When you get invited to a Christmas cookie exchange by a gay couple, it all but guarantees two things: that they will try to outdo each other with unusual and creative cookies (they did) and that it won't really matter what I wear since not a soul in the room will be lusting after me (they weren't). For this, I actually went west of Libbie (but not very far west), causing a friend to express surprise about my willingness to cross onto foreign soil. It was a great party, though, with beautiful decorations, a tasteful holiday soundtrack and full of of interesting people looking to chat.
There were probably at least two dozen people there at any one time, all clustered around the cookies, grazing, comparing and drinking. The libations for the festivities were gingerbread eggnog (even eggnog haters were liking it) and Peppermint Schnapps with a swirl of chocolate, usually squirted directly into the mouth following the shot. And, of course, milk for the traditionalists and beer and wine for the less daring.
I had fun watching people taste test their way around the cookie table because most people had a system: they only allowed themselves one of each kind or let themselves eat anything they wanted except their own or only try the ones that were unfamiliar. There was an iced pumpkin cookie that was like nothing else there and the ginger snaps were made with regular ginger and crystallized ginger, adding a whole deeper flavor. The chocolate-iced peanut butter brownies, made by a novice baker, were very popular. The array was astonishing: snickerdoodles, sugar cookies, peppermint cookies, snowdrops; the list is long.
At one point, two guests boasted that they'd already had three cookies each . Shoot, by then, I was at least 5 or 6 in, so I could scoff at their amateurish status. As I advised one guy after he threw up his hands and said, "That's my last one," you never want to say that out loud, because without fail, you will eat another. And he did.
Among the more colorful conversations was one about Richmond magazine preferring to photograph established drag queens rather than trainees (it says so much about their demographic, don't you think?). Another amusing one concerned a great aunt mistaking Boy Butter for actual butter on an English muffin before a last-minute save. A person just doesn't get these kind of conversations at straight parties.
But then, one doesn't usually get such a tempting and impressive selection of homemade cookies in one place, either...and not a one made with boy butter.