pajamas & pearls oscar party

Okay, so who’s having an Oscar’s viewing party at their home this year? Not me.* Want to know why? Because I’m still living in a rental house with crap carpeting throughout, and our furniture is still in storage, and the rest of this sentence and life is followed up with more excuses.

I seldom entertain here because this rental we live in isn’t representative of me. The owner of the home painted the walls with the wrong type of paint, the kind where you can’t even wash hand prints off the walls with soap and water. I tried the Magic Eraser and the paint CAME OFF THE WALLS. The walls are filthy, and there’s nothing to do but paint. So, I never have people over, and people just assume we don’t like them. Or, I tell people, “Please come over, but don’t look at this rental. I’m very insecure about it.” The last thing I want is for Phil to stress over where we live, finding a new home, when he’s working so hard on his new business. I truly don’t want it to be an issue. Other than my not having people over for dinner, ever, the house suits our needs. I don’t need more space, and I’m happy. The kids are happy. We’re all good. I just wish the dreaded entryway weren’t so dreaded, and that there were places for the kids to have a sleepover with friends. There are none of these things, and they’re all very easy fixes if we move. Or if we don’t. I’m getting in my own way.

Bottom line, we’re in a great school district, and we’re happy. It takes a while to meet kindred spirits and to connect with like-minded people, and finding that is what really matters. We all know that. So where you live shouldn’t matter, but it does. You want to feel proud of your home and space; it should reflect you. This home with its cheap banister, walls and carpeting–all things I’d never change in a rental–just don’t. But it’s temporary, and it’s ego. I need to let it go. I’m working on it. I really am. In an effort to let this go, I think I will try to throw a viewing party soon, for some girls (little girls). Post to follow. And, what’s more, I’m also planning on celebrating the smaller moments in life, maybe a viewing party in pajamas for House of Cards. Boom. Done. It’s on. Only I don’t think I have enough seats in front of the TV. I’m going to borrow someone else’s house. La di dah.

In the meanwhile, I throw this challenge out to you: do you secretly want to have people over but don’t because you fear you’re not enough? Your place isn’t enough? Your relationship isn’t enough? Your cooking isn’t enough? Your coordination skills aren’t enough? Do you put too much pressure on yourself to make it big, people expect too much? You expect too much of yourself? What’s stopping you? Is it just me, or are we noticing that I’m much happier when I’m entertaining and filling my home with memories and theme nights and people and LIGHT (without going too overboard).

*Okay, so that’s a lie. Family friends may come join us, as they did last year, for a “PAJAMAS & PEARLS VIEWING PARTY.” I insist that everyone wear hideous pajamas, and pearls, because, come on, this is the Oscars, people. And, we all need something to clutch when we’re appalled by someone’s outlandish remarks.

Oscartini Cocktail

Red Carpet Treatment with Red Towels!
(Image on door is of Golden Oscar Statue with overlaid words “VIP Access”)

It was “My” Oscar party and not “Our” Oscar party because it was all ladies, aside for our male bartender, who serviced us with cocktails all night. Lychee martinis and what have you. Every last dish on that table? Still in storage. Sigh.
Oscartini Cocktail

Men never wear pajamas to pajama night. They make some comment about how they sleep naked and wouldn’t want to do that to you. Women and children love pajama night invites, especially the ones that say, “nothing sexy, and if they’re garish, pilled, and stained, you earn bonus points.” Or, maybe it’s just the company I keep. We like to keep things cozy when it’s -1 degrees outside.

Yes, by way of The Dollar Store, our red carpet was a $1.00 plastic tablecloth. And, we did, in fact, have the good people at Whole Foods inscribe the cake with the words, “I’d like to thank God” in honor of the bountiful speeches we’d surely hear throughout the night, where God would be thanked but nannies wouldn’t ever be mentioned. Will someone please thank her nannies? Plural. It’s okay if you have more than one. No one judges you, just your dress. And your tan.

HOW WILL YOU TURN YOUR ORDINARY INTO EXTRAORDINARY? Giveaway post to follow! When I do just this, dammit!

Oscars Party Food


  1. I used to let things like that prevent me from having people over. That and the fear that no one would actually show up. And then I realized that I was happier if I just invited people over anyway.

    No one else notices the things you do. Plus they all know that you live in a rental anyway and that its not your place to make changes too.

