Thursday, December 08, 2005

Sociable

I went to a neighborhood all-ladies tea party and cookie exchange tonight. I did not spontaneously combust. No one bit into my special pecan cookies and choked, coughed, shrieked or fell over unconscious. Success!

I haven't been socializing much lately, and hardly at all in the neighborhood, which won't do. I'm reclusive enough as it is. It's been so long since I've done a homemaker thing like this that I did feel a little awkward at first. I was checked out, but in an open and friendly way (I am the new mom on the block, after all.) I already knew a few of the ladies by tagging them with their kids' names: Debbie's Mom, Hannah's Mom, and the Mom of triplets under five, God bless her.

It was not wall-to-wall Stepford Wives; I don't live in an all-white neighborhood so I was glad to see there were as many black, Asian, and Hispanic women as there were white women (the hostess and her family are Hispanic so any Stepford types wouldn't have come anyway.) Everyone wanted to talk about the holidays, parties, gift ideas, and decorating.

I mingled and got into various discussions about making pralines, husbands and grilling, getting discolored grout clean without using acid-based products, pets for Christmas and the joys of not having to wear pantyhose or heels anymore. We older gals all hate ceramic top stoves and long for the old days when Sears actually put out a decent major appliance. I got a simple recipe for vegetarian chili, some other women interested in starting up a morning walking group, and invites to two more holiday parties. I also met up again with the lovely European lady who decided not to sell her house to us way back when we were looking and we talked.

None of this will change the face of publishing, naturally, but it was good to get out and meet people who were only interested in how I got my cookies so round and if I know any good pre-fab gingerbread house kits. If you have a chance to meet your neighbors for something similar, go.

8 comments:

  1. getting discolored grout clean without using acid-based products

    Is that even possible? The only stuff I've found that works should be classed as a Weapon of Mass Destruction.

    It sounds like I'd be more at home at that sort of party than a beer-swilling discussion of the Oakland Raiders and the LA whatevers (the basketball team). One can never have too many recipes for vegetarian chile, after all.

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  2. I went out with a woman across the street last Friday night and we had a blast. It was an early night, but it was so nice to just talk about everything else but writing.

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  3. i had lunch with some friends last week... wasn't exactly neighbors, had to drive to Cincinatti, but that's okay. We all live in Ky, Oh, or In and getting together is so much fun.

    Although they have me scared to DEATH now. Their kids are either all grown or in the teen years.

    it's the stories of the teens that has me scared.

    If anybody knows how to freeze a child at the age they are at... let me know.

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  4. My neighborhood has a ladies' group too. I went to my first meeting this week after talking myself into just sucking it up and going. I have lived in my neighborhood for a year and have only met one of my neighbors (our driveways are in back of the house in the alley so you don't see a lot of neighbors coming and going).

    I am so glad I went. Met a lot of other moms with preschoolers and found out about a play group (critical with the three-week preschool Christmas vacation coming up). It was great because they were a fun group, and I met a lot of women who were sarcastic and hilarious (read: I didn't have to put on my polite game face and censor my jokes). And luckily I met a woman who just moved in across the street, and our kids are the same age. Plus the wine was really good.

    Not sure I'll do all the rounds of activities, though. This group has a book group, bunko, a walking group, play groups, game night, and a general meeting. I'll definitley do the book group, however. They're reading interesting books: next month is In Cold Blood by Capote. It will be refreshing, I think, to talk to books with people who aren't writers. I think I get so into discussing craft sometimes that I forget the joy of the story.

    Anyway, sorry for the long post, but I thought our similar experiences were interesting.

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  5. I've always thought that if writers were going to write about people, they had to mingle with people.

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  6. Hey -- I can help on the healthy grout cleaner, I think. Check out the Harmony catalog from www.gaiam.com. It had all sorts of environment-friendly products -- from clothing to laundry stuff.

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  7. My god, PBW! You could have died.

    ::shaking head::

    neighbors ... scary

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  8. I got my first ceramic-top stove because I had to to get my convection bottom oven. I just want to say, ACK! I HATE it. It is SUCH a pain to clean. The engineers are morons.

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