounges and kitchens I am sure that Santa’s grotto had been raided as the whole place was decorated with fairy lights. A beautiful student pad scatter cushions and tie dye throws suggested long conversations waited. We drank wine we giggled soon the place began to fill up with other party goers.

Like so many other times I ended up sitting in the kitchen, people watching through a smoky haze. Alex was such an attentive host, introducing me topping up my glass. Pete and Sue seemed less than happy though (their blissful bubble was bursting) and the snuck out for a row. My friends were not the only ones sneaking off groups of twos and threes were heading for quiet chats, doors closed and the gathering in the kitchen seemed to be growing in number. We spoke about our studies, most of us were between 25 and 50 in age all seemed to be educated interesting and conversant in many many subjects.

I had sat and chatted for so long, perched on the window that my bottom had become numb. Just behind me Emily a gorgeous auburn haired anthropologist, Alex’s partner rested her hand on my shoulder. Alex sat opposite us girls showering us with compliments topping up our drinks.

It must have been near to midnight when I decided it was time to leave, the suddenness of my departure did surprise a few but then I should point out that I was more surprised by my realisations than they were by my exit. I had inadvertently said yes to attending a swingers party! Phrases like “open house”, “anything goes” suddenly took on a new meaning and recalling the tour I was given on first arrival I now understood why there were bowls of condoms in each of the bedrooms.

With a numb bum and head full of excuses I made my exit, swiftly kissing the beautiful Emily on the cheek and thanking her for making me feel so welcome. I called a cab as I went down the three flights of stairs, pulled my party buddies form a bush in the garden and told them why we were leaving. To my amazement Pete yelled “I told you so” confirming all I had deduced, the three of us climbed into the cab and were back at mine before the clock struck one, it had been fun to find out how naive I had been.

So you see today in the post of Y I choose to be grateful for the little word yes, for the opportunities that it gives us, but only if we say yes in a considered manner. I am pleased I said yes to the A to Z, I am grateful that I was pushed to say yes to the party invite, and gosh was I grateful that I could yell down the phone for a cab when I needed one.

K – Kitchen moments … there will be more to come!

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Keeping to the plan, I should be reflecting on kitchen moments, they are many, many memory moments in countless kitchens. From the gathering around Formica sides of the uni days and before, to more recent get-togethers at pine tables in the posh end of town as the song goes you’ll always “find me in the kitchen at parties”.

We call it the heart of the home, for it is the place where we prepare the feasts for the family, food to share with friends. Breaking bread, communing in the simplest of forms it starts on the sides of the kitchen so there is no surprise that in a party you feel the heart beat of the home while you chat, you giggle, the cool kids come together in kitchens.

There are the standers, those who seem to hover and chat, leaning and laughing as the time passes. Chair surfers who cruise from one conversation to the next. Nibblers listening to the going’s on around them whilst double-dipping bread sticks in the humus. At the centre of proceedings the host, topping up glasses checking that the guests in their home is more than ok. Roles swap, drinks are drunk as time passes we move on but with us we take memories of the nights we share, those kitchen moments.

To open your house, to prepare food in your kitchen, to share at your table is a gift we should be eternally grateful for. To provide sustenance, feeds not only the stomach but the need for us to be we are all that is said human beings not human doings. A Sunday lunch cooked by or for a friend might remind you of the family meals share in childhood. Stirring the cooking pot, stirring up shared moments.

I am sorry for tonight’s post is short, rushed and will have to be revisited.  Today I am thankful for the kitchen moments, for the dishes that I cooked for others and the plates that have been passed to me, the glasses raised, laughs shared and the songs that have been badly sung!