All the preparations: the ordering of the plates and glasses, the buying of the food, the straightening of the apartment, the skewering of tomatoes and mozzarella and basil, the pulling apart of prosciutto, the cutting of figs and pears, the arraying of cheese, laying out of trays, the arranging of branches of red berries and pussy willows, then the doffing of crazy disco clothes complete with wigs and masks and a cheesy mustache grown for the occasion, which the husband insisted would have to be shaved off before going to sleep.
Then the people came, dressed up in their own crazy disco clothes and with masks we provided, and they drank champagne, and they ate, and they toasted in the New Year, and they danced and they laughed and they got drunk and they broke numerous glasses (I still found a stray shard of glass today in the dining room). And I felt like I hardly talked to anyone as I wafted through the apartment, pouring as much champagne as I drank, nibbling on a piece of cheese or dancing wildly for a minute or two, laughing at everyone and everything until before I knew it, it was 5:30 a.m. and it was all I could do to drag myself to bed with my cheesy mustache intact, leaving the husband to deal with the last remaining guests: one couple madly kissing on one of the sofas, another couple madly kissing on the dance floor, the rest of the crew dancing drunkenly, who apparently all left somewhere around 6 a.m.
It was the perfect way to see in 2008 and celebrate the light coming back into our little Swedish lives.
Sadly, I was undone by it all and unable to really get out of bed on Jan. 1 until early evening, leaving the husband to clean up the god-awful mess.
About the only thing I could manage was to shave off the mustache.
I still haven't fully recovered. I guess I'm getting old for such abandon.
The Swedish phrase of the day is fast det var värt det. Which means but it was worth it.
- by Francis S.