Introduction by Melissa Amster
I think the fun of our Chick Lit Month theme this year was allowing fictional characters to have parties. I enjoyed seeing authors get creative with their parties and how their characters would celebrate. Don't worry, there are still a few more parties in store for this month...
Jen Tucker writes humorous memoirs, with a balance of beautiful and touching moments in her life that bring tears to my eyes. (The humor does that, as well.) So when we asked her to throw a book party for either one of her books or one of her favorite chick lit characters, she opted for the latter and it sounds like she had a great time planning the party. I know the author of this novel will be thrilled and will want to step into her character's shoes for the night.
Take it away, Jen!
Dinner is served!
The china is perfectly placed around the dinner table. Delicate pink peonies and vanilla tapered candles add a splash of color to the centerpiece. Calligraphy place cards dictate who is lucky enough to sit next to me. I hired my friend, Jill, who recently won on the Mother’s Day episode of Guy’s Grocery Games (For Reals! She won!), to create culinary magic for my hungry guests. What’s going on at my house? Well, a pretend dinner party, of course! If it was real, let’s be real for a moment, there would be paper plates and pizza. Life is swirling at the Tucker Homestead right now and that’s just about all I can manage these days. Yet the beauty is we can be vicarious guests together and see what might happen if we sat down to dinner and celebrated one of my favorite chick lit characters.
Storm in a B Cup, Sophie deals with the reality of breast cancer and a boyfriend who parts ways with her during her lowest of moments. Yet a silver lining does appear in the form of a surgeon who not only recreates what she’s lost, but also is easy on the eyes and on her heart. This girl needs a night that’s all about her, don’t you think?
Just for Sophie, I’ve used my six degrees of separation and invited Jon Bon Jovi to dinner. He is her dreamboat rock star and no celebration would be complete without his hotness. I’m sorry, but this is my dinner party, so he’s sitting next to me, Soph, while you entertain guests at the other end of the table. I’m also inviting Don Draper. Let’s not confuse him with the actor, John Hamm, who plays him on the AMC series, Mad Men. Don is sitting next to me because—again—it’s my party. I want to swill martinis with him while he flirts endlessly with me. His polished suit and slicked back dark hair make me swoon.
Speaking of martinis, I thought it might be nice for Sophie to meet some of my girlfriends who love a good cocktail. Every season, my friends, Jill and Tiffany, create a drink with a catchy name and I have the perfect one to serve my guests. They’ve christened it “Appily Ever After.” What’s in it you ask? Well, let me tell you! Fireball Cinnamon Whiskey and apple cider. To fancy it up a tad, I’ll rim the glass with a sugar and cinnamon mixture. It might sound a little too girly for Don and Jon, yet I think I have them both at whiskey.
When Sophie arrives, Bon Jovi and the Mad Men soundtrack tunes are spinning on the iPod shuffle. Yet all conversation ceases, the music fades, and every eye takes her in as she walks through the front door. She’s wearing jeans along with one of the breast cancer awareness T-shirts she sells at her boutique. She’s so gracious! She’s brought shirts for everyone. I slip mine on. Jon roughs his up a little bit then slides it over his head. Don isn’t really a t-shirt kind of guy, so he folds it into a pocket square and tucks it into the breast pocket of his blazer. That’s hot!
After Chef Jill has filled our bellies with one of her amazing meals, we all mosey outside to our back patio. We are serenaded by crickets while fireflies dot the night sky on this cool, starry evening. After passing around the bug repellant, we quickly jump into sharing memories, glory days, finding out our common interests and also points where we seemed to have lived parallel lives. Since I am a responsible host, Don and Jon crash at my house after a few too many Appily Ever Afters. Too bad their feet hang off the end of Gracie’s lavender bunk beds yet I think they’ll sleep just fine.
Sophie and I clean up the dishes from dinner. As I wash and she dries, we finally have that heart-to-heart I’ve been waiting for, for some time now. I tell her how proud I am of her for battling such a fierce opponent and coming out the other side stronger. That she’s one of the bravest women I know. I’m so thankful she shared her story with others who so desperately need to hear it. I share my feelings, fears and what I’ve learned during my dad’s eleven year fight with cancer and how it will never rob me of memories no matter the outcome. He’s the bravest man I know.
After some tears, and some giggles, I show her to the guest room, give her a hug, and then head on up to my room. As I brush my teeth, a voice from the bed yells out to me. “So, I take it you had fun at your dinner party?”
I squint. It’s my husband, Mike, who groggily sits up and wipes the sleep from his eyes. “Oh, I didn’t realize you were home!”
I can hear his sigh echo off the vaulted ceilings. “Of course you didn’t notice me at all tonight! You were too busy karaoking with Don Draper on the coffee table while Jon Bon Jovi and Sophie canoodled on the couch!”
“Oh you saw that?” I ask while spitting out toothpaste into the sink. I walk towards the bed and ask, “Do you think Jon was impressed by my singing skills?” to which the man of my dreams simply rolls over and says, “Good night, crazy woman.”
Jen Tucker is the author of the funny and true stories, The Day I Wore My Panties Inside Out and The Day I Lost My Shaker of Salt. In September 2012, she had her children's book, Little Pumpkin published as an e-book. She also blogs monthly for Survival for Blondes. She currently lives in Indiana with her husband, three kids and two dogs. You can find her at Twitter, Facebook, her blog and on her website. And in case you missed them. check out her previous Chick Lit Cheerleader posts here.