Yesterday was an unimaginable red-letter day. Who knew when Saturday dawned that Sunday would be utterly WOW? Then Opportunity stepped in.
Background: It was my pleasure to plan & prep & prep for yesterday’s Bryn Athyn Community (B-Act) late afternoon cast party, but a delightful spanner was thrown into the works when a special friend extended an invitation for Sunday lunch.
On 10/15/17, my reality was that things were organized enough that by I could drop by all the paper goods & stock the Green Room fridge at the Mitchell Performing Arts Center (the play AND party site) with sodas, barbequed meat balls, baby potatoes dolloped with sour cream/bacon/chives, dozens of deviled eggs, chili, guacamole, salsa, veggie dip, cheese balls (blue -and- cheddar), sliced veggies with ranch dip for dunking, cream cheese with cocktail sauce & mini shrimp, pumpkin dip with apple slices, apple pie spread, grapes dipped in melted butterscotch bits & rolled in crushed pecans, cookies & cream puffs. All DONE by 10:30 a.m., leaving John & I free to get to Tom Rose’s 11:00 a.m. investiture service, stop at York Diner for a nibble, arrive at Trish’s out in the far western reaches of Montgomery County for what both of us agree was the MOST fun lunch & extended gab & gaggle of new friends EVER.
I am as proud of yesterday as any accomplishment in my life. Things were well organized & work was advanced enough that, when opportunity knocked we could answer YES without leaving anyone in the lurch. The party foods were packaged in service-ready containers, labeled with the contents, if it contained nuts, & a recommended cracker or dipper. If there hadn’t been room in the fridge – which, praise be, there was – the foods that required refrigeration until the 4:00 p.m. party would have been fine, packed in our big ice chest, chilled with the well-sealed bags of ice atop the stacked containers.
That would have been unthinkable four years ago. It was the culmination of a grand plan – getting to yesterday took years of intention, determination, focus & follow through.
For three years, I volunteered to put on every B-Act cast party. Doing a long line of parties let me figure out what worked best, plan & execute menus that provide maximum satisfaction for minimum effort & minimal expenses, are easy to set up & clean up.
Everything completed & stored by 10:30 a.m. for the late afternoon party, without a suggestion of stress. Even the pick up of left-overs et al was as easy peasy as it gets – picked up around 9:00 p.m. (we were at Trish’s until 8:00!) at the B-Act president’s home, all chilled in our trusty Igloo ice chest.
That might not seem like a major accomplishment, but it is epic. Its planning involved years of preparation, of learning & applying the lessons, REMEMBERING what worked & doing more of that -and- eliminated the sub par & gosh awful, doing things at the best time & in the most effective manner, at the most effective time (instead of finally) & in effective ways.
All of which went against an upbringing that drummed into me the opposite of everything that went into yesterday’s triumph, lifelong messages extolling creativity as springing from spontaneity (“stodgy planning is so bourgeois”), celebrating winging it as the mark of true genius, putting personal gratification above others’, painting last-minute dramatics as conducive to great final results, & presenting stress strain unhappiness as conducive to the creative process.
Yesterday, being ABLE to accept a last minute invitation because I’d already overridden really dumb ancient messaging, turned out to be a personal performance worth several curtain calls.
Baby, take a bow!