IF we still lived in California, we'd have a random group of people - all the random bizarre and amazing people in our lives - over for burgers and beer and weird awesome conversations that would perhaps end with us breaking bottles after midnight just to prove you could in a bar fight if you needed to.
IF we still lived in California, today might be the only day in the year I would see you face to face but it wouldn't matter because you're the kind of person and we've the kind of friendship that just starts up as if no time has passed. Some of you became friends at our Houseiversary and would only see each other there, planting yourselves in a corner with a bottle of wine and one of the only real wine glasses we had left and giggling the night away.
IF we still lived in California, you would spend time going through our wonderful house and catching up on all our DIY projects from the past year, reminiscing about that the first party was the year without a kitchen, or the year that the fake grass was just a pit of crushed stone and that dog peed right in the middle of it and then that poor mom found her toddler splashing in the pee, or the Movies Under The Stars, or the time that dear woman who'd drank too much wine tried to enter the house without opening the glass door and hitting it so hard it got knocked off it's track, or the wife that went missing and we found her next door at Thomas' house high as a kite ....Sigh.
BUT we don't still live in California. We don't live in our beautiful house. We don't have our wonderful friends dropping in today for a quick hello or a long chat. So, as much as I'd love you to, please don't ring the door bell of our house in California because we don't live there anymore.
YOU CAN however, ring the doorbell of the horrible neighbor next door and tell her she is one of the reasons we don't live there anymore. That her awful un-neighborlyness was a factor on the CON list to stay. That asking us if we minded if she put a bird feeder on her side the fence and us saying no problem as long as it's not right behind the section where we had the BBQ and then having her put it RIGHT BEHIND THE SECTION WHERE WE HAD THE BBQ so the birds shit all over our BBQ didn't help. That saying, while husband was building a fence extension because she cut down the bamboo screening, "Oh, it's so nice that I don't have to pay for this." - the extension she agreed to pay half of while she watched husband awkwardly lean over our side of the fence to screw it in and then complained later that the screws were in crooked, put a mark in the 'against' column. That asking us about painting her house, asking what color we would be unhappy with and husband telling her "As long as you don't paint your house the same color as ours..." Because we had a lovely light grey and a bright red chimney, the ONLY RED CHIMNEY in the area and if the houses were the same color, it would look like a tract home. And so she paints her house a green that very very close to our grey and then PAINTS HER CHIMNEY RED so we look like an F-ing tract home!
So, please feel free to ring her doorbell and tell her she's part of the reason we're not there to party. She's the one with the sour face and the stick up her butt that lived next door to our lovely house in California. And while you're there, say hello to our lovely neighbor Jean who lived on the other side of us who was awesome. Or Jeanine and her family and Pete - who called me Curly even when I was shaved bald - and his lovely wife who lived across the street. We miss them all and they would most certainly be invited to todays Houseiversary... If we still lived in California.
(PLEASE DON'T REALLY RING HER DOORBELL! As dramatic as it would be, that would be really mean.)