I agreed to accompany Lex to an engagement party last night. I had met the bride-to-be at a very dark and noisy bar about 2 months ago but I'd never met the groom before. But Lex told me all she knew about them, and so I knew it would be okay.
A few days before the party, Lex casually mentioned that she would be baking some cookies to take to the party. Um, hang on - what? So I shelved the mental image of cocktail dresses and champagne toasts (the usual engagement party idea), and instead probed a little further about just what kind of party I'd agreed to go to.
Turns out the happy couple had invited a bunch of people around for a party in their backyard - no muss, no fuss, and instead of engagement gifts, it was a total BYO experience. Okay, totally not your stock-standard engagement party - but nevertheless a good idea. To be appropriate for the overall occasion, I did wear a cute red dress, heels, and chandelier earrings, but nothing more froufrou than that.
With my outfit worked out, thoughts turned to what BYO contribution I could make. Flashbacks to my last home-baked experience came into my head. The incident also known as "Flaming ANZAC Biscuits Being Thrown Off The Back Porch in 2007" made me break out in a cold sweat. Baking is just not my bag, baby.
I decided not to take anything to the party, which in itself isn't even like me. I would normally bring a packet of chips or a bottle of wine or something. But on this occasion I totally wimped out. Terrible, no?!
And so Saturday night rolled around and I filled up on a huge dinner at home, had a couple of beers with Lex at some bars en route to the party, and figured I'd just steal a beer from the happy couple's fridge and not worry about eating anything when I got to their house. Yep, I was going to this BYO party as a complete freeloader.
In retrospect I should have at least attempted to cover this up by asking Lex if I could carry her home-made cookies into the party, to at least give the appearance that I was contributing something. But admittedly that thought didn't occur to me at the time and now that I think about it, it sounds a little desperate. So I'm glad that I did the next best thing.
I broke the ice with total strangers by being Lex's one-woman PR machine. I talked up those home-made cookies like I was on the Home Shopping Network! And total strangers began making a beeline for the kitchen to seek out these white chocolate & pecan cookies with just a touch of pumpkin spice thrown in for good measure. And they were not disappointed at all - Lex, and the cookies, were an utter hit!
And no one even noticed that I was stealing beers from the fridge.