Several months ago, I started to think that it was time for a party. At first I imagined it would be something like a house-warming party and that we would have it as soon as we were finished with all the remodeling we were doing at our house. But that idea was hatched at the beginning of the project, back when we had a more romantic idea of what it would be like once everything was complete. Back when it was man vs. house and we were the obvious victors-to-be. But since it ended up being less victor-like and more let's-call-it-a-truce-like, the celebrating element just wasn't there.
But the party bug was. It emerged again, several months later during that week in January where my oncologist sent me through a round of tests, including a nuclear bone scan, because she thought my cancer had metastasized to my bones. This time my party was more like a going away party because I'm pretty sure metastatic cancer in your bones has bon voyage written all over it. Negative. My symptoms were merely a case of Costochondritis.
Well, the terrible diagnosis went away, but the desire to hang out with all my favorite people didn't. I thought...why should I wait for an excuse to celebrate my wonderful life with all the people who had made it so? The party was on and this time, it was a birthday party!
The Facebook invites went out to 200 friends (give or take), and the hard copy invitations went out to 70 of those same people, the 70 whom I thought were most likely to come. But after they went out, and I mean right after, I experienced the weirdest mix of remorse and dread that I have ever felt. It turned into anxiety and it haunted me for days. I was miserable. Turns out there's a thing called "hospitality induced anxiety" and I had it bad. At one point, five or six hours before the party began, I actually thought "if I got in my car right now and started driving...how far away could I get before anyone noticed I was missing?" If the answer had been "so far that you would drive right into the ocean", I would have been ok with that.
Why wouldn't the idea of having this party go away? Why had actually throwing this party become tantamount to drowning in the ocean? Hosting had never bothered me before. I have come up with a couple of theories, but it really doesn't matter anymore because in the end, the party came, the people came (over 50) and it was so much fun! They even gave me presents...a thing which I hadn't even considered before. But...yay presents! And yay friends and family. Saturday night was great, thanks to you!