After last year’s poor turn out, I swore I wasn’t going to have another pie party. But by August, people were beginning to ask when I was having the next pie party, and I felt bullied into it, you guys. BULLIED!
Not really. But I did feel really happy that some of my friends were demanding that the tradition live on. So I looked at the stupid Steelers schedule like a good little girl and picked a Sunday that those assholes weren’t hoarding. The Steelers take over everything, you know? God forbid I should have to share a day with them.
Then I asked my friends on Facebook if any of them would be interested in a third annual pie feast, and the response was not only positive, but even kind of fervent! Who knew that the pie party would ever have become such a big thing?
Even though I still wasn’t feeling it, I sent out the official Facebook invitation right away, two months in advance, and was delighted that people began RSVPing right away. That was enough to make me finally get excited. But I think it was mostly because I like naming things, and I was kind of proud of “Third Coming of Crust.”
I vowed that this year’s piesta was going to be better than the rest. I was going to decorate! I was going to give awards! I was finally going to make that goddamn mulled wine that has been talked about since Pie Party: Origins!
But then I got caught up in decorating for Halloween, going to haunted houses, and the Walking Challenge. (Which I have all but abandoned, along with pretty much everyone else in our department, it seems. There’s no competition this time! No one talks about it! Everyone is so ambivalent about it.) Before I knew it, it was the week of the party and Henry was in a state of total panic about baking pies and collecting all of the pie-eating accoutrements, like plates, napkins, beverage—he stresses about beverage every year and I’m like, “Hello, you work in a Faygo factory?”
All of this is me trying to say I woke up the morning of the pie party woefully unprepared as usual.
I. The Set-Up
So, Henry does this thing EVER YEAR where we all go to the pavilion an hour before Go Time and then he LEAVES. One year it was to “get more tablecloths.” Last year, it was to ‘pick up his mom.” This year it was to “go home and get the pies.”
It took three pie parties to figure out but I’m pretty sure this is all code for “go to a strip club and regain some of the masculinity I lose every year by co-hosting a pie party.”
I wonder if Porky + Pearl are still together, or if Jason Voorhees has shish kebabbed them on his machete by now.
My brother was supposed to come early to help me decorate, but he had a headache and didn’t even come to the party (probably his way of skirting all the “this is my colorblind brother!” introductions). This left me and a 6-year-old alone to assemble and hang paper lanterns.
Wait, that doesn’t sound so harmful, right?
Let me rephrase.
This left an Erin Kelly and a 6-year-old alone with a STAPLE GUN.
I finally said FUCK THIS NOISE and abandoned the decorating for the swing set, at which point the annual false starts began, and by that I mean the motorcade of people who cruise down to the pie party pavilion for things other than showing up at a party they were invited to, such as: parking to walk their dog, using the Porta Potty, turning around, doing recon for their own pie party. Each time, I fell for it and went running toward the car, ready to accost a guest.
“It’s amazing how everything happens after I leave,” Henry said when Chooch and I were telling him about this later. At first I thought he didn’t believe us and I went to reach for the melon baller, but he was being serious.
It’s true though. One of these days, Henry is going to ditch us at a pavilion and we’re going to get abducted.
Actually, I hope that does happen. I pity the fool that attempts to steal Chooch.
Finally, Pete and Seri arrived and I glommed on to Pete immediately. Before he could feel too flattered, I explained that I was only coveting his tallness, and put him to work hanging the lanterns. He seemed OK with that.
In the end, I had some crappy lanterns hanging from rafters, tea light-filled mason jars and fake flowers in old bottles on all of the tables. The bottles were part of my old collection, the majority of which I’ve pitched in the last year in an effort to declutter. My favorite was the bottle of tequila that still had the worm in it (I dumped it out before anyone got there).
I mean, I tied ribbons to each bottle—that’s effort, right?
II. Pie Eaters!
By 2:00, my pie peeps started rolling in steadily.
- Trish & PJ
- John, Jennifer and their kids
- Henry’s sister Kelly and Zac
- Henry’s oldest son, Robbie
- Gina and Elissa
You can tell I gave them so much time to prepare for this
- Henry’s mom Judy
- Henry’s niece Sam and her friends Heidi and a girl whose name I didn’t catch but she had colorful hair
- Kara and Harland
- Henry’s niece Stephanie and her boyfriend Kian
- Kian’s mom
- Rick and Tammy
- Pete, Seri and their kids
- Jamie and Crosby
- Brad and Casey
- Lisa and Matt
- Amber1 and her twin sister Ashley
- Amber2, her husband Steve, and her mom
- Missy and Jemma
The pie party is great for not only gormandizing the fuck out of a seemingly endless buffet of pies, but for reuniting with old friends! My friend Rocky showed up unexpectedly – I haven’t seen him since HIGH SCHOOL. Every pie party brings another old friend back and it is probably my favorite part – maybe second only to criticizing Henry’s pie contributions. The first pie party was also the first time I saw my old friends John, Shannon and Ron since high school as well, and last year it was Nancy’s turn to be the blast from the past.
The lesson here is that pie brings people together, y’all. Learn it.
Another surprise appearance was Rick and Tammy, who had told me they weren’t going to be able to make it. I talk about them a lot (in the good ways, not the Henry ways), so I was excited for my friends to meet them, specifically Barb so she could finally stop picturing Simon Baker every time I would talk about my friend Rick the mentalist. Keeping with the theme of this year’s pie orgy, they brought a stack of pie pans stuffed full of mini bags of chips and pretzels (or what we pie aficionados refer to as palate cleansers) and called it the Anti-Crust because they are BRILLIANT. They, along with their salty bestowal, were big hits!
Most of the people were from my work, so I joked that it was Law Firm sponsored. I love that my work friends actually like to hang out outside of work! Every other job I’ve had, it was like pulling teeth trying to get my co-workers to hang out. Of course, that could always be because they just didn’t like me.
Now that I think about it, that’s probably definitely why.
Coming up: The Pies, The Kids, Surprise AAA Appearance, and possibly a short Henry interview if I can seduce any words out of him.