Friday, July 13, 2012

Open for Business

“So why don’t you throw a party for the 4th?” asked my friend.

My reaction startled me: “Ok.  How about a cook-out that afternoon?”  Game on.

Maggie and I used to throw parties. (I should probably be clear about this: Mostly it was HER parties.  I was just a happy helper - a very busy happy helper.)  There were big parties and bigger parties, but there were no small parties.  She loved to entertain and so we did.  This house was designed for parties and rarely did a month or two pass without a crowd getting their fun on in the living room.  Those were heady days.

To all good things, an end must come.  Or does life just transform into something different?

Apparently I was standing, perched, ready to pounce when my friend asked about the 4th of July party.  I didn’t realize that.  I certainly would not have suggested it.  But with just a little push, I sprang happily to action performing the tasks I knew all too well to produce a great party.

But this time was different.  In fact, this would be the very first real party in this big house since the last official (yet anemic) wine party in December 2009. My right-hand woman wasn’t there by my side directing, educating, and socializing.  But, you know what?  It was ok.  It was more work because, well, it was just one person whereas before it was two.  But it was ok.  And by work I mean I had several years of entropy to tidy up before I could even begin to do those things that get the house in shape for a good party.  And some of that plaque scraping was a little tough, as you can imagine.

That day, with the party in full swing, thirty or so good friends ate hamburgers and drank beer and played with dogs.  Kids painted windows with greasy fingerprints while the dogs cleaned up any food droppings.  And someone (or a few mischievous someones) fed Kali, my curious-but-dumb puppy beer*.  It was a full-on party.  The house was busy with happy people, smells of good food, and good fun.  Things were like they were meant to be.   Again… But it was different.

* Before anyone gets freaked out about the care and safety of my pampered and spoiled dogs, it’s fairly likely she found her own beer from all the orphaned glasses of vino and beer.  That girl finds all the trouble you didn’t even know was there.  Seriously.  She's like a two year old with a 6 inch tongue and a nose for danger.  That said, I won't rule out the mischievousness of my friends.

One of my guests, a wise been-there widow who is the mother of one of Maggie’s classmates from Baylor, pulled me aside during the hustle and bustle and said, “This is a great day. You have sent the signal people have been waiting for.  You are sending a message that you are open for business again.  From here, everything will change.”

July 4th, 1776 we as Americans declared our independence from an oppressive British rule under King George III.  On July 4, 2012, I declared myself open for business.  I’ll never be “independent” from Maggie nor do I ever want to be, but to be open for business again, I’ll take that.  Let the parties begin again.


  1. Let life begin.
    Beautiful- Chris

  2. Belated Happy 4th of July Chris! I am so happy for you, hope to see you in August at CWW

  3. I do believe that sometimes people sit back and watch for signs from us that we're ready to take that next step. Now your friends know that you are. Enjoy!

  4. I love this message...It makes perfect sense.

  5. I know what you mean. My husband was always the life of the party and made everyone laugh with his stories. He was the social organizer for our friends. Once he died things slowed down. I have tried to invite people over and it was nice, but definately not the same, but I will keep doing it, because I want to let people know that I am also "open for buisness"

  6. FANTABULOUS Chris!! Here's to the next party and a toast at CWW!!

  7. Thank you for writing this post. It's been helping me. I feel down from time to time with my relationship with my fiance and was looking for advice on trying to get him to understand how I feel. He was once in a very dysfunctional and unhealthy 4 year  relationship with a divorced woman with 2 kids that didn't live with her. They were never married but supposedly intended to but she never told anyone about him. She died from prescription drug overdose and at her funeral her former fiance was carrying her casket (not my fiance).  She was supposedly a cool person to hang around with but kept secrets from everybody such as her drug addiction (she used her poor health to hide it) and my fiance didn't know about it until 6 months before she killed herself. Because he wasn't married to her I didn't consider him a widow and since he told me I had nothing to be jealous about since she was all messed up. He never even visited her grave. After her funeral service he was very angry with her. He even thinks she cheated on him (which based on how she rarely wanted to spend time with him I'm pretty sure of it) The only thing he has left of her are some pictures of her and these pictures make me feel very insecure. I've asked him to let go of them before but he refused to. The reason why they make me feel so insecure is because when we first started dating he would bring her up time to time without me asking about her. It gave me the impression that he was focusing on her instead of trying to get to know me. It was like being in a relationship of three people instead of 2. If she had been an honorable woman and treated him very well then I would feel different. Since I mentioned how it hurts me when he talks about her he stopped. I don't see what's the point in keeping these pictures. He didn't trust her and doesn't miss the relationship at all. It just doesn't make any sense to me. She never gave him the pictures herself . They were given by someone else as a gift. It feels like these pictures cast a shadow over me and it hurts a lot. I do feel second best sometimes and it's to someone that was deceitful and manipulative to him. He has absolutely nothing to do with her now. He left her once during their relationship and it was just a matter of time before he left for good. I don't know what to do except to hope these pictures get lost forever.  Except for this, he's exactly what I want and need. I love him dearly and want to be as special to him as he is to me. He's my one and only and just want him to feel the same way as I do and these pictures feel like a threat. A constant reminder that makes me question am I really second.