In October of 1999 it became painfully apparent that I didn't know anyone that lived in a penthouse in Chicago or that was throwing a party that required evening gowns. Since my heart was already there, we threw a party and told people to dress us in their most expensive and sparkly frocks, the bridesmaid dresses only ever worn once, the suits bought for funerals and the feather boas only worn on Halloween. We bought cases of Champaign and rearranged furniture, strung soft white Christmas lights everywhere and lit candles in every corner of the house. We collected bebop and dance music from the far reaches of our world and moved our stereo into the center of the house to turn our home into one resonating box of happy. We put giant popcorn bowls of plain white confetti on every table. We turned the heat up and I donned a long silk gown the color of Champaign paired with black heels comfortable enough to dance in and curled my hair, Dan wore his best suit, wing tips and skinny tie. We moved all our TVs into a group on top of an old desk and tuned them each to a different channel in case there was something to see outside of our party.
Friends and family and neighbors and guests arrived in gowns and suits tuxes with dishes to pass and music to share. It was the fanciest potluck in the history of potlucks. We danced and ate and drank until the big countdown when the lights all stayed on, the computers made it past the last second of the nineteen hundreds, everyone kissed and threw giant handfuls of confetti at each other and hugged and danced some more. At three-thirty AM the party's straglers and I sat at the bottom of the big stairs listening to "Ode to Joy" so loud I'm sure that's why the neighbors to the right wouldn't say hi to me for a full three years after. Soaking it all in, the operatic voices climbing high into our consciousness lifting our hopes for the new millennium, I was happy where I was sitting.
Sometimes you can’t wait to get invited to a grand party; sometimes you just have to throw it yourself.