I don’t do hospitality well.
I could give all sorts of reasons. With 6 children, the house is always a bit of a mess. And as a single mom (in early childhood education, no less, and currently on disability!) I don’t really have the finances to fancy things up.And I’m not good at keeping things neat anyway. I’m not a very good cook. I don’t have a great sense of home decor and I’m not terribly crafty. I don’t feel like I’m very good at being a hostess. I have trouble keeping things tidy, most because it’s just not very important to me. And I’m an unrepentant introvert, which means I don’t really have a strong motivation to do any of those things.
My children though? Social creatures. I don’t understand it.
We do a lot of socializing amongst ourselves, and one family tradition is celebrating The Tony Awards. Usually this means snuggling up on my bed eating snacks and watching performances, but this year I have three children in a performing arts magnet school, which means party time.
I had big plans. I had a menu planned based on this post of 16 Tony Award snacks. The kids and I watched promo videos leading up to the big day. Friends were invited over. I was actually kind of excited. I had my grocery list ready and was about halfway through the first aisle of Aldis when it hit me– a seizure aura.
There are lots of different kinds of seizure auras. Mine are sort of a mishmash. I have a sensory aura– a tingly feeling like an electrical shock in my brain and a feeling like butterflies, but in my chest– as well as an experiential aura– a feeling of panic, fear, deja vu, and basically my brain screaming at me “HEY!!! PAY ATTENTION!!! YOU’RE ABOUT TO HAVE A SEIZURE!” I also sometimes have myoclonic seizures as an aura or pre-seizure, which gets very meta- a seizure to tell me I’m probably about to have a bigger seizure. What kind of seizure? Who can say. It might be grand mal (also called tonic clonic) seizure, it might be a clustered group of myoclonic seizures that feel violent and out of control, it might end up being nothing. It’s a mystery. ¯\_(?)_/¯
So, I’m standing in the middle of Aldis and I have no idea what’s about to happen. Maybe I’ll have a seizure. Maybe I won’t. Maybe I’ll make it out of the store. Maybe I don’t. But I do know two things: one, I need to finish my shopping or there will be no Tony Award snacks and two, I can’t drive and I need to let a friend know what’s happening.
I slip a Valium under my tongue.
I text my friend who is less than five minutes away.
I start hustling through Aldis and my shopping list, and suddenly anything will do. Instead of cherry pie for Waitress the Musical, I grabbed pop tarts. More detail later, lol.
I made it through the store in time.
I went out to my car and settled in.
I continued texting my friend, right up until I lost consciousness. She came and got me and took me back to her place, where I continued sleeping on her couch while her kitty kept watch.
My friend eventually drove me home and we stopped to fill in the rest of my grocery list. I have no recollection of doing this, by the way. Post-seizure, I’m kind of out of it. But in the end, we pushed the furniture back in the living room and enjoyed our perfectly imperfect Tony Award party.
This is what we ended up munching on.
HAMilton and Cheese roll ups (Prosciutto and cheese roll) for Hamilton, An American Musical
Pop Tarts for Waitress, the Musical
Twizzlers for Fiddler on the Roof (like fiddle strings, get it?)
Blueberries for “blue”grass music in Bright Star
Kisses for She Loves Me
Pop Rocks for School of Rock
German Chocolate Squares for Spring Awakening
Grapes for The Color Purple
Everyone had a great time. No one was disappointed or let down. As a matter of fact, everyone seemed pretty darned pleased the whole situation. I’m learning to embrace scruffy hospitality, even though it’s difficult. And there was junk food for breakfast.
Things aren’t perfect right now. They might not ever be even close to perfect again. But I’m going to continue to make the best experiences I can with what I have.