I’m exhausted. It’s Wednesday morning following one of the big long weekends of the American calender. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. Households in this nation go from dinner party to festival and it’s a big ole juggernaut of secular and commercial culture fueling the American economy. To the point where festival cities are an accepted part of the culture. Reno. Las Vegas.
The places you visit when nothings going on and you can’t cope. Nothing’s never going on in these parts, but you know?
Gotta have a backstop.
We hosted on Memorial Day. We planned and pulled off a last minute party to welcome in summer and commemorate the dead American men and women that served in the armed forces. I have to say here, it’s brilliant being a first generation immigrant in this respect. You have emotional and family¬†ties to the mother country and so you tend to¬†gather with other expats and have your traditional day. ¬†And then you do the same for the commemoration day of your new country of residence.
So for New Zealand we commemorated Anzac Day in February by gathering at the Presidio¬†of San Francisco for a service and a barbeque. Three months later it’s time to commemorate those who served in the U.S.A ¬†armed forces.
I’m fairly excitable. So upon having a good time at a Bayou themed party we attended in Mid May, (otherwise known as a swamp bash). I invited those there over for Memorial Day. For a potluck. The Saturday of the long weekend, we’re invited to tailgate to watch the Warriors play the Rockets. So I invite everybody there.
I still want to invite more people but my rational mind tells me I’ve hit the limit.
Eek. I set to and plan what we can feed to 20 adults and kids and not have the sole responsibility of feeding 25 kids and 18 adults fall solely on us. Lots of food to soak up the booze.
A note. Hosts should never drink anything until the food is served. Or keep a glass to hand of whatever’s going that doesn’t trigger the “mystery of the bottomless glass” effect. Something you have a taste aversion to; preferably low alcohol.
Being a responsible host doesn’t mean drinking all the good wine so no-one else has too much. I generally switch to water and watch myself. And if it runs late I’ve learned to pinpoint the exact moment I’ve had too much. I listen to myself and realise that what I’ve just said is just rubbish. A¬†complete story! If founded on reality on some level!
I’m a writer and this is where I go. At this point I correct myself and excuse myself from the conversation. And shortly thereafter the party, to wear it off. Sleep inevitably follows this stage and drunken slumber sucks.
On Memorial Day everyone arrived with a bounty of pre-prepared dishes. And then offered to help in the kitchen. Being the host means you’re constantly kept busy so it’s important to delegate and keep onto it all. I like to work alone in the kitchen if it’s a dish I’m doing for the first time otherwise I have ingredients and instructions ready. And had some of the best conversations with the sisterhood while we busily prepared dishes on Memorial Day. It’s times like these you realise the good fortune of having a network of women you can rely on. Particularly with all my family back in New Zealand. I used to feel sad about leaving my old networks and the bonds of friendship behind but lately I’m knowing there are three or four places in the world I could could turn up and these women would have my back. While our kids play and the men watch the game.
A shout out to all the Moms who prepared food on Memorial Day and especially the Moms of those in the Armed Forces.