Once a year, we have Girls’ Weekend. I send out the invitations – real invitations – which may be my favorite part. I sent the girls letters this year with basically an apology that we wouldn’t be holding Girls’ Weekend, but a promise that we will next year. Even still, I didn’t get my invitation fix. You know, we should really have a Writers Group party. I think about bringing it up one night, when Dane beats me to it. “I was thinking we could have a party for the group.” My eyes light up. “Does anyone want to take the lead on that?” I raise my hand so fast. Me me me! Not that anyone else was eager to do it.
I get to work on Snapfish making the invitations. So fun. Lys has a friend who owns a bar and he said we could have it there. Perfect. It’s called Sheddy’s, in West Hollywood. It’s weird planning a party for a place I’ve never been, but I have fun imagining the space. And honestly there’s not much planning, I just include a $15 White Elephant gift exchange and tell the core group to bring treats if they’d like. Kevin Potter loves the word treat. He always talked about having a treat at night. It sounds so much more enticing than a snack!
So we all agree to invite a bunch of people; not just friends, but people who are interested in the same things as us. I ask the group to send me names and addresses of these people. I know this is a tall order. People don’t know other people’s home addresses these days. I figure Dane will be the only one to send me some. Nope, I get flooded with names and addresses. It’s awesome, but then I’m like, how many invitations do I have to order?? Snapfish only lets you order in bulks of 20 (stupid), so I order 40. I end up sending out over 30.
Less than a week before the party, I get an email from Lys that Sheddy’s is off. We can’t have it there. Something to do with the bar being robbed. I don’t know much of the details. My initial response is fuck. Then I call my manager, Devin, and ask her if I could have a big party there on Monday night (this is now five days away). “Sure, absolutely, how many?” Wow, I’m going to be one of those really horrible customers right now because I have no idea. The problem being that now that I’ve moved the location from West Hollywood to Santa Monica, a lot of people won’t come. It’s too far. And I can’t say I blame them. I just have no idea who is going to show besides our group. I initially say 40, and then when I go into work Saturday night I change it to 20. That’s more realistic. And if more people come, whatever, we can go to the bar. People can stand. No big deal.
The group agrees. I almost think they won’t want to have it at Brick+Mortar, but they all seem to be on board, even though it’s also a trek for all of them. I’d be lying if I said this didn’t work out perfectly for me. I live five minutes away AND I get a 50% discount. I will make sure to keep some of the group on my tab.
So now it’s the day of and I’m so nervous. It’s crazy how nervous I am. I feel responsible for everything that is about to happen. Will people show up? Will they have a good time? Will the party be cool for the servers at Brick+Mortar? Will I get too drunk in front of my manager and co-workers? Kyle is the first to arrive and I’m glad. We sit and share a big bottle of Pellegrino. We’re drinking it out of big wine glasses. Natalie comes over to check on us. She’s awesome and funny and I tell her about my nerves and then knock my wine glass on the floor and all over me. Oh my God. Relax. Thank God it’s only water!
On top of that, I’m so excited about giving Rich and Tara and Dane their gifts. Yes, Rich and Tara are coming! They leave tomorrow for Portland and they promise to make an appearance. Mike and I got them an ornament (again): it’s a suitcase with their names and the year, then a list of all the places they went on their honeymoon. I know they will love it, even though I got them an ornament last year, too. Tara yells at me. “You know you can’t give something like this to a pregnant person! I’m going to cry.” I’m so happy they like it! A little while later I give Dane his. “Oh, I feel bad. I thought about getting you something but I didn’t. Man, I feel bad now.” I knew he was going to do this. The whole point of this gift wasn’t because I wanted a gift in return. I guess I’m not very good at showing gratitude so I wanted Dane to know I really appreciated everything he’s done for me these past four or so months. But then he becomes the comedian he is and directs his comments to Rich and Tara. “She’s the best, isn’t she? You wouldn’t know it because she’s so mean all the time.” There he is. I always get awkward in these situations. I don’t take compliments well and it’s difficult to just say you’re welcome. So instead when he tells me I’m awesome I just say, I know. Which is awful. But Dane knows me enough by now to know how I really feel.
This is crazy, but this is the first time Tara and Kyle have hung out. What??? West Deptford High School reunion! My two worlds are colliding right now. I love that Dane is meeting Rich and Tara and that they can all see where I work. I can tell Rich isn’t feeling well, and they have packing to do, anyway. We say are goodbyes.
Then I hear someone saying my name. “Lindsay.” I turn and stare at this guy. “Hey!” This is one of those weird moments where I know this person but he shouldn’t be in California. Like, I’m staring at him and it’s not registering. Mike told me Nemeth was going to stop in but I completely forgot. I shake my head. Oh my God, Nemeth, hi! Wow that was weird. Nemeth went to Fairleigh Dickinson with Mike and he’s hilarious. He’s here with his friend Anthony who actually lives in Santa Monica. Why aren’t we friends? He blames Mike for not ever meeting up. Well, here we are now. The more I talk to Anthony, the more I realize he knows his shit in the writing world. He gives me the names of some books I should read and we promise to keep in touch. So Nemeth, you’re a single man? “Yea, first time in forever.” That’s good. I mean you look great. He really does. Last time I saw him in Hoboken I barely even recognized him. And now he’s back to looking his studly self. So he’s single. Or not. He and Anthony start talking about this girl he’s “seeing” and Anthony on the side tells me that Nemeth is in love. Of course. OK, well tell me about her. “Well, she gives me books….so I read books now.” Anthony interjects. “He gave her his Netflix password.” Woah, Nemeth big moves. Then Nemeth tells me a story in Nemeth fashion. It’s better heard in person but I’ll try to do it justice. He flies all over the country now for his job, and he talks about this one horrible flight. This lady sitting next to him fell asleep on his shoulder. “I was like, whatever, I’m not gonna bother her, she’s probably tired. And then I feel something dripping down my arm, so I freak out and move my shoulder and she gives ME a look like I was rude for waking her up. And I’m like, you’re drooling on me, bitch.”
Yea, it was funnier in person. Nemeth is a character. They leave a little while later. I wish I talked to them more. Lys and Zach show up later because they were working, so now we can do the White Elephant with all seven us who are participating. I love this shit. People begin to filter out and it’s down to me, Dane, and a few of his friends I’m just meeting tonight. Somehow, I thought it would end like this. It was a good night.