Well folks? More + Merrier has been in hibernation for a while, and far before this awful virus descended and upended our daily lives, I had been dealing with deeply personal issues on the home front. When I launched More + Merrier, I launched it with hope, excitement and a genuine desire to connect with my weapons of choice- party supplies and décor- hooray! This company was my third baby, after my two kids, and I wanted so very much for it to become the embodiment of the values I hold close: connection with others, a strong design point of view and the joy of celebrating. A few months in, it became clear that I had a choice to make, throw myself into More + Merrier or throw myself into saving my marriage and the little family I had dreamed into reality. I chose the latter…and yes, it’s going to be that kind of post. Strap yourself in for some realness.
I chose the latter knowing that More + Merrier would suffer, but there was never a question that it was worth the pursuit, whatever the outcome. Ultimately, the happy ending a couple dreams of when they launch heart first into a lifetime commitment with their beloved was not my reality. So, I took some time off. I let More + Merrier sit a little lonely, a little neglected, waiting for easier days; days and weeks and months where I could give it the attention it deserved. A couple months back, I began making plans for a new path for More + Merrier to forge. I imagined a concept that tapped into the desire for fleeting aesthetics, otherwise known as a rental model. I envisioned beautiful dinner parties, intimate bridal showers and personalized birthday parties that involved a click of the mouse and your party was set; and when it was all over? Send it back! No need to overload an already packed to bursting closet or spare room.
I was feeling good about this path, I just needed to get a few things nailed down in my personal life, and then COVID-19 hit. All of a sudden, the thought of resurrecting my dream of connection through aesthetics seemed childish at best and irrelevant and disrespectful at worst. How do you peddle joy when all around you is fear and chaos? Not to mention that gatherings outside one’s familial unit are strictly prohibited. So where does that leave More + Merrier, where does that leave the entire event industry that relies on bringing people together in celebration? It leaves us in the position we’ve always been in. How do we bring people together to celebrate everything from the smallest moments (hey book clubs!) to the biggest milestones (Cousin Jen- I see you in all your wedding planning glory)?
So yeah, this is looking way different from how I imagined jumping back on the More + Merrier bandwagon, but it’s distilling what’s always been true. How do we bring moments of connection and levity to a situation that is absolutely unfathomable? I’m still working through exactly how, but I will say this, there hasn’t been a moment in my, or most of our lifetimes, where we have been so intimately connected to every single person the world over. When we say “we’re in it together” that’s not a platitude, that’s a fact; and in such a terrifying state of things, I am so humbled by the beauty in that phrase.
So how do we move forward? Do we continue to celebrate? I cautiously, and with so much hope, say yes. I want to celebrate love (yes- this almost divorcee is pro-love!), and I want to celebrate your six year old’s birthday (she deserves to feel special!) and I want so deeply to bring your child into the world with all the excitement and support that you deserve. I also want to be there to celebrate the lives gone too soon from this invisible threat, and to remind us all that we are human and in this together. When it comes down to it, what we’re internalizing on a visceral level, is exactly that. We are so very human and so connected in this global challenge.
So how do we rise to this? We rise together. We rise by pulling out our dusty sewing machines and fashioning protective masks for our neighbors in the healthcare sector, we rise by intentionally (or by pure desperation- no judgement!) ordering takeout from our favorite neighborhood restaurant, we rise by supporting each other in educating our incredible children. We rise by becoming more human than we’ve ever been, and in doing so we connect. When this plays its course, weeks, months or years from now, how will our world view look? What will we prioritize? Let’s be frank here, I’m peddling *stuff*- scaffolding for the higher purpose of marking a moment in time with people that matter. So as I look into the future, the future of the world, the future of my country, the future of my tiny little bubble of a suburb and even smaller familial unit, I offer this. More than ever before, celebrate and mark the moments that matter to you. It might look different- a little smaller, a little less flashy-but celebrate just the same.
More + Merrier will be here to celebrate with you with comforting recipes, ideas to connect with friends and some pretty tableware and décor, should the moment call for it. So stay healthy and stay connected.