A Lady Laments About.... Entertaining
by Jennifer Philo
I could feel the next hit before it happened. It wasn't as though I needed to tap into my intuition. The hair on various parts of my body would stand on end; more in particular the hair on my head responding to the static charge from previous attacks. I'd hear the shuffling of feet and the nervous laughter of anticipation. Braving the elements, I'd peek my eyes above my mock fort of forearms and bents knees. That's when I saw them. The beautiful rainbow of my demise; red, blue, green and yellow orbs surrounding me. Once you saw this wonderful plethora of colors, it was too late. My head resumed it's position and I braced myself. Simultaneously, they struck.
They hit with the force of feathers and bubbles, balloons ricocheting back at the three and four year olds eagerly awaiting my dramatic death fall. I topple over, tongue dangling from the side of my mouth and view the scene of the crime. Balloons were scattered around the floor, lying in wait for their chance to shine as weapons. People chat, occasionally watching the chaos over their cake and glasses of Juicey-Juice. Children run in circles plotting their next attack on yet another unsuspecting adult. This is the epitome of entertainment. It's better than the circus. Greater than a play date at the McDonalds hamster gym. Far surpasses a day at the amusement park. This is a four-year olds birthday party. And the ringmaster is me.
Aside from partaking in voluntary war zones for my children as the wheel turns again to mark another year of growth in celebration, my home is transformed from time to time in order to participate in the delicate art of entertaining. It is an art I relish in. I like all four walls of my home to be hidden by bodies and banners. I enjoy the sound of chatter and laughter echoing through the vacant rooms and the eclectic mix of people, young and old, enjoying one anothers' company. I thrive off entertaining to the point where it should be classified as an addiction or behavioral problem, a bad habit perhaps to those who need a label. This issue, however, is one I would rather not take medication for or seek a therapists couch to correct.
My favorite hours are just before the party. Re-examining a room, tweaking a cushion or pillow or completely moving it across the room to make space. The countless minutes in food prep. Cutting the cheese and veggie sticks to perfection and laying out a platter to meet even the standards of a critic hell-bent on finding even one carrot stick out of place. Stocking the bar with the liquors of choice and polishing the wine glasses; anything and everything that compliments the atmosphere of jubilation. I yearn for parties. I am at my best in a room full of good times and great company; four years olds to forty year olds, it is my time to shine.
Maybe it's the energy I crave. The residual party that's left behind in the wake of a gathering. Maybe it's the need for people surrounding me and my ego as often as possible, the continual comments that sound like music to my ears "great party Jenn....., you have a lovely home Jenn...,this dip is fantastic Jenn..". I like the smiles that people share at parties. The stories of glory days and days yet to come. The entourage of foods and drinks, games and music, the clinking of glasses as offering to the Gods and Goddesses of celebrations and festivities. It's hard to say; they all weave a wonderful web that embraces the very core of my soul, leaving me happy to be alive at that moment in time.
Entertaining keeps things in perspective. It orders us to pay homage to the things we have, to what life has dealt us and to what we can share as an offering to those who have helped us and to those we can help. I indulge in the art of entertaining because it is my way of celebrating life. And a life that is not worth celebrating is no life at all.