I went to PJs at TJ's last year, as some of you might remember. This year was a little bit different in a lot of little ways. First of all, I'd never met any of the women in person before I went last year. This year, I had met about 14 out of the 24 (the 25th one being me, whom I'm pretty sure I've met before--this sentence is awkward, but I'm 98% sure it's grammatically correct). By the way, I just did the math on that and I thought I'd met far more than that. I mean, Deja's in the not-met category, even though she was SUPPOSED to come last year and had to bail at the last second because she was ill. So I didn't meet her. But I ALMOST met her. So. I don't really have a point here.
I got a little lost there for a second but I think I'm here: The second reason the weekend was different from last year was that Sister got to come along with me. She wanted to go so badly last year, but she'd just started a new job a few weeks before and she couldn't make it happen. It was really nice to have a traveling buddy (98% of the travel I've done since I turned 18 has been solo, which can be fun, but is also lonely at times) (I apparently like to use 98% for my made up statistics). It was also nice to have a sort of touchstone at the party. Like if I got too overwhelmed, I could just look at her and know that there was at least one person in the room who was contractually obligated to like me. I ended up not needing that at all, because all of the women were really awesome and also because, as I said above, I'd met many of them before and consider several close friends. But it was still nice to have family near me. It was also fun seeing her experience the LIVE INTERNET for the first time. Her experience is not mine to tell, but I will hazard a guess that she had a great time.
Man, I keep getting all descriptive and tangential and I forget that I am trying to tell you how the party was different this year (and hopefully thus recapping without too much "AND THEN..."ing). Anyway, this year, Kelly rented a vacation-type home instead of hosting us in her house, which was easier to get to because it was not surrounded by armed guards. The house was beautiful and huge and kind of strange--we spent a lot of time speculating what kind of person the owner was, since some of the decor/building choices were strange (a giant painting of a very sad clown on the staircase, two (TWO) formal dining rooms, stairs made of
With the addition of the house, there was the option to stay in the house instead of a hotel (like I did last year). Sister and I jumped at the chance and I am so glad we did. I'm sure that there were benefits to staying at a hotel (like sleeping more than a few hours a night because I couldn't leave the party and just go to bed like a NORMAL person), but it was the absolute right choice for me. I don't know if I'll be able to snag a place in it next year and I'm sure the weekend will still be fantastic if I don't, but I know I'd do it all over again. And now I'm chuckling at myself a little because I have no idea where I'll be living or what I'll be doing a year from now and it seems a little insane to be making plans this far out and yet. That is the magic of Kelly's party.
ANYway, Sister and I shared a room in the party house, which allowed us to get there on Thursday instead of Friday and I think it was a nice way for us to ease into the weekend. I'm a natural introvert (which many people give me the side-eye about, but I SWEAR I prefer to be alone or one-on-one, it's just that I have developed skills and mechanisms for being not completely awful in large crowds), so the extra day gave me a little time to get used to a smaller group of people before everyone got there on Friday. And actually, that's the reason the party house worked so well for me. There are other reasons I liked it, but the ability to pop upstairs for a break or spend some time with fewer people before and after the events really helped me a lot.
And while it was different, so much about the party remained the same--in the best ways possible. I got to eat insane amounts of junk food. TANGENT: I've been on WeightWatchers since December 3rd, so I just declared this a free weekend and ate whatever I wanted. And even though the scale was not too charitable on Monday morning, I don't regret it at all. I would have been miserable all weekend trying to make everything fit into the points system and I would have failed in the end anyway--I know myself and the program well enough to know that. And at some point, I'll try to write a post about my weight loss, if I can make it...not obnoxiously boring. But for now, I have to focus on recapping, because once I start writing, I get ALL THE IDEAS and yet I only post once a month or so, which I really have no explanation for.
So. I got to eat junk and talk to people that I really like and have even missed since last year (even though we chat on twitter all the time) and I got to meet new people who are MY PEOPLE and that's always a good feeling. I can't possibly name everyone or everything (especially since I didn't get to talk to everyone I wanted to), so I'm not even going to try. But there are a few things that stick out, in no particular order:
- Kelly's book summaries and reviews, complete with hand motions and made-up terms ("lady-wife" being my favorite)
- Deja's duck laugh
- Lunch with Sister and Kammah and Linnea and our 6'7" waiter named Francisco (I wish I had a link for Francisco)
- Shanghai-ing Ginger at the kitchen table with my terrible work stories and watching her face get progressively more shocked with each terrible story (and watching her kindly refrain from running away even though I could. not. stop. talking)
- Gorging myself on the Edible Arrangement for two years in a row (Thanks, Kelly's mom!)
- Kelly learning how to make a sympathetic face and Diane's wit causing Kelly to choke on her soda
- Lara and Rachael playing with Penny, who Angry Eyebrowed us all into submission
- Noemi's valiant efforts to get us to Chili's and being thwarted again and again by Apple Maps.
- Keeping Diane awake after everyone else talking about a stupid "friend" of mine and also my terrible work stories (man, I need to shut UP once in a while)
- Ranting and venting with Jules about being single and how people think it's such an easy thing to "fix"
- TOM HANKS CAKE
- Falling UP the stairs and bashing my toes, but NOT bleeding on anything valuable because I am talented and coordinated and not at all likely to be murdered by my own limbs
- Getting to know Amanda and seeing her awesome Ravenclaw tattoo
- Susie and Diane and their ridiculously small gin & tonics (Diane's was in a salt shaker with one ice cube)
- Enpurpling the party house while Kelly introduced me to Alkaline Trio, who I really liked and I'm not sure how I've not heard them before
I only regret two things this year: 1) not making more of an effort to talk to EVERYONE (although I wouldn't give up any of the conversations I did have to do so, so I'm not sure where that leaves me) and 2) keeping poor Kelly awake far past her bedtime (I was staying up because she was up and I didn't want to miss anything and SHE was staying up as a good hostess and basically I should have gone to bed earlier and we both would have been better off). Sorry, Kelly. Oh, and by the way, thanks for throwing a party and being serious when you said anyone could come. I'm so glad you did.