Growing up, one thing that made my heart ache was that I never had friend parties. This was simply the way it was, due to the facts that: a) we had enough kids in my family (7) to gather an impressive number around the table on a given birthday; b) friend parties probably seemed a wasteful expense to my parents; and c) our house typically was in a state of disrepair and my mom didn't feel it was suitable to invite other families in. There was no arguing the point, but I admit that -- particularly as I attended the birthday parties of others -- I often longed to be fêted amongst friends.
And on Friday, I was.
I headed to New York City very early Friday morning for a consulting meeting. I wasn't wild about the prospect of taking the train in and out on the same day so as I was setting up my travel plans, I asked my friend Isabel if I could crash on her couch for the night. Isabel said yes, and I suggested that if she wasn't busy we meet up for dinner with some blogging friends. She said this sounded like a great plan, and then offered to have the gathering at her house. I kept insisting I didn't want to be a hassle and kept asking how I could help and she kept telling me to stop being silly, it was no big deal. A few days later, I was touched to learn that Isabel had graciously framed the invitation as a party in my honor.
And I was honored. And utterly touched. And so, so happy to see lovely friends such as Liz, Emily, Gretchen, Danielle, Anna, Alicia, Pierre, Jyl, Carol, Elina and meet wonderful spouses and family members.
The food and drink abounded (Isabel truly is the hostess with the mostess), the conversation and laughter flowed, and the hugs and happiness were so heartfelt. I had many moments where I looked around the room and thought, "I love these people. I'm so grateful to be living this life. [And also, people who think you can't make real friends via the internet have no idea what they're talking about.]"
Thank you, Isabel. And thank you, friends, for being there. It's not as if I haven't had a party since childhood, but this one meant the world to me.