Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Opening Night

I feel like I'm repeating myself a bit here, but I can't say it enough: I have the raddest friends.

I think I talk about it a lot because I'm just so thankful for it. The older I get, the more I realize that you just cannot have too many ladies in your life. The ones I have are unique. I love different things about all of them. They are smart and sincere. They love big and loud and quiet. Mostly, they have taken me. They've saved me a seat. They've found me worth the getting to know.

Last week, six of them joined me for an impromptu evening of dinner and The Help.

I emailed the invites with just a 24 hour notice. We dined carry-in style. No one knew what the other was bringing. Dinner out just didn't seem right, so in keeping with the spirit of the story, we all pitched in. We pitched in lots of gardeny chick food. Law.

Here's what I did to prepare: I hauled a table outside, threw a wrinkly sheet over the top, cut some black eyed susans from my weed patch and plunked them in an oil can.

I pulled out my old curtains and a few other napkins then scoured my woeful desk for old scraps of wrinkly ribbon and wrapped 'em all up.

I made a pasta salad.

I delegated the carrying-out of the chairs.

It was relaxed and quick. Nothing matched.

This is how I've learned to party.

Just like I've learned that it's dumb to buy those tiny trash bags for the bathroom when plastic grocery sacks work just as well, I've learned that the napkins can clash with the table sheet and I've learned that everyone's happy to drink tap water.

Life is so much better now that I've chilled the heck out.

After the girls waited on me while I finished my third helping of dinner, we crammed into Kristen's car and hightailed it to Linway Plaza.

I had the presence of mind to grab the box of tissues on my way out the door and I passed them around to everyone.

And the movie? Well, it lived up.

I knew it would.

It's wrought with controversy right now and it makes me a little sad. I sort of get it - I do. But I can't discredit a movie that makes me weep over injustice - then and now - and cheer at a rising-up.

This movie has gotten people to think and to talk and that can only be a good thing, if you ask me. Because trouble comes when everyone's too scared to ask, too worried to wonder, to proud to reconsider.

I loved it. I loved Celia the best, which took me by surprise.

Go see it and feel free to share your comments/reviews here. I'm all ears.

After my eyes dried up and the kitchen was cleaned, I helped myself to two more of Mindi's swoony cucumber sandwiches and fell asleep with that feeling that comes after these kinds of evenings. I was emptied out, spent and maybe just a tiny bit sad for all of the remnant thoughts and worries in my head. I was also filled to the brim with every kind of goodness.

It was a good night.

66 comments:

  1. So... does this mean you won't be joining me and Tash on Saturday night?

    You could see it twice. It could happen.

    I love your garden party.

    xxoo

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  2. I loved Celia lots and Skeeter! Oh, that brave girl made me happy. And she sorta resembled Mag.

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  3. oh what a fun night. loved that book! need a girl's night out with some new friends to take it all in. you all looked too cute out there in that field. what a great idea:)

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  4. Sounds wonderful! Oh how I wish I lived nearby!!!

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  5. that sounds lovely, girl nights out or in are just what the doctor ordered for hard working mamas and ladies! so glad you had fun, you certainly deserve it...sad to hear about the controversy around the movie The Help, never saw it, but now I am intrigued...

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  6. ennnnvious!....i'm the new girl in town...i dream of moments like these...

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  7. How fun! Love your pictures of your event. I thought last weekend I'd have to see it myself, but a new friend joined me. First theatre movie in about twenty-months. Almost as good as the book. LOVE the characters.

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  8. Looks like y'all's party just stepped outta a magazine!
    The linens are the BEST!

    Rebecca

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  9. how wonderful!!
    i went with smk's bestie & her mama. full theatre. cried & cried. loved it!!
    especially love aibileen and her relationship with mae mobley...all that love & encouragement poured into baby girl.

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  10. I LOVED the book and I LOVED the movie. I laughed, I cried, and I applauded at the end, as did everyone else in the theater. The Hubs liked it too. (I didn't know it was controversial though!)

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  11. What a perfect way to start out that girl soaked evening. I'm going to see it Saturday with a girlfriend, which I think, is the way it should be viewed. Can't wait!

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  12. What a great evening. A rich group of friends, a beautiful thrown-together garden party (the best kind), and a great movie. I can't wait to see it.

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  13. haven't read the book and haven't seen the movie. i would totally go with you! maybe my sister will be up for it...
    it makes me happy you had such a delightful friend-filled night! sweet.
    and looks like we party the same way.

    xo

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  14. Sounds like a wonderful evening with friends. I have yet to read 'The Help' and I refuse to see the movie before the book. That probably means I'll end up watching it on DVD.

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  15. Oh I love it! Love your dinner idea. One of my besties and I are off to see the movie Saturday night and I can't wait. The book was one of the best things I've read all year.

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  16. I saw the movie last Thursday. I spent the first half of the movie contrasting it to the book, and the second half realizing it's differences had their own merits. I'd see it again--especially if someone invited me to an impromptu garden party with girly food!

