Thank You for Socialite vs Socialist Antique Parties
Next week, on February 7, I will be a bona fide antique.
Though I am still in my original packaging and in nearly mint condition—except for a few nicks in my veneer which most collectors don’t really notice—I am an antique.
My friend, Karma, being the great friend she is, asked me what I wanted to do to celebrate my fifty years of life.
“Do you want a big party or a small intimate gathering? Come on, Lea Kel, time is running out. We have to make a plan. Fifty is big. We have to do something to celebrate. You don’t want to look back at your 50th birthday like it was just another day!”
I have been avoiding these questions from my good friend as she has earnestly been trying to plan something special for weeks. Karma’s like that. She’s a good planner and a thoughtful friend.
Yesterday she cornered me like Mardi Gras was coming, as if I hid the Bourbon and forgot my costume.
She was a little panicked. “We’ve only got nine days! It takes time to organize if you want to have a big party. Do you?”
I couldn’t think. I didn’t know. I was confused and ambiguous.
Poor Karma, she was trying so hard, being so patient with my ambivalence.
“I’m not really a socialite any more.” I finally said. “I’m closer to being a socialist.”
“How about a socialist birthday party?”
That’s kinda like the Socialist Party with a birthday in the middle.
“We can have people bring food if they can, and invite all the hungry people in town to come and eat if they need to.”
Karma said “That’s a lot of people. How are we gonna get a place that big in such a short time?”
After a silent moment she added “Lea Kelley, there are a lot of hungry people. You can’t feed them all.”
We both got tears in our eyes at the sudden realization that sprang out at us.
I am finding it difficult to balance my gratitude for having so much in my life with the sense of powerlessness to help those who have so little.
How does one justify self indulgent frivolity when one is surrounded with blatant need in others?
Do we “Let them eat cake.” as Marie-Antoinette said when she was told that the French populace had no bread to eat?
I know we cannot forfeit our own joy or celebration of life for the suffering of others, it is not the way to help them.
But this does force me to wonder about ways to divide a birthday cake or an antiquated social anatomy.
~ by leakelley on January 30, 2009.
Posted in Aging, antiques, attitudes, balance, Birthday parties, change, Community, contemplation, cooperation, creativity, culture, customs, economic crisis, economy, Equality, feelings, Food, Friends, friendship, Gratitude, Humanity, humor, Hunger, irony, Karma, Lea Kelley, Life, metaphor, organizing, people, poverty, Reflections, responsibility, socialism, Socialites, society
Tags: Hunger, irony, metaphor