Monday, October 17, 2005


This weekend we went to a party at a friend’s warehouse-suite (more warehouse than suite if you ask me). He had gone all out with the candles and the DJ station and the hors D’oeuvres. He’d had friends bring in their art work for decoration. He had spent countless hours finishing his 35mm short film and adding a score just so he could show it.
“You brought beer? You really didn’t need to,” he said when he opened the door, dressed as the sophisticated, urban kind of single guy who would throw a great party.

But I think we, his guests, failed him somewhat. The energy was pleasant enough but remained low throughout the evening. Everyone made polite chit chat but really you could tell most people were thinking about their couches and DVDs back home. I was one of them. I didn’t have a single witty or intelligent thing to say. Intermittently, couples eased their way to the door. I’d like to say this is unusual, but lately it seems that almost every party I’ve ever been to as an adult unfolds this way (exception: solstice party at a farm with that unfortunate hash brownie incident).

Have parties gone so far out of fashion that we’ve forgotten how to party? And I don’t mean get-trashed-and-fight-on-the-lawn keggers, though I’m sure those are alive and well (just the thought makes me exhausted). I mean more the kind of party where you slur, “holy Christ, that was a great party!” as you stumble and fumble your way into a cab. Time flew, you drank a bit more than you should have and for weeks the inside party jokes have you giggling over the dishes.

It seems to me that parties are well executed – most hosts know how to throw the technical party. Gone are the days of the cocktail weenie, thank God. But why don’t we know how to have crazy fun anymore, even sans alcohol? To be exciting, energetic guests? Where is the guy with the lampshade on his head? Did he even ever exist?

I know – at anytime I could have leapt to my feet and started the sequence of mad gyrations I like to think of as dancing. Trev wouldn’t have left me to dance alone. In fact, I’m sorry I didn’t think of it before now, 10 AM on Monday morning. Drinks or no drinks, I could have been Lamshade Guy. I think I failed the party.

This leaves me with a feeling of doom when considering hosting one myself. Would anyone come? Would anyone have fun? How do you really get things going? I would want at least 5 to 10 people wake up the next morning and go “do NOT tell me I did what I think I did last night.” I’m not talking Roman-gorging orgies. More like… “The Party” with Peter Sellers, only less property damage and fewer bubbles. Though bubbles would be really great…. Anyone know the effect of bubbles on hardwood?

Well, at the very least I’m going to work on being a better guest. Here’s my question – what was the last great party you’ve ever been to and what made it great?

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Blogger DataDowser ~ 8:16 AM

I have some great land in Florida to sell. But hurry, it's going fast.

Last great party: Lots of rooms--mazelike really, each with it's own feel ands sound level. Lots of interesting people, many artistic creative types. Huge papermache man on all fours on back porch. Extroverted easy going although just neurotic enough to be interesting host. No cocktail weinies.  

Anonymous don heelbrew ~ 8:03 PM

I don't know about other kinds of parties, but you are a world champion wedding guest. At ours, not only did you do more work than any two members of the wedding party, you made me wonder if, in the midst of all the dancin' and drinkin' in the hall, I was missing out on the REAL party w/ you and your family doing dishes in the kitchen... the sounds coming out of there (and the booze going in, if I remember rightly) bespoke one helluva swingin' dishwashathon.  

Blogger Working From Home Today ~ 12:40 PM

Don Heelbrew,
I forgot about great weddings! Yours was a good party. Sometimes I think I've always had more fun when I've participated in some way. I'm more relaxed when someone gives me something to do.

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