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  17. I'm going with my girlfriends this Friday. I will definitely remember to bring the tissues. Love you impromptu dinner party and the chilled out version of entertaining is so much more fun for everyone. I'll let you know who my favorite is later.

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  18. I am reading the book right now and I am loving every word. I wish I could go see it with you : )

    I will see if I can go with some of my besties when it is time to see it because that would be good. Very, very good.

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  19. thank you for having dinner parties that look normally beautiful... not like something i could never do and something from southern living. i like chilling the heck out.

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  20. I knew I was going to be sad that I missed a soiree thrown by Shannan! You are such an elegant and effortless hostess. I was just thinking about those tiny trash bags I used to buy when I lined mine with a Meijer bag this week. How far I've come. :)

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  21. Celia was also my favorite character, though I pretty much loved everyone. Absolutely perfect way to ring in this beautiful movie with such beautiful friends!! :)

    I want to see it again!

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  22. I have been so worried about going to the movie because I'm usually let down if I read the book, then see the movie.

    I feel better about doing it now - Thank You! I think I better have a party too - that's probably what made it work, right? Yea, I thought so! :)

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  23. I am inspired, to have a get together with my girls and to get out to the theater. Thanks!

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  24. I love what you did for your friends. What a great party idea! And I loved the movie as well. My college daughter said it well when she said, "It was much harder to watch than to read." It was difficult, but good.

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  25. Saw it here
    while visiting
    the Pacific NW.
    LOVED Abileen and
    Minny and Constantine.
    Cicely Tyson continues
    to amaze even as
    a senior citizen.
    I think you have
    the right idea with
    casual entertaining....
    the best way to go.
    xx Suzanne

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  26. I found your blog tonight: very nice! :)

    I'm dying to go see The Help myself. I loved the book so much. Husband gave me 'the look' when I asked if he wanted to see it with me. Wish I had a great group of girlfriends like you do!

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  27. I loooove black eyed susans. Everything about them is so right.

    I need to see that movie. I don't think it's fair to punish someone for using their imagination in a respectful, encouraging way. The controversy is a bit contrived in my mind, but what do I know?

    while you're at it (eating cucumber sandwiches), send along another book suggestion. Thanks.

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  28. I just saw it with two friends myself last night. Friends that I forced the book on so that I would have someone(s) to see the movie with. I adored Abie and Minny, but you know who kinda stole the show? Hilly's mama. Cracked me up.

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  29. I was surprised by how much I loved Celia too!! I thought they did a good job with the movie.

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  30. No stinkin' way...how fun are you?!!!

    I am reading the book right now...total page turner. Cannot put it down. Except to blog. :)

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  31. What a sweet way to spend an evening. Love your casual get together. I read the book while on the beach last week. I took my daughter with me to see it yesterday. I knew I would need tissues, but I forgot them, of course. It's the first time in a long time my daughter has cried at a movie. I like Celia best, too.

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  32. Hey! I forgot to ask in your last blog post, but what editing software DO you use?? I'm always curious to see what works for different people. Also, looking forward to reading the book. Great pics, looks like a fun evening!
    XOXO

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  33. I cannot wait to see the movie. I adored the book. I am apparently out of the loop...what is the controversy?

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  34. Ok, I need more pics because I found a haircut on a lady there that I absolutely LOVE!

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  35. Oh for the love of good soul-friends. It looks like you had such a wonderful evening - I just might have to pull together a dinner in the backyard too. And I can't wait to see that movie!

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  36. Finally!! You did not disappoint. The garden party looks swoony, I'm so sad I missed it. You girls looked beautiful in the yard, the only thing missing here is the FOOD!!!!!!!! I'm glad the movie lived up, but I've not heard of the controversy...I need to check it out! I feel like I could read that book again, its been too long. I love how so many people who are commenting are reading the book now! What fun! ps. those napkins are swoon-ay!

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  37. I'm going TONIGHT with a dear friend before we move to Georgia.
    And, we're sneaking in some wine coolers...cause we're SUCH dare devils.

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  38. you ROCK for getting this dinner together....and it seems so perfectly imperfect that I can hardly stand it.

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  39. I was so on the fence about seeing this in theatres, having ADORED the book, but you're the second person to say that it lived up to those expectations. It's on my to-see list!

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  40. Loved that movie! Just saw it for the second time last night...was worried that it wouldn't be as good, because I LOVED the book, but you are right it did not dissapoint! I was just saying too, on the way home last night, that I loved that they gave Celia such a big part in the movie! She was one of my favorite parts in the book. Glad you enjoyed it!

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  41. Thank you a million times over for such a lovely, girly evening. We laughed, we cried, heck, I think I cheered at one point during the movie! I am happy to have you in my life! Thanks for sharing :-) Oh, thanks for keeping me on the fly, its good for me!
    Fondly,
    Heather

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  42. Fun times!! I want to see the movie. . . I loved the book!! I think I'll have to steal my mother-in-law for it. Happy afternoon!
    -Shannon

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  43. I ADORED Celia!!!! Didn't read the book, but the movie blew me away!
    Molly

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  44. I loved the book and could hardly wait for the movie! Saw it on opening night with a group of friends and LOVED it! Abilene's and Mae Mobley's relationship was so sweet and heartbreaking. I think it came through well in the movie. I liked Skeeter, too. All the actresses were fantastic!

