Everything was ready, and well in advance. I had booked the caterer, selected the menu, purchased an assortment of wines (sparkling, red, white) picked the mood music, Pink Martini, and organized a surprise salsa lesson for my 45 guests. I had found the perfect dress – red of course. And the shoes? We’ll they’re the same shoes that appear on the cover of my book.
And then friends and family stepped in and took over. My friend Nadia, who has managed more than once to put a roof over my head, organized and decorated a beautiful venue. Nadia is a sculptor with a great eye for color, aesthetics and proportion so the room was awash in color – everything from the table cloths and cocktail napkins to the center pieces and the flowers.
My sister, Margaret Mary, with the precision skills that come with being a mother of four, ran a flawless event. She did everything from welcoming guests and selling books to giving direction to the people who staffed the event.
Pierre, who is an artist when it comes to taking candid pictures, created a digital photo album that captures everyone at his or her best.
Giacomo stepped in and set up an extraordinary bar as his gift to me. He engaged the services of a magical mixologist, Thomas, who conjured up a “Café Girl Martini” to commemorate the occasion. (I didn’t drink anything during the event – my adrenaline didn’t need any outside stimulation – but I’m told that once everyone left I had three martinis in rapid succession as well as my own bottle of Prosecco).
All I had to do was show up. And thanks to them, that’s exactly what I did.
Technically the event was a book launch, but the reality is that it was a party for my friends and family – for all those people that I love who supported me through the entire process. Some friends traveled great distances to be there and others who couldn’t make it sent flowers. It was a celebration of friendship. I was happy to bask in their unabashed pride in my efforts. Authors get a lot compliments and criticism about their work but words I will prize most are those five little words that I heard from family, friends and even colleagues – “I’m so proud of you.”
It was a night of eating, drinking, dancing and the great conversation that only happens when friends are reunited to celebrate a happy occasion. They all waited patiently as I signed the books they bought – I wanted to give them away but they insisted on buying them. I wrote a special message in each one.
Later I remarked to my mom, who couldn’t be there, that the event was just like a wedding without the complication of a groom. I reflected on that for a minute and jokingly said, “had I known that 25 years ago, I would written a book instead of getting married.”
To which my wise mother remarked, “Cat, if you hadn’t gotten married, you wouldn’t have written this book.”
And just like a wedding, to commemorate the occasion, here’s the launch video for my book: Any Color but Beige: Living Life in Color.