Anatomy of a Dinner Party: a day in the life of a hospitalityaholic

Party Week – Day Three

Written by Patti on December 9th, 2009

Good Morning, Darlings!

Tuesday brought downpours and so I stayed in and managed some household minutae. I wrote thank you notes, did the laundry, stripped the guest bed and washed the linens since Holly is staying the night with us on Saturday after the party (she is the most delightful houseguest!) I half-heartedly cleaned the bathroom and straightened up.

I also pulled out all the serving trays for the party and placed the appropriate plates into the two three-tiered servers.

I’m not sure if I mentioned this, but on top of everything else Crystal has done for the party, she made me two of the most scrumptious rosemary wreaths. They smell so heavenly! My first thought was to hang them in the kitchen separately, but then got inspired to tie them together and hang them from the mirror over the mantel. Take a look – I love it!

Mantel Decorations Done

Mantel Decorations Done

Rosemary Wreaths!

Rosemary Wreaths!

Eric voiced some concern that there will be no surprises when the guests get here because I have blogged about it all. My point was that all the photos are being taken in daylight, so there is no way it will look the same way at night. He agreed. Plus, we haven’t even started on the dining room, the bar, the backyard. It all still needs to be done.

Taruan and I will meet soon. I’m sure of it. Before Saturday perhaps. Maybe on Saturday. But it will get done.

Day Three is usually the day when I sit down for a few quiet moments and ask myself – what if no one comes? what if there is not enough food or wine? why did I want to throw a party in the first place? wonder if it is too late to cancel the whole thing?

Yes, Darlings, I have a case of the jitters. Bad jitters. It happens every time and I drive my closest friends batty with my petty insecurities. But bless their hearts, they put up with me and the soirees almost always come off without a hitch. It is always fun and having all our guests here, eating, drinking and laughing is tonic for my soul.

But for that little window of time, I fret. I sincerely hope that this time I haven’t bit off more than I can chew with food prep and I remind myself that having Wallace tending bar and Farzana tending to the kitchen will ease my anxiety. So if you are out there planning a party for the first time and feel yourself freaking out – please take solace in knowing that even seasoned party givers like me freak out, too.

I wonder if Martha Stewart and Preston Bailey get the pre-party jitters?

Art Director Tracy is feeling a bit better and she & I will meet at Michaels this afternoon to peruse last minute things that glitter for the dining room decor.

Today’s temps will soar to 64F today. This makes me wildly optimistic for Saturday until I check and realize that the high for party day is only 41F. But we have a heater for the tent in the backyard so it will be fine. Speaking of the tent, I sit and muse about the possibility of doing a cigar and bourbon area back there. Will this fit into the budget? I am really getting close to the bone with my spending and almost every penny is accounted for. So the cigar tent may have to wait for another time. Plus, I don’t even smoke cigars. But I like the thought of it – it seems to go well with black tie, doesn’t it? Classy, in a smoky Casablanca kind of way.

Anyhoo, there is plenty to do today with Tracy. Tomorrow Lisa and I will shop and cook for the party. Friday I will clean again and Saturday we will have a bundle of friends in and out helping with set up. I am so grateful for all our terrific friends.

For now, I will sip a cup of coffee and fight the jitter demons. On Saturday night, I will don my gay apparel and party with our nearest and dearest.

Stay tuned.

xoxo, Patti


3 Comments so far ↓

  1. crystal says:

    love the wreaths -vote no on the cigars. Regardless if you smoke or not the smell will permeate – which means if you wear a coat anywhere near the cigar tent it will have to go immediately to the dry cleaners.

  2. Chioke says:

    Patti- I so love your blog. I’m so excited about your party, but secretly I never want it to come so I can continue to read about it everyday. Please let me know how I can help. If there is anything you need me to do I am available to help- run to the farmers market, glitter the ends of pinecones to put in decorative bowls, anything you need, let me know. Taruan is in the Bahamas finishing up a restaurant at Atlantis. He will be back on Thursday AM.

  3. Patti says:

    @Crystal – duly noted. No cigars.
    @Chioke – you are too sweet!! Love you!