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  45. I went to see it Saturday with six of my friends. The movie was sold out, so we drove 30 miles to a different theater so we could see it! We were determined. I loved every minute of it. The book was amazing and I think this was one of the best movie adaptations of a book I have ever seen. And ya know, I thought Celia was swell. However, I did want to pull Hilly's ridiculous hair out of her head!

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  46. I love your blog and have never commented but I just had to tell you how inspiring this was. I was feeling a little unmotivated today and this got me really fired up. I am going to do this! Thank you!

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  47. i like everything in this post.

    but i am distracted by the size of your yard. it's so big. i am not coveting. nope. maybe a little being a city mouse and all.

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  48. How fun that all of you got together to do that, I just love it. I have read the book and simply loved it! I could not put it down so i am dyeing to see the movie. I hear it is just as wonderful as the book. :)

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  49. I could not agree more about girlfriends -- couldn't live without them cause they fill me up!! ;) Also LOVED the movie. Just wrote about it on my blog yesterday.

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  50. My friends and I have a date to see this on Saturday...no steller backyard with super cute table and flowers, but loads of fun and maybe a little wine!

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  51. Hey! I have been reading your blog for a little while now, I just recently read book and saw movie and I posted my funny story about the book, I actually had a bathroom in my 1949 house for "the help". It was so strange since it was in a shed. We ended up enclosing a porch and the shed so the water hook up came in extremely handy when we decided to add a bathroom. I like Aibileen and Minnie the best. Also, a lot of wealthy, southern women where I live are still quite similar to the ones in the movie:)

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  52. Law, that book was GOOD. I read it during our crazy month of July and LOVED it. I even found myself talkin'/thinkin' a bit like Aibileen for days afterward. :-) Can't wait to take in the movie!

    Your party was simple, but spectacular. Y'all are BEAUTIFUL! To have friends like you have is a gift. "Mostly, they have taken me. They've saved me a seat. They've found me worth the getting to know." - That right there sums up my year. Exactly a year ago I was the new girl, and while I still feel that way sometimes, I am so thankful for the sweet gals that have invited me, laughed with me, befriended me. Friendship is a blessing to not take for granted.

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  53. I just want to draw a stick figure picture of me in there. My dang girlfriends are slow to get to the movies and I so want to see this one. Just an fyi...that gingham top. Oh my. L.OV.E.it.

    M
    P.S. I'm kind of missing you. I have been super out of touch lately. I blame it on the cows. Hope you are well! xoxo

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  54. My thoughts EXACTLY on the movie...and I loved Celia best too (but I did in the book as well)!

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  55. I love your garden-party-throw-together. It looks so inspiring, relaxing and "perfect". Those kinds are the best!

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  56. I wish I could have high-tailed it up to Indiana and hijacked your girls' night. I haven't seen it yet but I'm dying to! I moped for days after I finished the book, missing my character-friends and just not wanting to accept that the story was over.

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  57. As a quiet, "let friends find me" type of person moving from Arkansas to Ohio, you inspire me! I know I'm gonna need friends, and I know I have to reach out... looks like you do a great job. You're my new role model :) ...Bethany

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  58. Being from the south, watching the movie was difficult. A lot of what you see in the film/read in the book still remains, unfortunately. The book better captures the depth of the relationships, of course, so I think the movie is really only good if you've read the book before so you really know the characters.

    I was disappointed that they didn't portray Skeeters Mom more accurately. She was too watered down from her book version and actually seemed somewhat kind in the movie which I didn't get from the book at all.

    Celia was my absolute favorite too. I loved seeing Minnie vacuum the bear! That was too funny. And the pie...oh that pie...

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  59. I love the different napkin wraps. So adorable and summery!

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  60. Just saw THE HELP last night with my 3 adult daughters and my DIL. Loved it! Going back today to see it with my husband. Yes, he wants to see it too!

    Your backyard dinner party was perfection! Did anyone bring chocolate pie?

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  61. The movie was absolutely the BEST. It deserves a nomination, but the politics will be a problem. It would be worth seeing a second time to see all you missed the first time. How can you not love Minnie???

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  62. I'm still learning to chill the heck out, I'm glad to learn from you :)

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  63. You make me want to throw together an impromptu girls night outside. In fact...I think I might. I love that you put "chill the heck out." Love your writing.

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  64. I'm back... I had to let this one simmer for a few days, but here goes:

    1. I need to thank you for saying that you had to chill the heck out. I keep myself from doing lovely things for fear of mixing up the laws a good hostess.

    2. You have on PANTS!

    Going to see the movie this afternoon with Tash and I am SO excited!

    xxoo

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