Saturday, July 01, 2006

The Walrus and The Carpenter

"The time has come," the Walrus said,

"To talk of many things:
Of shoes--and ships--and sealing-wax--
Of cabbages--and kings--
And why the sea is boiling hot--
And whether pigs have wings."

Tomorrow (July 2nd) I’m having a family party at my house to celebrate the 4th. When I say family, I really mean friends and family, because I consider my friends to be extended family. In addition to tomorrow’s party, we’ll celebrate the 4th again on the actual 4th, and we’ll go see fireworks on both the 3rd and 4th. In case you haven’t figured it out, I’m one of those women who believes that one can never have too many celebrations.

So today I cleaned the Weber, and tomorrow I’ll be grilling buffalo burgers. I’m a big fan of buffalo. It’s delicious, sort of like the best ground sirloin you’ve ever had, and yet even better than that. Some of those burgers will be plain, some will be topped with jalapenos and extra sharp cheddar, and some will be stuffed with blue cheese, according to whatever preferences are expressed. Tonight, I’m going to the symphony, but when I get home, I’ll make a dilled potato salad. For dessert, I’ll serve my traditional 4th of July cake (see pic, above). It’s made with with raspberries and blueberries, whipped cream, toasted slivered almonds, and Cointreau, among other things. I’ll also serve fresh cherries and a cannonball melon, and Anthony is bringing some of his delicious homemade sorbet (mango and raspberry). To wash it all down, I’ll serve iced beer and pomegranate mimosas, and pitchers of ice tea.

I’ve been thinking about my friends and family. There’ll be 10 of us here tomorrow, ranging in age from 3 to 67. Weather allowing, we’ll be swimming beforehand. I’m looking forward to this. We’re a lively, rowdy group. We like each other, but more than that, we enjoy each other’s company. We’re all interested in books and movies and politics, and none of us is shy about expressing our opinions. We all enjoy talking, so all of us tend to talk a lot, and truth be told, a lot of the time we talk over each other. If you were here with us, you’d here, "WAIT! No, you’re WRONG! Oh, you are SO wrong! Will you LISTEN to me?!?!?! Just the other day, I read..."

My kids’ friends always seemed to enjoy the lively atmosphere at our house, and could (and still can) often be found hanging out here. For example, tonight, even as I’m typing, there’s a group of 19 and 20-year-olds in my kitchen (one of whom is my son, Mike), talking, hanging out, eating take out and getting ready to watch a movie together. But sometimes people find this lively atmosphere daunting. I once dated a guy who said that coming to a family party at my house was like walking into the middle of a Woody Allen movie. I don’t think he meant it as a compliment, but I took it as a huge compliment. I like to think he was comparing me to Mia Farrow, in Hannah and Her Sisters, but I could be wrong...

And I once dated someone who used to wait, politely, trying to get a word in edgewise at these parties, only to never find an opening. At the end of the evening, I’d be in a great mood, filled with ideas and energy from all the lively conversations I’d had, only to find him pouting and morose. "What’s wrong?" I remember asking, solicitously, I thought. "Do you realize that all of you continuously interrupt each other?" he said. "Well of course we do! That’s how we talk. We’re excited and happy to see each other. You have to jump in! You can’t be shy! Just say, ‘hold it! I’m trying to say something!’ and all of us will shut up!"

He was wounded by my suggestion. Needless to say, the relationship didn’t last. Relationships come and go, but friends and family...that's what it's all about.

Happy 4th.


Cynthia said...

Judi, a home where everyone feels at home is what we all dream of. Have a wonderful holiday.

Robbie said...

Sounds like my kind of place. I'm open to later life adoption. Honestly, I don't think my parents would mind. :-)Have a great holiday!

Yasmin said...

Nice post! Reminds me of my summers in Egypt when the atmosphere is pretty much as you describe - 2 or 3 generations all chilling out, talking above each other, laughing heartily, enjoying good food and good company. Enjoy your holiday!

Paul said...

I wanted to say "Happy 4th", but I couldn't get a word in. Sheeeesh.

odie said...

Sounds like a great time to me. I can't imagine any other way. What can I bring?

Tammy said...

I wish I was there, but I had to watch paint dry at the new place :) You are truly blessed!


Lisa :-] said...

Many a timid soul was ejected from our family becuase he couldn't deal with the "talking over each other." For the first thirty years of my life, I didn't know there was another way to converse. I don't know if it's cultural, or regional or just a product of coming from a big family (where if you don't pipe up you will disappear, never to be heard from again.) Slow, thoughtful conversations bore the crap out of me.

emmapeelDallas said...

LOL! Lisa, I've always thought, reading what you write, that you'd fit right in with us, and this totally confirms it!



dreaminglily said...

Amen lol It'd be fine for me because I love to just sit and watch too lol Don't always need to talk, a benefit in being in my family lol

Entry made me smile.