Holly hosted a brilliant surprise going-away party for AmberMoose a few weeks ago. You can read about all the details here, but one of my very favorite parts was being able to present the guest of honor with a card and a small gift as a token of how much she means to us. (The gift was a fake pearl necklace Wombat picked out and I packaged in a box I had saved from when Amber brought desserts from Miette when we had her over for dinner almost three years ago. No one should be surprised I’m a box-saver, but everyone should be impressed I was able to find the exact box I was looking for amid the chaos.)
The card was the kicker, though: it was designed (scribbled, bestickered) and dictated by Wombat himself. Simon prompted, “Okay, what do you want to say to Amber?” and this is what came out:
You’re nice. How about love? I want to say love. Yeah. I want A-A-Amber. How do you spell Amber? What is this, Dad?
Aside from the part at the end where he got distracted by a squirrel(?), it’s pretty sweet. Just about as sweet as the cheesecake sticks Jen and Andy brought for dessert.
Which is a convenient segue to my other favorite detail of the party: the menu. Holly had asked everyone to bring a potluck item that reminded them of Amber. Simon and I brought bacon cups full of mashed potatoes, based on the bacon boats we’d served Amber during the same dinner party that she’d furnished those Miette desserts. Other people brought mac and cheese and roasted chicken and the aforementioned cheesecake sticks, and as I was anticipating all of this out loud to Simon a few hours before the party, I mentioned how funny it was that the food that reminded everyone of Amber was all junk food.
“No,” Simon corrected me. “It’s all comfort food.”
I almost burst into tears right then. How wonderful is that? That Amber is comforting, comfortable, comfy personified. What a testament. It’s no accident that she was the first person to babysit Wombat, and also the person we married…er…the person who married us…er…the person with whom we trusted the secret that we would be getting surprise married at book club and we wanted her to officiate. (She’s legal, folks! Book her for your nuptials today!)
Anyway, it was a great party, and Amber has been a great friend ever since we first met her in the lobby of Chicago’s W Hotel during BlogHer07 (which was the same time we met Holly and Jen too, actually), and it was the perfect way to send someone off to bigger and better things by reminding her she always has a place to come home to. Nevermind that there weren’t enough chairs and she ended up eating her dinner on the floor with the pets.
(That night I asked Simon what foods remind him of me, and without hesitation he said cereal and Filet o’ Fish. It’s not terribly poetic, but I can’t argue; he’s right on the money. To fill out the Leah menu, I’d also add a full array of Lean Cuisine selections, for variety, and a giant cup of tea, and maybe some Mexicokes too. I guess that means I’m…convenient? Affordable? Full of preservatives?)
More photos and videos from the party on Flickr. (Amber face masks! Man jam band!)
And that’s all I can say because it’s making me sad again. Farewell, fine friend! Don’t be a stranger. We have bacon.