Wednesday, March 20, 2013

One Day, Two Parties

This past Saturday I pulled the ultimate in over-achiever hosting by throwing two parties in the same day.

Swap It Out

I was establishing myself as a clothes-swapping maven among a group of Seattleites who really loved the event, so I decided to carry on the tradition in Mendocino. On Saturday it finally came together in an unexpectedly successful afternoon. Considering I've been here less than a year and I can count my girlfriends on one hand, I was delighted that a baker's dozen of local women appeared on my doorstep with baskets and bags and bins of quality clothes to get rid of. I was hopping with glee when I saw the enthusiasm take hold immediately, with women ripping off their shirts to try things on that hadn't even been taken out of someone else's bag yet (modesty is not a virtue at these events).

The room buzzed with "new to me" clothes energy.
Mimosas are the only comestible guaranteed at my swaps,
but there's always lots of good food too.
There were some really quality items that appeared and everyone got at least one major score, with a few gals walking away with entirely new wardrobes. I got three dresses (two with pockets!) and a few tops. Of course, every swap has at least one comedic item, and this time it was Susan's hilarious... what is this, a muumuu? An Afghan? Basically it was a sheet sewn together with a hole cut out for the head:

Hilariously enough, when Susan saw me wearing it with my Diana Ross wig, she actually took it back. Swap-backs are not uncommon but they usually don't extend to the ridiculous. I let her have it on the grounds that we be co-owners if I ever feel the need to wear it.

Once people were focusing more on eating and drinking than trying things on, we relocated to the back yard (it was a sunny 75 degree day) for show and tell. Everyone holds up what they got, and the woman who brought it shares any interesting back story. It's always interesting to see who takes whose clothes, and there's usually a pair of women who ended up taking mostly from each other's items.

We took a vote on where to donate all the unclaimed items. We sorted out clothing appropriate for young professionals to donate to the CCCs where Sara used to work (and which is currently experiencing its 15 minutes of fame thanks to this video), and the rest of it went to the local Hospice thrift store.

I think everyone was surprised by how much fun it was and there's already demand for the next one. Whether I host it or someone else does, I think it's safe to say that quarterly clothing swaps are back in my life.

Barbecue and Sara's "Gone to Alaska" Party

My friend Sara is spending the next six months in Alaska, first WWOOFing on a farm in Skagway and then leading a youth crew to build trails in the remote wilderness. She's pretty hard core. Anyway, as my friend and one-time roommate I felt it only appropriate to throw her a little party before sending her on her way, so the same day as the swap (during which I stole a dress from her, citing her inability to use it in Alaska) we had a barbecue. Unfortunately it was still winter (happy first day of spring!) so the warm afternoon turned into a windy, chilly evening, but the party wasn't any less fun inside and we still got to eat barbecued hamburgers thanks to Carson braving the elements.

Here's our backyard beforehand - we've been doing quite a bit of weeding and prep for the upcoming growing season, including an extension to the existing strawberry patch, and even got a few seeds and starts in the ground. Note the cute barbecue that our friend Drew picked up on the side of the road and generously donated to us.

Some of our friends from Fort Bragg drove over, Timin came down from the mountains, some girls that I met at the swap came with their boyfriends, and Carson's old neighbors came as well - an interesting collection of folks from around the North Coast. We ate potato chips and sour cream dill dip, grass-fed beef burgers, homemade veggie burgers, and this random wild rice pesto salad I made. We drank beer and wine and fruit-infused vodka that Carson made. Then we played "Celebrity" (sort of like Taboo and charades combined) with full bellies, some of us semi-drunk, followed by the "drawing game" which is quickly becoming mandatory any time there are four or more of us in a room (I have never laughed so hard I cried before last Saturday's game). Basically it's telephone, but instead of whispering the phrase you write it down on a piece of paper, and then on the back of that piece of paper the next person has to draw it, and then the next person has to write a phrase based on that drawing, and so on. I've never met someone whose stomach didn't hurt from laughing after playing, even those who were skeptical at first.

I didn't take many pictures of the party, but this one shows a lot of the people who were there:

The most important thing for me was that Sara had fun, which she did. I know she's going to love Alaska but she'll keep Mendo in her heart - see you in the fall, Sara!

1 comment:

Crab and Bee said...

I miss your swaps! Feeling very jealous right now. Also, the rug looks nice in its new home.