Last Sunday, I wrote about how the universe had conspired to force me to stop stressing over hosting the perfect parties, by throwing some truly insane monkey wrenches into several events. I did take that lesson to heart, and started to relax more. What I still needed to get through my thick skull, though, was that letting people help you is a glorious thing. Because I am so often a reluctant student, this lesson was also driven home in a rather dramatic fashion.
Sharing the Workload (I was making progress)
For my first Friendsgiving, I actually started off with the right idea. Three of us split cooking duties, with everyone planning to bring their contributions to my apartment at the appropriate time. I even chose to make the side dishes, letting the others handle the critical main course and desserts. My friends Tom and Cathy, who lived next door, were on turkey duty.
Of course, because I was still me, I had planned multiple, elaborate side dishes that were going to take hours to prepare. Still, I was making progress with this whole “stop being an obsessive control freak” thing.
However, I had yet to fully master the arts of chilling out, focusing on the fun, allowing myself to rely on others, etc., so it was time for an object lesson.
The Best Laid Plans…
So I’m in the kitchen, following my carefully prepared cooking schedule (it was on a spreadsheet), and I was feeling pretty on top of things, when I made a minor miscalculation with a very sharp instrument.
Actually, it was a fairly major miscalculation. Not to the level of cutting off a finger or anything, but I managed to slice an impressive gash in my left hand. There was a lot of blood (thankfully, none of it got on the food) and, according to Tom, I “screamed loud enough to wake the dead”.
Tom and Cathy were at my door within seconds, and immediately took charge of the situation. I don’t remember the next few minutes very clearly, but Cathy swears I said, “Do you think we can just wrap it up for now? Maybe I could just finish the casserole?”
I have no doubt that she’s telling the truth, because that sounds like perfect Amanda logic.
The answer was no, of course, and Tom took me straight to the emergency room. He assured me that I had not ruined Friendsgiving, that everything was going to be fine, and that I just needed to relax and get my injury treated. So, wonder of wonders, that’s exactly what I did.
And in case you were wondering, no, it would NOT have been a good idea to wrap it up and try to finish the casserole.
Little LOT of Help From my Friends
When we got back to my place, I discovered that Cathy had called in reinforcements, and that my friends had cleaned up the kitchen, finished all the cooking (including everything I had intended to make), and had just been waiting for Tom and me to get back so we could have a slightly late dinner. I had never done less work for a party, and with my useless left hand, I wasn’t much help for the rest of the evening.
And I’ve rarely had so much fun. Being physically incapable of running around and obsessing gave me the chance to focus on the moment and enjoy spending time with my amazing friends, and that is what a party should be all about.
Lesson learned. After that night, I officially said goodbye to the quest for perfection, and fully internalized the fact that people are always willing to help out (with or without emergencies).
Anyone else have a tale of an inconvenient injury? Let’s compare notes in the comments!