by Patricia Rapp, AARP Bulletin, October 15, 2010
I'm not embarrassed to tell you I still know a lot about make-believe.
In fact, I make sure I include it in all of my parties. Once, I rented a lodge and turned it into a ship. My friends helped me make portholes to line one side of the room. We built a railing on the opposite side overlooking waves made of poster board. The clever decorating and piped-in sounds of foghorns, seagulls, waves and a ship's bell helped all 120 of us imagine that we were on a cruise. We even docked in New York City and went back in time to the Copacabana; thanks to my thespian friends, we saw a fabulous show with a crooner and gorgeous showgirls.
At one of my pretend highbrow garden parties, my dressed-up guests dove into the pool, re-creating a scene from The Great Gatsby. At our Bug Blast, we dressed like beautiful bugs and staged a surprise melodrama about an intergalactic bug terminator who invaded our party.
Another time, I invited guests to a red carpet movie premiere. A young friend wrote scripts and made short films that featured his teenage and older pals. We gave him real recognition in our make-believe setting.
In the wintertime, I invite those who enjoy literature for an evening of reading, choosing a different theme each time. We act like we are the characters we read about, even dressing like them. And we do it all in a make-believe cafe.
My guests know that when they attend one of my events, they are in for an evening of stress-relieving make-believe.
And they never decline an invitation.
Patricia Rapp is a reader from Las Vegas.
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