Around the time we moved into that big crazy old house on Emily Street and planned one of the first Christmas parties, I realized that I had quite a few different groups of friends. There was the gay crowd, the straight crowd, the teacher crowd, the choir crowd, the older crowd, and I guess you’d call it the fringe crowd…(you know, the drag queens, the priests, the unusual neighbors, etc.) My cousin and I would pore over the guest lists and sometimes have two separate parties..or even more. That didn’t last very long…too much work..too many trips to the dump for flowers etc. That’s about the time that I decided we ought to just mix the whole thing up…and invite everyone we liked…somehow convincing my cousin (as usual) that they would all have one thing in common at least…that they would all presumably like us back.
After a few misfires, like Amanda Love and Sandy Beach having an intense conversation with Father Dan about purgatory or gay angels ( I forget ), and born again fellow teachers falling down the front stairs…things went fairly well.
It was around that time that I also started to invite my friend’s parents to the house. I love to get to know the older generation…and have them mingle with my friends, and now with my niece and nephew’s friends. Lots of the mothers turned out to be piano players, or great story tellers, or spinners of tall tales like my Dad was.
There’s a charm to an evening like we had last night for my Mother’s birthday..with her at the keys, the cousins all singing Irish songs with the kids who are just learning the ropes around the piano. I either know or have known most of my friends moms..from Juge, to Anna, and Peggy, and Asunta, and Emma Jean, and Jan, and Phyllis, and Clarice, and Nadine, and Katie, and Marcella and so many more who have enriched my life. Seeing so many of my friends become friends with my Mom, and shower her with so much love on her 95th birthday made the celebration so much more memorable for her…and for me. So if you still have parents…bring ‘em around…they’ll know the words to all the old songs, and eventually they’ll be singing ‘ Call me Maybe’ on their way home.