This is the tale of how an awkward girl without a domestic bone in her body came to host her very first (hopefully hip) New York City Friendsgiving.
You know those thoughts that sprout from the depths of your mind and flower from your tongue, the ones that grow especially questionable decisions? This one blossomed as I was brandishing a fourth “too colorful and too bohemian” rug at my boyfriend. Granted, it was our third home décor shopping trip in the span of a few months, and finally agreeing on a coffee table after weeks of bickering can be surprisingly liberating, so it came bubbling out against my better judgment. “We should host a Friendsgiving this weekend.” Ever uninclined to turn down a party, he agreed. After doing the rounds of invitation texts, the idea was left to drown in an ocean of errands and deadlines.
That is, until one of my friends texted me on Friday afternoon to ask what she should bring on Sunday. I found myself face to face, like a deer in the headlights, with the gravity of our situation. Do you know how hard it is to host a dinner when your best friends are vegan, your boyfriend is gluten free, everyone else just wants some turkey- and you haven’t successfully cooked anything other than buttered noodles in months? Cue the stress acne. I decided the best course of action would be to handle it the way I do everything in my life, and ignore it until the last possible minute.
Come Sunday morning, I became everything I always complained about when my mother went on a pre-company rampage. I woke up early to bleach every inch of the apartment, mutter angrily to myself as I tidied last night’s dishes, and set off on some gratuitous reorganization. It culminated in a meltdown complete with shouting and Swiffer-brandishing when one of our (hungover) roommates didn’t want to move his jacket off the arm of the sofa right that instant.
As it turned out, everything that I said was going to happen if we didn’t get it together, did. There was frantic Pinteresting to find recipes that catered to every dietary restriction, a terse a last minute ingredients run, and the potatoes were still in the oven when people began arriving. But with each friend who stepped through the door, my anxiety over pulling off the quintessential dinner party waned. Nobody else was irritated that the food wasn’t perfectly timed, or that we switched to plastic cups when we ran out of wine glasses for everyone. They were laughing and catching up and introducing the friends of friends. Despite the inevitable “I told you so’s,” the evening still came off better than I had dared hope. There is so much to be said for an evening spent with good wine and great friends- and at the end of the day isn’t that the real point of the holiday?
So cheers to the frenzied sacking of bodegas and pies from Whole Foods, and to the kind of people who commute from the Upper East Side to Brooklyn bearing homemade mac-n-cheese. Cheers to the friends who come early to help cook, and stay late to help clean. And lastly, cheers to you New York, and the many Friendsgivings to come.
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