Friday, April 09, 2010

Adrienne's Salon

For the past few days, I've been writing to you in my head, dear reader. I've been avoiding the computer--or pretending to--in order to clean the house--or pretend to--in preparation for the "salon." (I love that; it seems so French and modernist and sophisticated. I like to pretend that I am sophisticated.) I have three posts but I am going to give them to you backwards, most recent first.

Adrienne's visit was a treat. About 13 people gathered in my tiny living room. The range in ages was great as were the geographical locations. Two women drove up from coastal Maryland (three hours) and of course Lee came all the way from Pittsburgh even if she pretended only to come from Philadelphia where she was visiting her mother. Mostly knitters, as you would expect, three cross-stitchers, a seamstress (better than a sewer), and a crocheter. And spinners! One woman spins directly from her rabbit. (I'm easy to impress.) We had a free-ranging discussion.

Adrienne asked me to remind her to take photos. So I took one. The woman in the pink is newly-famous Anj, the steek cutter. (If you took photos, have pity on Adrienne and me: please send.)

Adrienne herself is delightful. If I closed my eyes and squinted my ears, she reminded me of bestpal. They use some of the same phrases and have some of the same stances on things. Maybe we're kind of like planets and our gravity attracts certain kind of um, other planets into our universes. Okay that was a weird simile. But I think you get the idea.

Speaking of the "wrong voice," it was kind of funny to hear Adrienne read because when I read the book, I had a different voice in my head reading it to me. (Neither hers nor mine.) When I went to see Lorrie Moore read A Gate at the Stairs, she talked about having the character's voices in her head but not being able to replicate them when she read so she was always reading in the wrong voice. Yeah, I just compared myself to one of America's great short story writers. Something's gone to my head.

I would like to say that my brownies (a Katharine Hepburn recipe) or lemon bars were a hit, but my cousin's cake (pictured) stole the show. I should do a post on her cakes because she is so talented. She's our family Ace of Cakes. Only much prettier. And you never worry whether she'll make it in time. She's a good scheduler.

Speaking of scheduling...I couldn't hide my crazy for the whole time Adrienne was here, and I'm sorry to say that I actually waved a knife in her face while I was ranting about the casual understanding most people have of RSVPs. People, it's a commitment. You can't cancel the day of for vague reasons. (I probably would be a nicer person if I cut people more slack. But here's a thought, "I'd love to come to your party, but work is hectic this time of year. I'm going to have to say no." And then your host can say, "well, why don't you let me know on Wednesday how things look," if she's willing to be flexible. She gets to decide because she is doing the hard work, not you. Still you should be prepared to miss many a dinner party. "Maybe" simply isn't an option.)

In my defense, the knife was plastic.

Adrienne is a lovely guest who goes with the flow but uses remarkably little water. You should invite her 'round.


Laura said...

How fun!!! Thanks for telling me about this book! I read it this week and loved it! I want to read Adrienne's first book too; actually have been wanting to do so since it came out. I don't knit but I love reading about other people's passions! I will be passing the book on to my Mom who knits! Who knows; maybe a scarf will be coming out of me soon!!!!!

MelissaD said...

Oh - one of my pet peeves is those who don't follow the RSVP rules. I have had way too much food on several occasions for folks who didn't show when they said they would. I really can't stand it when they say yes but then decide something better was going on and just bailed - so rude!!

Glad you had a fun time with all sorts of interesting visitors!

Real Live Woman said...

Sounds like it was a great time.

I always have trouble just getting people to RSVP. I usually have to make calls to get a yes or a no out of them.

Susan said...

Although I consider myself to be a serious stitcher and I dabble in quilting, I'm not really a visual person. I usually skip right over the picture and get to the text (because I'm an auditory learner and I, too, hear voices in my head when I read--definitely not any other time). But that red sofa in your living room caught my eye. Love the accent pieces on the wall, too. Didn't even notice the cake until I read about it and had to scroll back up.

And a pox on those who can't commit or stick to the commitment they did make. I've been stuck with too much work and too much food more times than I like to admit because of such rude behavior.

Adrienne Martini said...

I think that is the first time I've ever been complimented on my water usage.

Thanks again for being such a fabulous host. You and Pete are troopers. I hope you had as much fun as I did.

I also just ate a piece of cake that literally had my name on it. It is a good day when you can type that.

Margaret said...

I went to my local book store here in Auckland New Zealand and had the charming Henry order THE BOOK for me. It should be here in a week and I am looking forward to reading it. Thanks Anna, for the introduction.

Jenna said...

That cake was fabulous! Your cousin did a most excellent job. And meeting Adrienne was such a treat. I'm so glad that I wasn't one of the ones who backed out at the last minute. Work has been so demanding lately that my friends are pretty much used to me being hit or miss with arrival times and just plain arrivals. I'm going to take your words to heart and start being better about sticking to my commitments. Though, honestly, I have only missed one get-together in the past couple of months and it was definitely an unexpected work thing. Dinner parties, however, are a completely different animal from all of the informal gatherings that I'm used to and I agree with you on sticking to RSVPs. I'm so glad that I was determined to make it to yours!