A blog by Lori Lyons

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Hula animal

I think I went a total of about 16 hours without sitting down over the weekend.

That's 8 1/2 on Friday, at least three on Saturday (including two dances with my husband at a wedding), and another five on Sunday. That was all the prep work -- cleaning the house, arranging the furniture, shopping, cooking and hanging silk hibiscus all over my dining room.

By the end of the day on Sunday, my feet hurt so bad I could hardly walk anymore. My back and right hip screamed at me in protest every time I tried to get up from my chair. My hands were red and sore from washing dishes and pots. There was not a single clean towel in my house, my bank account had been completely depleted and there was one -- ONE -- bottle of beer left in the beer fridge.

And I kind of smelled like a goat.

But it was all totally worth it.

For five summers now my husband and I have hosted friends, family and sometimes complete strangers in our backyard paradise for our annual luau.  I have always been fascinated by the idea of a luau, in my dream destination of Hawaii or at least in 1960s America when they were kitchy and hugely popular.

And once we built our pool in our post-Katrina world, I simply had to have one.  Then another because the first one was so much fun. Then another because it was summer. Then another because it became expected. Then this one because everyone kept asking me, "When is the luau?"

Nothing like peer pressure.

And over the years I had to have all the props because, if I'm going to do it, I'm certainly not going to do it half-assed.

Besides the fact that our guests have taken home a different drink coozie every year, I have a box full of Hawaiian leis, hibiscus on wooden sticks and little drink umbrellas and a cardboard stand-up you can take your photo with (but after the first year, nobody did). I have become an expert at carving a watermelon boat and spent more money on pineapples than I ever thought I would.

And then there are the tropical trophies for the annual ugly Hawaiian shirt contest.

2010 winner

Yes, the "Oriental Trading Company" catalog has been my best friend.

And my computer hard drive is filled with pictures of friends and family and, sometimes, complete strangers wearing hula skirts and ugly shirts and, in one case, a bra with gold fish (I think they're fake) swimming inside.
No goldfish were harmed.

And every year as I clean up the mud and the grass and the Hawaiian Punch stains on the counter, and the cheese under the piano (WTF???), and wash load after load of wet towels, with my feet and my back and my hip screaming at me in protest, I swear that this is the last one...

And my husband says, "You say that every year."

And then my new catalog comes in the mail and I see something new and I say, "Well, maybe one more...."

Aloha! til next year...

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