Friday, February 17, 2012

The Best Things in Life...


A great memory I have centers around an unusual party one of my best buddies threw for our fun-loving friends when I lived in Southern California. We were all the overworked and underpaid parents of young children, and there was nothing we liked better than a kid-free evening with our crew. No wonder we were so delighted with Rayetta's invitation to make ourselves at home, her home, for a sit-down dinner (a pretty extravagant plan given that we were all on tight budgets). Needless to say, the whole gang signed on wholeheartedly as eager dinner guests. Why not? She was a terrific cook and one of the most enjoyable people you could ever meet, always ready for a good time. I, for one, was counting the days.

The highly anticipated evening rolled around, and we all showed up at our friend's door. She led us to an elegantly appointed table, including flowers, candles, and place cards...the whole nine yards. As if that weren't enough, beside each place setting was a beautifully wrapped gift for every one of us, each package a different size and shape. My first instinct was guilt that she had spent the money, but my second one was curiosity...closely followed by excitement. As I mentioned, none of us had a lot of extra cash, and presents were hard to come by. What's more, Rayetta was a great shopper, and I couldn't help wondering what she had given me.

I wish I could remember what she served, but I don't. All I can say is that she served up a warm, happy atmosphere for good friends to listen to each other, laugh together, and wax philosophical. What a close-knit group we were, bonded by our enthusiastic involvement in church, community, and family life.

Finally, when the conversation over dessert was nearing its natural end, we were invited to open our gifts. With a chorus of "awwww, you shouldn't haves," we ripped off the lovely paper like little kids on Christmas morning, only to find that the presents we had looked forward to so eagerly were items already belonging to us. Yep, my good buddy had cased our homes in the previous month, swiped something unique, and wrapped it up. Even funnier, it took most of us several seconds of effusive thank-yous to notice that what we had opened was, in actuality, our own property! (I was one of these lame brains, disappointed to find that she had somehow purchased a piece of decor identical to one I already had. Duh.) Of course, we all had a good laugh at ourselves, not just because we had been duped, but because the majority of us had never even noticed the item was missing from our homes.

We had a lot of crazy, creative parties at Rayetta's (including one where the wives were blindfolded and had to identify their own husbands by feeling all the mens' legs from the knee down), but I remember none more clearly than the purloined present dinner. I don't think I have to tell you that a good time was had by all!

=)

13 comments:

Laraine Eddington said...

That is the kind of hostess I have always aspired to be, but I always just end up serving bean dip.

JDaniel4's Mom said...

I so know I would have been able to identify my husband. His legs were one of the first things I noticed.

Brian Miller said...

smiles...she sounds like a great host for sure....identifying the legs...lol...

i have to say...i did not realise i had the speakers all the way up..and pink panther about made me jump out of my skin....

karen said...

I really admire people who are naturally great hosts/hostesses. It's a real talent, because they have the knack of putting on evenings that are fun and enjoyable without it seeming like it was a lot of work.
I have a good story about that game where you ID your husband by feeling legs. One guy in our group taped a hot dog to his leg right on the inside just a little above the knee. There were a lot of shrieks from those ladies that mistakenly felt above the knee. I loved that group of friends...

Karen S. said...

Oh yes the best hostess with the mostess or how do they say that!!!

Stacy Crawford said...

That is funny! What neat ideas!

yaya said...

Sounds like a great time and isn't it wonderful that money and extravagance isn't what made it fun...it was creativity, good food, and good friends enjoying each others company. Fun story!

Pat @ Mille Fiori Favoriti said...

Rayetta certainly had a good imagination and sounds like a lot of fuh! I'll have to try her game of identifying the mens legs sometime in the future..lol!

Cherie said...

That is my kind of party!! And incidentally we threw a party years ago - A Hawaiian Luau - Where one of the games was to blindfold the wives and have them identify their husband by feeling the legs and feet of all the men. It was completely hilarious because some of the women were totally grossed out - still a favorite memory.

Your friend sounds like a fun person!! And it is nice to have a good group of friends.
Do you ever get together with any of them?

Pondside said...

Those are the best sort of memories - I can just imagine the laughter.

Momza said...

Graceful hostesses make even a simple gathering into a beautiful memory.

Grandma Honey said...

What a crack up she was. So do you still keep in touch? Wait a minute, isn't she the one who eventually moved to Fresno/Clovis? Or am I thinking of someone else/

anitamombanita said...

that's hilarious!

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