I decided last week to throw a tea party and gather as many girlfriends as possible for some good conversation and crafting. Dominic enjoyed the opportunity to watch basketball at a friend's house.
It occurred to me about a week and a half ago that I have a million excuses not to spend time in casual conversation with friends. From 'too busy' to' too many other commitments'; from 'the house is a mess' to 'I'm tired', I've made up all kinds of reasons not to have people over. This all ended with a quick email invite (not even an Evite). I sent out the request to everyone, knowing full well that it would be uncomfortable at first. There were friends from work, church, wives of Dominic's friends and running partners. As it turns out, however, it's hard to turn down tea, and everyone got along really well.
To make things even more fun, at the suggestion of our dear friend Lisa I also made it into a craft party. For Christmas I got some great card-making books from Peg so I taught the group how to make pop up Valentines and let the girls go wild with all kinds of card stock and scrap booking paper:
Obviously I ignored the excuse 'not enough seating', but they promised they were comfortable on the floor...
This day meant a lot to me. A few weeks ago I was at a small group discussion where a woman made a point that Americans have lost our sense of community. That statement alone didn't seem newsworthy, but then I realized that we don't ever know when having people around who know and care how you're doing is important. It's never until something awful happens, like an earthquake or hurricane, that people drop work, stop planning and start caring for others. Why shouldn't creating community be the status quo when things aren't devastating?
Perhaps it was unemployment, maybe boredom, but the villagers in Surenavan were always dropping by for a meal, coffee and conversation. Was it that Armenians didn't have anything to do or is it that they made time for those around them? Was it that they have more time than Americans or that they enjoy hosting more? Whatever the reason may be, I sure wish I wouldn't have forgotten that sense of hospitality so quickly when I got back to the States.
While we were chatting today, we all realized that none of us have family in Seattle. If we can't be close to our parents or siblings-- and even when we can-- I'm sure glad we have friends.