In hindsight, I should have known that I wasn’t going to be able to host Thanksgiving. If I put myself in the shoes of my invitees, would I really want to eat Thanksgiving dinner with somebody I didn’t know?

Probably not.

There are things that are difficult for me to do as a soloist and I am guessing they are difficult for other soloists, but I don’t know.

For example, if you are a soloist, can you host a party that includes couples? Maybe you can do it, but I can’t. My guests initially say they’ll come but one by one, regrets are expressed until there is no one left but me.

The first time this happened, I thought it was a fluke. The second time, I decided it wasn’t. I’m not sure of the cause but I hypothesize that it has something to do with biology, anthropology, and the potential threat of an unattached woman, even if she intends no threat at all.

However, there is something single women can do and do fabulously: host a women-only event: Book club. Movie night. Mani-pedi party. Those work.

When I got divorced, I threw a women-only “It’s over!” party, featuring a three-tier chocolate cake with a red broken heart iced on top. I cut it with an 8” butcher knife because my knife selection was reduced through divorce but even so, the knife felt appropriate.

It didn’t matter that we sat on $6 plastic chairs from Home Depot because those were the only chairs I had. It was wonderful that we ate off plates brought—and left behind—by the women because I no longer owned more than two plates (one dinner size, one salad size). We laughed, we told ‘bad man’ stories, we drank too much. It was fabulous. It put a patch of love on my wounded heart.

Here is what I would say to soloists, and it applies to us all: Try things. Find what works and what doesn’t. Do what works.

My Thanksgiving experiment was not a failure. True, I wasn’t able to host Thanksgiving for more than me, but there were unanticipated benefits.

One of the women, in her RSVP, suggested we do something after the holidays, in the cold and dark of winter when parties have passed.

I put her suggestion out to the six who had RSVP’d and four responded that it was a great idea. I tempered my hope. “We’ll see,” I thought.

Last night was the condo building’s annual holiday party. Three of the RSVP women greeted me by saying something about how they are looking forward to the winter party. And that never would have happened without the Thanksgiving invitation.

Try things. Find what works and what doesn’t. Do what works.

Maybe the winter party will be a success. Maybe no one will come. It doesn’t matter. What matters is that I keep making experiments to find what works so I can do what works.

Chewing the Cud of Good

moon as a streak in a photo

I love the moon. I love the way it is always there but not always seen, mysterious, shapeshifting. On Wednesday at dusk, it hung low in the sky, skimmed the tops of the buildings across the river, duked it out for glory with remnants of the setting sun.

I have never been able to take a photo of the moon that adequately captures its majesty and mystery. The photo above is from the full moon in October and I like it. It was an unanticipated pleasant surprise.

4 thoughts on “Experiments”

  1. ”Try things. Find what works and what doesn’t. Do what works.”
    Same applies to freelancing. It would be comforting to know at least one thing that always works…

    1. Ah, yes, wouldn’t “one thing that always works” be nice? You’re making me think… I don’t know if there are things that always work, but I am sure there are things that work more often than not. Listening. Kindness. Seeking first to understand….

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