Brooke: Any reason will do to justify a party (column)
Special to the Daily
“I’ll bring the champagne and cupcakes,” said the stylist. Wooed by treats, I agreed to host the next Bubbles and Baubles jewelry party from my home.
The fact that this would be a direct sales party didn’t matter — I just loved any reason to be a host. From cabin fever to party planning fervor, my Bubbles and Baubles-themed in-home party was the compelling reason I needed to send out invitations so glamorous that they should have been personally mailed and sealed by a gold goose neck sticker.
The thought of company coming was inspiration to get things done and go after the things I wanted. For months, I had been holding solar-powered, battery-operated hanging lanterns at bay, reluctant that the freezing temps would eat the batteries. But my guests would need to know which driveway was mine — that was not going to be easy with heaps of snow so tall, as not even a trace of bear carved yard art could be seen. Nearly Laura Ingalls in the flesh, I carried lanterns in my hands and draped each light from the Aspen limbs, illuminating the driveway.
The pioneering party-planning spirit continued, as I endured a Saturday aprés at the grocery store. I was finally going to buy that beachy-looking pineapple that had been staring me down since the last ice storm (which was the day before). I didn’t have time for practicality — I needed the perfect complement to a bite of zesty cheddar cheese that would impress the ex-pats who RSVP’d “yes” (Ex-pats always have great parties in a ski town).
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Finally, it was the night of the party, and the anticipation of friends coming by the house sparked a sensational feeling. I reached for Grandma’s champagne flute glasses to hand-wash each glass and place them next to the punch bowl that I found at the Fairplay antique store. Hoping I had set the bratwurst to the right oven temperature, I put the logs on the fire and waited patiently for the guests.
The stylist was first to arrive, so she could prepare her display of jewelry and totes. As she began to lay out each piece, I could hear the other women heading into the driveway. It was like watching a museum curator sort out fine paintings, beset to the droves of SUVs, off-roading it into my unpaved drive; I was relieved the lanterns had worked, and the girls could find my house in a dark forest.
I hovered over the bratwurst, hoping it would be done soon, while the ladies fast approached. One very pregnant friend had started to trek through my knee deep snow, below the outdoor staircase. I ran to the front door, and, like a manic on the tarmac signaling an airplane, I screamed, “Ice! You’re with child! I can’t keep up with the shoveling! Use the garage entrance! The outdoor stairs are a deathtrap!” She smiled and waved at me, getting the message.
Frazzled, I shut the front door behind me, but I was suddenly stilled by the reflection of the stylist in my mud room mirror. She peered peacefully over the chatter of the women that echoed from the garage and delicately polished her jewelry. With a gentle, endearing smile, she spoke, “It’s not about selling products. It’s about supporting women. Just having a party is fun, isn’t it?”
Smelling the smoke from the kitchen, I darted toward the burned bratwurst still cooking in the oven. I waved the hot pads like pom poms and exclaimed, “Oh yes! And, I’m so excited everyone could find the house!”
Taryn Brooke is a resident of Breckenridge, who appreciates local entrepreneurs and good parties. This article was inspired by Breckenridge local and impassioned personal stylist Melissa Olson, of Stella & Dot.
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