Thursday, November 17, 2011
One is Silver and the Other Gold
In La Grange, I had a Thanksgiving coffee to tell my new friends there just how grateful I was for them. I remember a tearful exchange with my "mentor mom" who'd been assigned to us when we arrived at school. I could always count on her (also mother of 4). She taught me how to dress the children for school when they would play outside in 10 degrees F and was my personal shopper when I was housebound solo with an infant and 3 children with H1N1. Friends deserve a bounty of pumpkin muffins, ham biscuits, and an endless vat of coffee. How often to you have a chance to treat a houseful of your girlfriends, count your blessings, and form new friendships along the way?
Some of my friendships here are still in their infancy. The coffee is a selfish exercise on my part to get to know the invitees better. Remember going home with friends in college? Seeing their hometown, bedroom, family and friends was a quick shortcut to understanding them. Thus the coffee. We also threw ourselves a cocktail party in La Grange for the same reason. And who isn't up for a few more friends?
For the wanderers out there - you may relate: I always feel like finding new girlfriends where you've landed is much akin to dating. If that is so, I'm already London's biggest floozy - smiling and waving and inviting most everyone I can. Much like overtipping, I figure the worst that can happen is that I will continue the stereotype of Americans being outgoing and generous. Guilty. Anyway, the boys found it very funny that I've invited some whose names I don't even know ("Waffle Mom" (we made waffles together at the Pumpkin Festival at school and I swear knew her name last term...), "Twins' Mom" and "New Spanish Mom - Big Brother's class") were actual names on my invitation list. Rest assured that was not how I addressed their envelopes. They were blank. And my ribbon topped invitations are new to my new friends here - hooray!
I'm already excited about the morning and some of the moms said it gave them reason to research Thanksgiving. (Maybe they can do the Thanksgiving lesson in Big Sister's Reception class!) It will be lovely to have everyone here as we are usually immersed in Parent Committee Meetings* and managing not to get plowed down by double decker buses while getting small people, rucksacks, and PE kits (see what fun British terms you are learning just by logging on?!) to their appointed places on time.
Today I remembered how grown up I felt at my parties in La Grange serving coffee and cider from two 40-cup West Bend percolators! That they were on an actual sideboard nearly put me over the top. I'm simple. I didn't envision needing the percolators here (neither the antique trunk that was our toy box - sniff!), so they sit in storage in IL undoubtedly not missing me as much as I miss them. Meanwhile I noodle through their UK equivalent (an exercise for which you must free your mind of US terms and start to think like a Brit. If you have to know, it is "coffee urn" and of course, don't look for cup capacity as it will be in litres instead. Oh the time I'm saving you for future research!)
Some things, like driving a station wagon, keeping crayons in my purse, and owning not just one but two party-sized percolators make me feel even a tiny bit older than my average daily sensibility of approximately 8 years old. I don't think, tho that anyone outgrows the nervous anticipation around a party. I hope everyone comes, that the flat is filled with laughter and cheer, and mostly, that I don't throw a Mary Tyler Moore party!
*Those committee meetings deserve a whole 'nother blog entry or maybe better yet, an SNL skit. They are a bit like a UN gathering. Especially those with Ahmadinejad at the podium. Maybe if we had those cool translation headsets ours might be slightly less contentious. At a recent meeting I suggested (Catholic school and all where the children pray every few minutes or so) that we open with a prayer. Peace reigned. Until the subject of the disco ball-less disco came up...
Anyway, can you come to the coffee? It would justify my owning a UK percolator or two. I mean coffee urns.