It's the middle of October. The cold snap and soup weather usually inspire me to begin the obsession which occupies me through mid-December: planning the yearly tea party.
The invitation is from my fifth grade party:
My tea urge lay dormant until 1990, when I had my first annual tea, and when we partied, we partied hardly. Men were not allowed, and the only alcohol that was served was sherry. The next spring's tea was only remarkable in that I scheduled the breakthrough marriage counselor appointment two hours before the tea. Yeah. Bad idea.
Things were better the next year, in fact Gary was even invited.
If you look on the far right you can see Maiden Aunt Carleen seated - shhh, Melati - looking at the camera. Gary and I are on - Melati, shut up - on the left, and - Melati! Hush! Yes I KNOW it's a child's croquet set. Be quiet.
On the fifth year, I passed on the spring tea, then realized in November if I was going to have a yearly tea I'd better take care of it at the holidays. (When we partied, we partied tardy.) And I saw that you can still have tea at the established tea hour of 4:30, but in December it's dark at 4:30 and people actually drink the sherry. And then, they play charades! That broke everything wide open. Let the liquor be served! Bring out the Pimms and the Mead and the Port and the Grog. Eventually, people gave up on me and started bringing normal liquor, like Jello Shots. (When they party, they drink Bacardi.)
I was still sticking with a conventional tea invite, though. I sent out the standard wording on the Crane paper. And then, in the first of many slips in standards, the dogs hosted the party, and from then on the invites got stranger and stranger.
Since I write Computer-based training, one invite was a CBT on the party. The year Gary and I started singing the Garyoke the invite was set to music. One year we had the invite printed on cookies and sent those out.
One year it was fans:
One year it was a tea towel:
(Well, I'll be, what's that obscuring my last name? Oh, it's the candle that sayeth "Yea." That was a reply from when people cared. No one cares about replies now. Kids today. That's why I just gave in and sent snakes that jumped out and said "Surprise Me! Don't even think about RSVPing.")
That's my problem this year. I can't think of a thing to make this year's party unique. I should be sending out invites and finding strange meats for people to eat, but nothing strikes me. (When we party, it's uninspiredly.) I got nothing. No wild boar sausages, no mimes visiting people's workplaces and pantomiming the invite, no costumes.