Excuse me while I rant for a moment... oh wait. I don't have to apologize, because this is my blog, and if you're reading this you know that you are reading MY blog and that I can say whatever the heck I want.
In the last few weeks several different people on several different occasions have put forth negative opinions/commentary about detailed or themed party planning. I would like to respond to those comments, not because I feel threatened, but because one of them finally hurt my feelings.
A couple years ago, I never would have told you that I liked to plan events or parties. I'd never have imagined that I would suddenly find this fun, suited to my abilities, and in a weird way... satisfying. I couldn't have predicted that I would plan my wedding, plan other people's weddings & parties & showers, and actually enjoy the process.
Oh No. I hated for anyone to think I CARED that much. Really, I preferred to be aloof and apathetic. I arrived late to parties, didn't think an RSVP was necessary, and didn't bother complimenting the host/ess on my way out the door.
In the course of one year, my thoughts on events and parties slowly changed. I witnessed close friends get married, and noted the importance of "the coordinator." I sent out wedding invitations and suddenly understood how crucial are RSVP numbers. I was a hostess and recognized that it's nice when people compliment you on how hard you worked to make an event memorable and unique. More importantly, I began to see that there is nothing wrong with celebrating any event to the Nth degree, if that's the way you roll.
Because life is short, and love is important. If you like to throw parties and invite your friends to celebrate life's milestones, well, have at it. If you enjoy planning things down to the last detail and going the extra mile to make things memorable and fun, well, all your guests will appreciate it! If you have the time to spare, the money to make it happen, and gain pleasure from throwing a thoughtful celebration -- bless you. (Even if it's a "bless you, 'cause this time you're planning it and not me!" situation -- well, bless you even more.)
Of course... if you watch a lot of shows like MTV's Sweet Sixteen or Bridezilla, we're not talking about the same thing. But, I'm hoping you figured that out already. I don't support THAT type of extravagance for anyone. I've worked on a couple weddings where the budget exceeded $200k. I definitely had a hard time wrapping my brain around that type of spending, even for your once-in-a-lifetime wedding. Clearly, I'm not trying to justify everything all the way to Kim Kardashian's wedding. There should be limits for all things, and in all things... moderation.
But -- on a more reasonable and personal level -- please don't ridicule me for "going all out" or creating intricate, time-consuming details in honor of someone I love. Don't tell me it's too much and act embarrassed for me. Despite my best efforts at resilience, it does make me feel small and it is demeaning. This is my craft, it's a form of art. Perhaps not museum worthy, but it's my creation just the same. .Just because I love doing something doesn't mean you have to, but it does mean you should respect it. Did my hand cramp up after cutting out 30 mustaches from black card stock? Yep. Did I mind? Not a wee bit. Why? Because I knew it would be hilarious at the party I was throwing and people would laugh and remember it after they went home.
And really.... Let's really think about this here... you're honestly going to criticize me for throwing party? Are you also a blood-sucker? Have you forgotten how to smile? Do you have an ounce of positivity, fun, or humor left in your body? There are too many other things to gripe about, people.... don't even get me started.
I would never judge anyone for NOT throwing a huge party to celebrate something. I wouldn't tell them they were missing out because there were no special, handcrafted details that were bound to get them published on a design blog. I wouldn't say they were a bad friend or family member. Growing up all our celebrations were pretty modest. They involved food, friends, and fun. Some of my fondest memories are our college house parties. Food, check. Friends, check. Fun.... too much? check. Who cared about decorations or mailed invitations? NOBODY. I'm telling you: Food, Friends, Fun. The only things you need to get people's attention. Sometimes, that's all you need. Sometimes, that's all the guest of honor wants. Sometimes, that's all you have time for. Sometimes, that's perfect.
And sometimes... it's fun to go the extra mile. It's exciting to make an event into a bit of a extraordinary production. Especially if, say, they're only going to have their first child ONCE. It gives me pleasure to create and plan a celebration for someone else, knowing that by experiencing that event they will also experience the love I have for them. Sometimes... the love is in the details, right down to the smallest.
Oh, and two more (not so small) things...
1. Buy gifts off people's registries. It's the kind thing to do. You don't always know better.
2. RSVP. It takes a minute, or less, and it's just common courtesy.
Just don't RSVP Yes if all you're going to do is criticize me.