You can buy the glittery invitation I took a screenshot of at iStock.com. Of course, I chose it for its glitter.
As an introvert and someone who's incredibly lucky to live where there's plenty of outdoor space, I didn't suffer through the "safer at home" and "really, stay home" phases of the pandemic as many people did. I love to hole up with a good book and to spend time with my family (though I missed dearly the members of my family who don't and who don't always live in my house). I didn't cherish every minute of teaching classes on Zoom, but I felt grateful to keep my job and enjoyed being able to Zoom with people who don't live in my area and with people most at risk for severe illness from COVID.
That said, one thing I do miss about pre-pan days is the ability to invite big groups of people to our house. We used to have a New Year's Eve party every year (though its start and stop times crept earlier and earlier -- our next one might be a brunch). Each late-August, we used to have a school's-about-to-start-let's-meet-the-new-teachers picnic. When I was in grad school, we'd host weekly potluck dinners, getting professors and students together over food and beverages.
If you've spoken with me in person for more than three minutes, you probably know how much I live to eat (and eat to live, but that's a different need). I've always been a fan of the potluck because I get to try everyone's favorite/best dish. But hosting parties offers more joy than whatever I consume/taste. I also love the following:
- bringing people who might not know each other together to find common ground;
- sharing stories among old and new friends;
- spending time without an agenda;
- marking special holidays;
- celebrating successes and milestones;
- laughing in good company; and
- experiencing the unexpected that occurs when people mingle.
When it feels safe to do so, I will start hosting again. Please consider yourself invited. In the meanwhile, you can share a story about your favorite party and/or favorite thing about parties in the comments below.