January 30, 2015 – The Cocktail Party

Today was not what I had planned when I came down but it turned out well anyway.  Sol woke up with a fever and was obviously not in great shape to go to school so up we were at 7:15 am getting ready for the plumber to come at 8 am and then spending the day together doing puzzles, watching movies on Netflixs like Curious George, Cat in the Hat, the Garafalo, etc. and naps, lots of water and juice. It went by pretty quickly. She was good since of course she was not feeling well at all – temp 102.something at the worst.

But that was today and the cocktail party was long ago.  One day over Sues wonderful homemade pizza and great famous brownies we got to talking about having a couples party. We would do that from time to time. We had lunch at Sues all the time with all the kids running around but the evenings would be fun adult times. Someone had heard about this dress shop that sold really cheap dress up dresses.. long ones etc.  We decided to hire a caterer right from the neighborhood to make some fancies snacks rather than the usual potato chips and dip..  So it was decided, we would hand out invitations, ask Phil and Mary Liz to make some wonderful things,  and go and buy some cheapo dressy dresses.

It was a couple of weeks of grand planning. I think my gown was turquoise. I might be imagining it but that is my memory. I wonder if anyone took pictures. Today there would be plenty with people taking pictures with phones etc but back then I doubt if we took any.  I think we doubled up on babysitters so that some kids were sleeping at other kids homes. TIm might have been watching all our kids because he would have been old enough. don’t remember.

The food was great. Phil and Mary Liz had a catering business on the side since at some point the both were working at State Ed. I think in the beginning she did the catering from home and he worked at State and that was why we hired them. They made cheese puffs which were so good, some chicken finger food, and some other  hors d’ouvres that were beyond anything any of us ever produced for parties.

We loved it and all have a grand time. Most of us did not move in circles where dressing up happened too often so this was fun treat. I don’t think any of spent more than $20 on the dresses and they were not well made so did not last too long anyway. But it was worth it for the fun we had.

Other times we had potlucks for all the neighbors. One time it was at the Nuss’ and everyone brought wonderful dishes. We took invites and put them in all 20 mailboxes around the circle and figured who ever showed up we would be happy to see. It was a grand crowd and all had a good time.

That would never happen today in our neighborhood. New people have come in and most of us don’t know them. Their kids don’t play out at all so you don’t have any way to make connections. There are a bunch of us retired folks at various stages and we all do our own thing. It no longer feels like a neighborhood like when I was growing up or when we first lived here.  We have some lovely neighbors right around us and we are lucky to have them but otherwise with out them it can get pretty lonely in what use to be a vibrant community.

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