I exited the homeschooling life last winter, but that community has continued to embrace me. There is a sweet teenager who is an eager babysitter. Emily and I still participate in a preteen meet-up at a local coffeehouse. And we stay in reasonable touch with several friends. We received an invite to a party from one of those friends a few weeks ago. My RSVP was not a timely one, but a "yes, we'll be there" nonetheless. And so today, after my long workday, I painted on a fresh face, faked a potluck bring-along, gathered my reasonably presentable children and headed her way.
Upon arriving, I didn't see the tell-tale string of cars that should have lined the street. I didn't hear revelry coming from the backyard. And I didn't smell charcoal and hot dogs. I sensed something was askew and sheepishly rang the doorbell. Hostess Claudia (does that make her sound like a snack cake?) answered the door with a wry smile. I'd apparently missed the crowd. By about 24 hours.
Suddenly I felt like I'd stepped into an episode of Curb Your Enthusiasm.
She welcomed me into the house and offered us leftovers. And I laughed at myself for a solid ten minutes. Really. Who does this sort of thing? Why, Not Your Average Jennifer, of course! Once I let go of my embarrassment, I was able to enjoy myself. My kids quickly began playing with hers. She and I caught up on all the sordid details I omit from here and we had a delightful time. I must admit, it was a treat having the entertainer all to myself. But I promise to try not to make a habit of being a Day-After-the-Party Crasher.