Key to a good party inviting the right person
May 29, 2019
The truth is, I don’t actually have 40 friends in my immediate community.
I only recently moved to town when I married Peter. So, I just went around town and invited every person I recognized and, somehow, ended up inviting 40 people to my patio on a recent Monday evening to celebrate the release of my book.
I invited all the neighbors, and a guy I met on the trail, some writers, and a librarian, and a woman I occasionally see walking her dog — sometimes with her friend, Georgina. The dog-walking woman was recently divorced so I told her, “Invite your friend Georgina!” And she did.
My husband, Peter, was worried because I had invited 40 people to the party and there was no possible way 40 people would fit in our little house. We were counting on good weather and fitting 40 people on our patio. Unfortunately, the weather was looking anything but good.
A nasty weather system came in and stayed. It rained for three days. Then, briefly, it turned to snow. Postponing the party was not an option.
My sister-in-law, Shelley, was flying in from Havre, Montana. Shelley is more fun than anyone I know and her visit was one of the reasons we had to celebrate.
“The weather looks terrible!” Peter said, flipping from one dire weather forecast to the next.
Three days before the party, I started to look for an indoor venue and discovered that Monday was the night everyone in town went dancing. Every venue was filled with Scottish or salsa or ballroom dancers. I had no idea so many people danced.
On the Saturday before that Monday, I said to Peter, “Let’s not worry about it today. We can start worrying again first thing tomorrow morning.”
So, we did our best not to worry. Shelley came in from Havre and, of course, we had a wonderful time. Then Sunday morning dawned and … the weather changed. The sun shone and the mud dried up. By evening there was no sign of the storm system on any of Peter’s weather channels.
Peter was still worried about whether — even outdoors — we actually had room for 40 people. But I cooked lasagna and bought a huge cake and strung lights and Peter mowed and wacked weeds and bought lots of ice and, by Monday night, our little place looked quite festive.
And then 36 people showed up, and when Georgina showed up she got quite a reception because everyone (everyone but me!) knew her. She was old friends with Peter’s sister in town and knew all the neighbors and even Peter remembered he’d been to her house for a Christmas party before he met me.
We fed everyone lasagna and I read a little bit from my book and I completely forgot about the cake.
“Wasn’t there supposed to be cake?” one of the younger partygoers finally complained.
“Ack!” I yelled and ran into the kitchen and we served the cake — a little late. Everyone seemed to have a good time, especially Georgina who, it turned out, was a psychologist.
“Well,” Georgina said, as she left, “now I know quite a bit about you.” (I don’t know what she meant by that.)
“It was a great party,” Peter said, after all of Georgina’s friends had gone. And it was. It was wonderful to celebrate, wonderful to meet the neighbors. I realized I had friends all around me, just waiting to be invited in.
“But maybe next time we should only invite 20,” Peter added.
“Yes,” I said, “I think 20 would be fine — as long as we invite Georgina.”
Carrie Classon can be contacted through her website: