Back in the summertime, we started having Quiet Parties at the Tulip Farm. The first one happened by accident. Kit and I were writing letters together, then Justin showed up with a pair of pants he was mending. Charline came over and wanted to join in, so I dug some supplies out of my desk drawers, and she sewed an old patch onto one of my cardigans, stitched a ‘C’ below. We didn’t walk much, just drank tea and worked on stuff. If I’m not mistaken, Hari and Frankie joined us later in the day, when they were off work.
At the end of the day, I realized that it was the Perfect Sunday. And I wanted it to happen again. So I started inviting friends over – Hey, I’m having a Quiet Party today. Bring letters, patches, crafts, whatever. People are welcome to show up throughout the day. Things usually get going around noon and then people are out by dinnertime. Generally, there are three or four of us workin’ on stuff at the kitchen table together, though I think we’ve managed to cram fifteen people into our little apartment on a couple of Sundays in the past. I set up a box full of stationery on the kitchen table, brew some tea, sometimes I’ll bake something. The thing about Quiet Parties is that for the most part, they really do remain quiet, and that’s what I like about ’em. Often, when I’m reading a book or writing letters alone, I wish there was someone next to me doing the same thing. So when I have a Quiet Party, I have the company I’ve been wishing for, but without the pressure of being fun and entertaining and on. We’ll talk and catch up a little bit, we’ll listen to cassette tapes, but we’ve got our own projects to focus on.
The reason I’m writing about our Quiet Parties is because people often ask me what the deal is, and if they can start their own. Well, here it is: Invite a few people over, share your stationery, and you’re set.