It’s more than just the excuse to give my house a good cleaning, or the fact that I like having candles lit all over the house. I really enjoy pulling out the extra chairs and placing them around the living room, grabbing extra hangers for the hall closet, and the scattered sound pretzels make when they hit an empty bowl.
I know it sounds very Wifey, but I really like throwing small parties. Gatherings. Groups. I like making dip. I enjoy making Lemon Tea Cakes, and spraying lavender-scented cleaner on the dining room table before placing coasters in an attractive pattern. I get way girlie when there’s company coming, and tonight I think I hit my girliest point yet:
I just hosted a Tupperware party. Yes, a real-live Tupperware lady arrived at my house, promptly at seven, and proceeded to give a demonstration that involved three raffles for free Tupperware and ended with close to a hundred dollars with of Tupperware purchased. Not bad for a Tuesday night.
“You’re blossoming into a lady right before my very eyes,” Liz said to me.
“I know,” I replied. “What the hell has happened to me?”
And then we proceeded to discuss soap-making and scrapbooking. And when I say “we” I mean “Me and Laura,” because the other girls were looking at us like, “Oh, my God. Look how married they’re acting!”
And Laura, in her defense, is married. And I would never dream of scrapbooking, as I know it would take the very last shred of my free time and channel it into an unending goal. My mother has been working on the same needlepoint project for twenty years now. I have the genes, is what I’m saying to you.
But even though my other friends were judging, one of them was sitting on the living room floor knitting. Another one talked about how her friend makes soap and sells it. Another girl wanted to know how the cookies were made. They have their girlie weaknesses. Mine is making girls get together around a table, drink too much wine and eat spinach and artichoke dip.
It was all worth it for the one moment when the Tupperware lady held up the chip-and-dip party bowl and the girls broke out into spontaneous squeals and applause. It was the real crowd-pleaser, even though none of us could afford it.
I like the cleaning up afterwards, the lingering conversations with one or two remaining guests while we share a couple cups of coffee. I like the gossip about the attendees who leave early. I like seeing what people forget and leave behind.
Surrounded by Tupperware, I tried to imagine what we would have been like if it was twenty-something years ago, and we were our mothers sitting around sharing stories, passing Tupperware samples around. How different are we than the women who created us?
Would Liz’s mom ask the surly, leading questions, trying to stump the Tupperware lady into admitting that the food might, indeed, make the food taste a little plasticy?
Would Laura’s mom have sat with her head in the brochure, trying to not get singled out, playing with each item until the Tupperware lady physically removed it from her?
Would Angie’s mom have laughed and laughed at everything the Tupperware lady said, enjoying the spectacle of the room as much as she did? Would she have then leaned over to my mom and said, just as Angie did to me, “It’s not that I didn’t want to refill your wine glass, it just seems that we drank all of the wine ever made.” Would she have entered my mom’s house and said with a huge smile, “It’s so warm and cozy in here!”
Would Katey’s mom have jumped up when she her raffle ticket was picked, screaming, “That’s what I’m fucking talking about, right there!” I like to think that she would have, that all of our moms would have gotten along, giggling and smirking over the rather cheesy antics a Tupperware party makes. I imagine that Rebecca’s mom would have been just as excited to scream, “I’m gonna get lucky!” as Rebecca was, and that Jessica’s mom would have taunted the others with her won prizes just as Jessica did the, “Check out my keychain” dance.
And maybe my mom would have sat back and have been grateful to have such funny, fantastic ladies in her life, that make a house a home and a Tuesday night a blast.
The one thing I know for sure, is that all of our moms would have done the same squeal and standing ovation for the chip-and-dip bowl. That thing’s fantastic.