Thursday, January 20, 2011

Only in the name of tradition...

...would I give up this fabulous piece.  I mean, who could?  Can you see what it is?  It's a female monkey having a baby (you can't tell by the photo but the baby is almost all the way out), obviously without an epidural while the ob/gyn does his part.  Plastic monkeys, fabric clothes, all instruments available.

Two years ago a woman with whom Paul has a working partnership asked us to her home for her annual holiday party.  We only knew her; hadn't even met her husband before the party.

We were asked to bring a white elephant gift and that there would be a "naughty Santa" gift opening.  There were many great people, great food, and drink.  We had a great time.  AND I was lucky enough to pick number 1 out of over 40 people out of the hat for opening gifts.   Well, first thing, I open these monkeys and immediately fell in love with them.  Apparently they had been around for many, many years.  It was supposed to be a bad gift but, being me, I loved it.   The gift-picking rules seem to change every year but the one that sticks is that the person with number 1 gets to pick from all the gifts at the end of the opening.  The monkeys went all over the place.  In this ritual of rules, many folks can get their hands on your prized item over and over.  My beginner's luck paid off and I got the monkeys.

I took them home and put them in the dining room; what a great conversation piece-I mean where else would one put them?

Last year they didn't have the party because Dave (the husband) was out of the country.  They didn't get the chance to have it until this year, so I got to keep the monkeys two years!  This year was their 20th of having these parties.

When Paul first told me about the party~not until after New Years~I though we'd dodged it again, I put the monkeys under my pillow and my thumb in my mouth.  First, I wasn't going to go.  Then I was going but not taking the monkeys.  Finally I realized that I had to go and take the monkeys; that it was only fair and in the spirit in which it was given.

We had to sneak it in lest anyone recognize the taker of the monkeys, but, no worries since they'd all met us only once.  Which brings me to one of the greatest parts of the party.  Kathy and Dave have been having this party for 20 years.  Dave and Kathy are 50 somethings with, as Kathy put it, three through college and two married.  The couple is very high up in their respective jobs and are Country Club Folk.  Now I grew up as a country club kid and privileged but don't live like that now or know anyone else who lives like that here.  WASPS is what Paul pigeon-holed them as.  They are very nice people and so are their friends; we always feel quite comfortable considering we don't know anyone except Kathy.  BUT the big thing that impresses me is who attends the party.  Kathy points out to us a friend she's had since 4th grade, many since junior high, a bridesmaid, college roommates, etc.  This makes me pea green~how fabulous is that!!!!  Well, very fabulous in my book; they have stayed friends all these years and get together at least once a year to have a great time.  They are all like family; very comfortable in the home and have probably been there during births, deaths, trials, and triumphs.  If y'all know me at all you know that's exactly what I wish I had~all that wonderful, constant history.

So, in the end, I realized this and had to honor their tradition of having the monkeys under the tree for about the 14th time.  There's a teddy that's been around about 18 years!  I came home with some very mediocre items but I felt better and more inclusive because of it.  Everyone was so tickled to see the monkeys and the other "traditional" items back.  And some new ones like two different banana hammocks.  Did I mention this was a classy group?  They are so fun and funny.  In the end the favorite gift of the night was a "new" one~a fake stuffed parrot on a hanger that said the most crude things, over and over.  "Where's my f*&^ing cracker, get my f(*&ing crackers.", "Dickhead alert, dickhead alert", etc.  It was hilarious.  The second best was also a new one called Mr. Right~a stuffed doll that also said many very funny things like, "Of course your ass doesn't look fat in that.",  "No, no, let me do the dishes tonight." and on and on.   It was a great night and, yes, I'll be back next year trying to get my monkeys back or at least Mr. Right or that parrot.

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