I am not a party person. As a teenager, I’d get upset before big events: homecoming, New Year’s, prom. I did the same thing in college: bid day, exchanges, Unofficial. There is something about plans that throws me. I love a predictable, normal day more than anything, but put a date on the calendar and I’m a wreck, wrapped up in the fear of not knowing what will happen. It’s social anxiety and event anxiety and just a whole lot of anxiety.
My mom and I were talking on the phone a few months ago when she brought up the idea of a MSC party. “You’ve got the online presence down,” she said. “But what about doing something offline? Something to thank the people who have supported your business. Your clients. Friends. Everyone!”
“Nooo, no way,” I gasped, shuddering at the thought. “I can’t do that. I hate parties.”
We switched topics, but the idea lingered in my mind. Could I have a party? Can I handle it?
One week later, I’d booked a venue (Ezza Nails, the coolest and chicest new nail salon!) and designed an invitation for the very first “MSC Social.” My mom cheered. I felt nervous, of course, but with my teammate’s help, our planning was going swimmingly. I invited past clients and current clients, and Courtney and I both invited many of our friends. We talked through every little detail: What color paper for the bulletin boards? Did we buy chalk? Where do we find a bartender? What if no one shows up? (That one was the biggest worry in our minds.)
True to form, I had a meltdown the night before. The tears came as I was punching in my zip code at the gas pump. I became teenage Melanie all over again, bawling like a baby on the eve of my 13th birthday party. I called Andrew and he came to the rescue, arriving at my place to help me get organized and hole-punch business cards for 75 MSC cookies (by Bake Chicago!). I went to sleep on Monday night praying that the party wouldn’t be a complete flop.
I woke up calmer and a little bit excited. And as it happened, the party went better than I ever could have imagined. By 6:15, the salon was packed full of women. Our bartender was mixing “MSC Martinis” and serving wine, our guests were signing up for mini-manicures, and our photographer was capturing it all. I talked for two-and-a-half hours straight (and probably drank one too many MSC Martinis) but I was on cloud nine. It was such a joy to see my clients, friends and family (my mom and aunt came to help!) come together.
I have so many thank you’s:
Thank you to our guests, who graciously spent their Tuesday evening with us.
Thank you to Courtney K. who handled so much of the party planning (and somehow carried all of the alcohol from Binny’s to home to venue).
Thank you to Courtney C. (confusing, I know), who took such beautiful photos.
Thank you to Andrew, who helped clean up the space and took me out for celebratory McDonald’s afterwards.
And lastly, thank you to my mom, who suggested I take a leap of faith and try something new. I would be lost without her.