I don’t have photos of the event yet, but I should soon.
My moving-to-DC open house yesterday went quite well! Thank you all!!!
I’m moving to DC at the end of the month, and this was my official public farewell event.
It’s so bittersweet for me to leave Boston, where I was born and have always lived (37 years) and which I’ve always loved, but this is the best way to finally start living with my long-distance partner of 4 ½ years, Julia McCrossin (a lifelong metro DC resident), and our dog of 1 ½ years Ursula, and help my mother-in-sin. And DC does have its advantages for us. And we will visit, and have our wedding here, and hopefully live here someday.
We had a couple of dozen guests all told, and it was busy the entire time, from two to five. Family, friends of family, friends from junior high school, fellow members of Congregation Am Tikva, trans and queer colleagues, housemates; and many people were in more than one category (and yes, in many senses!). I invited a couple of hundred people, but even with the unseasonably nice weather it was rather an ask, what with the challenging location, busy schedules, and so on.
Alas, my Julia couldn’t be with us in person, and many of my local people have not met her yet. But she sent a cheese pizza as a surprise present, awww! And we made it into hors d’oeuvres. It was even a white pizza (white sauce instead of red, i.e. more dairy instead of tomato), because she knows I prefer those. It’s part of a running joke with us – she loves pizza, and teases me that I should send her one long-distance.
I wish our Ursula could have been there too – even though she would have stolen the show, not to mention cuted people into feeding her ALL the things.
Our house manager Forreste Brooks managed the event for me, which is one of the several things he does professionally. He’s also been renovating and redecorating the house and yards; it’s one of the ye olde Arnold Arboretum buildings (indeed, the one where Wilson lived with his wife and daughter). There were also some seasonal decorations and candles. The menu included homemade pasta salad (tricolor tortellini, broccoli, grape tomatoes, red onion, creamy herb sauce) with optional chicken, two kinds of cheese and crackers; three kinds of cookies, Walkers shortbread*; iced or hot homemade punch (Fresca, apple and orange juices), L. A. Burdick’s cocoa*, Harney & Son’s Holiday Tea*, coffee, water. *Gifts from my mentor, as I was her last Christmas Tea guest of the season.
I’d said that refreshments would be provided (and posted a draft menu), but that people were welcome to bring anything except alcohol. Guests brought homemade slow-roast beef, home-assembled crudité (red and green bell peppers, baby carrots, celery, sugar snap peas, broccoli) with homemade yogurt dip, cherries (in hopes that my life in DC will be like a bowl of, awww); homemade pear pie, homemade mint chocolate cupcakes, homemade popcorn (with grated cheese, butter, salt, pepper), Cheryl-Ann’s Bakery's chocolate babka; sparkling apple-cranberry juice. And one guest got but forgot to bring Valentine’s cookies, to symbolize my love with Julia, my community’s love for me, etc., awww. (Though I know, how scary is it that even perishable Valentine’s stuff is being sold already?!)
I also asked that people donate to Massachusetts Transgender Political Coalition (where I chair the Interfaith Coalition for Trans Equality) in lieu of gifts – but I was open to receiving gifts, and was pleased to be given some, as well as some cards (and really the cards were gifts also).