juxtaposition: hot chocolate in a teacup

[this blog post is best paired with relient k’s “i hate christmas parties”]

this week i was reminded of the best christmas party i’ve ever been to.

it was the friday before christmas break….

i had agreed to go to a party with rachel and lindsay, and it was not the party that i thought i was going to.

i was under the impression that i was going to an international student party—i experienced a different kind of culture shock.

luckily, rachel explained what kind of party we were going to, so lindsay and i weren’t going in blind.

rachel had met a local richmonder at a thanksgiving dinner for international students hosted by vcu. the girl invited rachel and a handful of international students to a christmas party she was hosting at her parents’ home.

unfortunately, most of the students cancelled, except for one girl. we picked her up on our way to the party, and drove for thirty minutes, arriving in richmond suburbia.

as we opened the door to the party, we were greeted by ten girls standing in the living room dressed in subtle christmas themed outfits. one girl soon makes herself known to us as the host—the hostess with the mostess, as i like to call her.

the hostess with the mostess was wearing christmas themed fuzzy socks, black tights, a red pencil skirt, a chevron teacher tanktop, completed with a string of pearls around her neck—as any good hostess should.

the hostess with the mostess was our conductor for the evening and quickly ushered us into the living room with the rest of the party. now that we had arrived and completed the rsvp list, the party was allowed to begin.

the hostess with the mostess showed us into the kitchen, and invited us to fill a plate with food, get a drink, and sit at the table. after i placed my plate on the table, i went to get a mug of hot chocolate. the hostess with the mostess clearly explained that in one corner of the kitchen one could find teacups and saucers for tea, and mugs for hot chocolate in the other. i usurped her beverage stations by choosing a teacup to drink my hot chocolate, and i could tell i threw a wrench in the whole operation. the hostess watched as i picked up a teacup and walked toward the hot chocolate station, and couldn’t help but say, “well, actually, the tea station is right next to the teacups,” pointing to a basket of teabags. i replied, “yes, i know, i just want to drink hot chocolate out of this—it’s prettier than the mugs.” she replied, “oh, okay. that’s fine.” it was not fine.

with all of us gathered around the dining room table, we began with simple conversation while eating our dinner. after the ice had been thoroughly broken by normal human interaction, the hostess with the mostess pulled out a cup of christmas themed icebreakers. we circled the table sharing about our favorite christmas decorations—so now i understand each girl on a much deeper level.

promptly after we completed one revolution of the table, we were led into the living room for games where it became clear that the hostess with the mostess was only there to guide us through the evening, not to participate. She led us through two activities and group photos, before finishing with christmas caroling in the living room. we stayed for three carols before dismissing ourselves.

we grabbed our party favors and left quickly, and let the night sink in. we were the perfect storm that the hostess with the mostess was not expecting.

i still think about that party everyday.


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