Oh my goodness, I totally missed out on having a happy 4ooth post par-tay! :(

But that's okay, because in three more sleeps I'll be at the best darn event of the season: the Great Exchange Party.

Just in time for the holidays, the GEP is an event that started waaaay back in high school when my girlfriends and I would gather with clothes, records (yes, LPs), books and other items that were too good to get rid of, but we no longer loved. And no, boyfriends weren't part of the deal. ;)

Then, a few years ago, my friend Kelly (who was with me back then at the original parties, fighting over rainbow socks and Duran Duran extended remixes) said we should do something like that again. Only at my house, because hers was a mess. ;)

So this year marks the return of the GEP for the third or fourth time, I really can't remember. Now older and wiser, we see this as a great way to unload items that are quite lovely and not experience the trauma of re-gifting to the original giver. Heck, it's leaving the family, so the risk of being discovered is next to nil.

Of course, with all of us being friends, it does pay to be careful about which items you bring.

The best part is hearing the stories behind some of the items, whether it's how they came into the owner's life (it was the third fondue set in a row from one aunt) or how inappropriate the gift was to the recipient (hand knit sweaters and wool allergies sometimes don't mix, no matter how lovely). Oh and then there was the time when one of the gals brought in this mirror from one of those as-seen-on-TV places that had this winding strap on it so that you could attach it to your arm...or shower curtain rod...or a steering wheel...

I can't remember who took that one home but I know somebody did!

Now if only I could find my living room so that everyone has a place to put their fabulous crap. Ooh, or I could just leave all that stuff out there and hope they take it away. ;)

Can't wait!

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