Even the vague notion that winter doesn’t go on forever, that spring is hiding just around the corner, was making me feel ambitious. So on a recent walk, my husband and I launched into one of those conversations that begins with, “Why don’t we? ...."
In this case, it was, “Why don’t we have the ‘Rs’ over one of these days?”
There was compelling logic. The Rs are, after all, extremely nice people. And we’ve owed them an invitation for months.
So the wheels began turning.
If we were going to have the Rs, I reasoned, why not expand our horizons and consider our long “invite-back” list, one that already includes not just the Rs, but the Ws, the Bs, and the Ks.
“See,” I pointed out to my husband. “This guest list is practically creating itself.”
But before our walk was over, the notion was stirring, at least in my head, that it was party time.
But party time, friends, is never as simple as it sounds.
Case in point: If we were going to have the Rs, and if we were going to add the Ws, the Bs, and the Ks, well then we’d better start thinking about a minor home clean-up, paint-up, fix-up campaign.
We were still a bit new in our digs, and, typically, out of sheer weariness, we had postponed some pretty urgent matters.
We couldn’t think of entertaining in a house in which the kitchen windows still lacked curtains, to say nothing of the kitchen counters, which we’d been meaning to rethink since the day we moved in eight months ago.
By the time we’d hit the midpoint of our walk, I was already whirling with ideas: If we were doing the curtains and the counter tops, well then wasn’t it absolutely crazy not to do something about the master bedroom rug that we’d been meaning to replace with one newer and fresher than the one we’d dragged from our former house?
My husband now had that deer-in-the-headlights look and was already backing off.
Having the Rs over had seemed such a sane, sensible thing. But, suddenly, it was swimming in challenges.
It took me until the bend in the road to try to convince the man that, yes, it was still a great idea to get together with the Rs and the rest of the party list. But there were, after all, inextricably related issues.
If we were going to fix some parts of our home, we could just go ahead and get it all done at once, for our little party.
As he has reminded me endless times with this single declaration, my husband said, “Sally, I prefer to do one thing at a time. And I don’t like to rush into things," a reminder that this man I married has been trained in the law and knows how to tap into logic.
I have no such training and tend end to rely on whims and impulses.
So voices, at this point, were a tad raised.
It all came to a head when my party co-host mentioned that no way were we going all crazy about the menu for this party that was somehow starting to feel like a punishment.
So I have a bad habit of obsessing over menus. That often leads to purchases of cookbooks with recipes I love to read but which demand ingredients I can’t quite pronounce, let alone execute.
The turncoat party planner by my side was arguing for supermarket coffee cake and our best attempt at coffee I wouldn't scald, as I've been known to do.
He also did manage to get in some digs about what he hyperbolically called a “mob scene,” and I got in some barbs about his tendency to avoid anything that ultimately involved shopping for home stuff and any excuse to avoid cleaning up his chaotic home office.
But then there was this:
We both knew, after more than five decades of holy matrimony, that any additional words exchanged would probably lead directly to tender phrases like, “Oh, for crying out loud!” or, “Why are you so stubborn?”
So let me cut to the chase.
The get-together with the Rs and others is temporarily on hold. At least for now.
I’m not, however, wasting my time. Like any potential hostess, I’m checking furniture sales and remodeling ads for irresistible bargains. I’m filing away pictures of perfect rooms from decorating magazines.
And one of these days, we’ll get around to that party.
Meanwhile, we’ve made plans to go to the movies with the Rs and out for coffee.
The way we figure it, we’re saving about $3,000.
So we’ll gratefully spring for the movie tickets.