The Holiday Hiatus

Madame in her workshop.

The holiday hiatus continues. For the second time in 2007, I did not go to the movies on Friday. (I was in hospital the first time.) I’ve absolutely nothing to report, except that I’m already looking forward to getting back to regular life. The pile of books to write up for Portico is suddenly twice as tall as it was the other day. How’d that happen?

At the same time, I’m looking forward to tomorrow’s party. In the past, I’d have been lost in the kitchen about now, making this and that for the buffet table, waiting for the dishwasher to run its interminable cycle or struggling to find extra room in the fridge. Not this year. This year, aside from some very minimal edibles — miniature sandwiches of a vernacular description (ham and Swiss; turkey) and a platter of cookies from Greenberg’s — and plentiful but unimaginative potables, what I’m offering my guests is each other’s conversation. Call me Tom, and get yourself some whitewash.

What I’ve discovered is that the creative part of giving a party — the part that I’ve excised this year — is not the time-consuming part. I’ve still had plenty of errands to run, and the apartment to straighten up, and a list of last-minute reminders.* If I thought I’d be saving myself any work by “not cooking,” I was right, but not in a very interesting way. I wasn’t really thinking of saving myself work, though. I was remembering how reluctant people have been at other parties to interrupt themselves in order to eat.

In the past, I’d have been frantic about not being free to slave over my own party because I’d got to attend somebody else’s. Not this year. I’m thinking of just about nothing at the moment beyond the pleasure of going out for an early evening. Very old and dear friends are celebrating their twentieth wedding anniversary, and they’ve requested the pleasure of our company. For me, at least, a pleasure it will be. 

I’ll be checking in again on New Year’s Eve.

* I just remembered, in fact, to throw some rather dusty vases into the dishwasher, so that if anyone shows up with a bunch of flowers I’ll be ready.

One Response to “The Holiday Hiatus”

  1. Migs says:

    There is another kind of party, the one where people don’t eat, or would not want to get caught eating. It’s a relief to know that in a world sensationalized by glamorous cases of anorexia, you are throwing a party where good food (so good as not to be talked about, if you will) is served, and not just alcohol, bad music, and dilettantish conversations about the cinematography of an art film.

    (Madame is glowing. Say hi.)