Last weekend, my wife Donna and I schlepped up and down our street, informing neighbors we didn't know that weather had forced us to postpone a party most weren't aware we were throwing. It was somewhat awkward.
Sunday, the scheduled day of the party, was crisp and cool, a beautiful fall day. In fact, the day felt more fall-like than I've seen in a long time.
As the day's forecast included thunderstorms and a 90% chance of rain, we decided to call the whole thing off. Rain would have forced everyone to crowd eye-to-elbow inside, made the barbecue a rather tricky endeavor, and would have generally made the time less than fun.
But instead of precipitation, we got partly cloudy; instead of Storm Watch 2010, we got sunshine and the need for SPF 50. Crap.
This, I understand, begs the question of why we were doing this in the first place. About a month ago, our two cats, Ozzie and Gracie, went missing. My neighbor and his son had been playing soccer in our shared front yard when an errant kick broke one of our glass panes.
As Kenny wasn't aware we had pets, he simply placed a note on our door, tried to tape up the hole as best he could, and waited for us to come home. Our cats, however, took the opportunity to make a jailbreak. This, in turn, caused my usually even-tempered wife to hyperventilate when we returned back to a dark, feline-less house.
The cats were eventually rescued, though not without the help of four fully grown adults, five flashlights, several cans of wet food, and Kenny's fishing net. Oh, and as Ozzie had decided to hide under the house, Donna and I had matching bruises from trying to coax our frightened pet back inside.
Sipping a whiskey after it was all completed, I commented to Donna that this probably could have been avoided had we known our neighbors a bit better.
"Yeah," said Donna, preferring to take solace from a precisely measured cup of baked Cheetos instead of alcohol. "Hey! We should have a block party!"
And there ya go. We made up a bunch of fliers, gave people a date and time, and asked them to RSVP by e-mail. Donna passed them up and down our block, talking to people she'd never met, and generally getting more and more excited. Unfortunately, we failed to put our address on the flier.
Oops. However, I've learned from putting events together that it's never enough to simply let people know about something. You need a reminder note, preferably as close as possible to the scheduled day. As such, we had planned to put another flier barrage.
And we did. Except, of course, instead of reminding people about a party they'd probably forgotten, thrown by people they didn't know, we canceled it. Or, rather, postponed. We got a fair number of people to RSVP for the non-party, and I expect we'll get a good turnout by the time we can actually make it happen.
And this time, we're holding our get-together, even if the forecast involves a monsoon.
Dan Evans is the editor. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org