    RE: your post yesterday: Have you ever considered writing about something other than yourself? It seems like you’ve been in a funk for awhile and maybe it’d be more fun and freeing to write a work of fiction and dream up a story than write another memoir.

  2. A little while back I wrote a comment about how much I love that you do these, because I have the movie fiend child who loves Disney Hollywood Studios best, because he loves to write, direct, and star in his own original productions in which we the remaining family members are assigned very specific underling roles. And I told you that he likes to have viewing parties for these, albeit only our little family. And you replied that you loved this.

    You may or may not even recall this comment conversation, and if you do not, I shall feel very, very stupid, but if you do recall it and you would like, I am happy to email you a link to one that I finally uploaded. I won’t put it here, because your blog, not mine, but if you would like to see one of his productions (a two and a half year old one, but so be it), let me know.

    1. Author

      Of course I remember, and I remember suggesting that you film his whole process, the assigning of parts, the setup, etc. For his eventual b-roll footage of his earliest work!

      1. Yes, and I mean to the next time he makes one. I have taken photos from time to time but no moving film, alas. I have saved his storyboards, though!

  3. Because you mentioned kindred spirits — I would love to someday here the True Story of what went down in Boca!! Are you sure there isn’t a book in THERE?

    1. I second this! Would love to read more about your experiences in Boca, and furthermore, your journey from NYC, to Austin, to Boca, and back to New York.

  4. Growing up, I was embarrassed to have friends over because we lived in a duplex in a semi-crappy neighborhood. I never thought there was anything wrong with it until one day a classmate happened to walk by and see me outside. He said “You live here?”, and when I replied that I did, his response was “figures”. After that I was always ashamed of where we lived, and that we didn’t have our own house.

    Now, I have my own house, and get caught up with everything having to be perfect if we’re having company. The food has to be flawless, the house has to be spotless, and I make myself and my family insane over it. My husband told me last time around that he doesn’t like “Having People Over Andrea”, and I totally knew what he meant, because I don’t like her all that much, either.

  5. I can totally relate to this. I was put on bed rest about a month after my husband and I moved into our new home. We still had things unpacked. I ended up gaining a crap load of weight from not moving (the copious amount of baked goods I inhaled didn’t help, either) and I had all these people wanting to come visit me. I felt a bit guilty about not wanting to see people, but I just couldn’t. That was in 2009. Now I’m separated and living back with my parents for the year, sooo not exactly having too many social gatherings now. Different sort of awkwardness.
    Ps-just realized I’ve been following your blog for 10 (!) years and this is the first time I’ve commented. Anyway, love your posts!

  6. I’ve learned to stop living an unhappy life, to stop even from having an unhappy moment, while waiting for something “better” or more “perfect.” THIS MOMENT is perfect enough. If I want two more chocolate-covered almonds, I eat them *with no guilt*, and then maybe take a walk later that day (or not), but everything in moderation. I’ve learned to be as genuinely happy as possible with this single moment in time, to think about the next moment when it arrives. Life truly isn’t LIVED (really, think about that), life truly isn’t LIVED if we’re constantly waiting for the “right” waistline or the “right” thighs or the “right” home or the “right” guy. Life this life you have right now, because it’s here. Enjoy your children, seize the opportunity for them to have crowded sleepovers, grasp your current age and health and abilities and invite those people over.

    Life your life instead of waiting for something “better.” It will never be any better than this particular moment. Meaning, this moment is what you HAVE NOW. Enjoy that chocolate and enjoy your children and sign loudly at stop lights and don’t wear makeup to the grocery if you don’t want to. This moment is too precious to be unhappy in it. And I’d tell you all these exact same things ten years from now, God willing that we have it.

    Warmest regards,

  7. I used to worry about these things a lot but I don’t anymore. I’ve learned that gatherings are about the time spent together and enjoying each other. My daughter had Oscar parties at our rental house and the kids didn’t care that it was in a basement. They were all dressed up and had their Oscar ballots (my daughter had a chocolate Oscar to give out for who got the most right) and they had a blast eating Costco pizza, drinking sparkling cider and making ridiculous sundaes. The boys were so cute in their suits and the girls stunning in their dresses. I learned a lot from that.

    For Thanksgiving – I had people bring folding chairs because I didn’t have enough. we were all jammed in around the table and it was a blast.

    For a “House of Cards” party – you could have people bring bean bag chairs or whatever to sit on and really add to that slumber party type of vibe if you wanted.

    People will remember the time together and not what the house looked like.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.