Friday, August 10, 2012

Tonight we're going to party like . . .

Tonight I am having a party.  Not a birthday party or a graduation party, but the type of party that wields the double edged sword of happiness and sadness.  This party has been in the works since the end of November, and while initially I said I would not have it, when the time came, I decided I needed something to mark this moment with a party, just as we mark most milestones in our lives.

In fact, one of the first things a close friend said to me was "When's the party?" The party. Right now I am decorating and it is the first time in 20 years I have prepped for a party on my own.  And as I put up decorations in 100 degree heat, I am reminded of where I was just over 17 years ago, in a similar heat, putting up decorations before I put on a pretty dress. I'll be wearing a pretty dress tonight, but it certainly is not nearly as pricey, nor is it white. The decorations are not hearts and bells, but fiesta-esq decor.

However, this time I do have REAL champagne.  Not sparkling wine. Not California "champagne" (which is just sparkling wine), REAL champagne from France. Expensive as hell and something I most certainly did not have at that party 17 years ago.  So perhaps that is a good start. Perhaps all real life changes need REAL champagne to mark their significance.

And friends. While more people came to that party 17 years ago, there will be several friends here, some newer friends, some long term friends. We will have music, and food, and drinks, and some fun games, and a pinata filled with grown-up style goodies. We won't have cake, but I will have a chocolate fountain this time, and since I like chocolate more than cake, I think that is more than a fair trade.

This is not the party I wanted to have.  In my dreams, my party would have had a number and the word "anniversary" after it, but we cannot control the actions of others; we can't control fate or the hand that God deals us. All we can do is pick ourselves up afterwards, nurse our wounds, then work on moving forward on our new path. And every crossroads in life needs recognition. This party tonight is my recognition of the crossroads where I find myself, and like the aftermath of most parties, I hope it only gets better from here.


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