Tag Archives: parties

Welp, I managed to host another party. This one was to say goodbye to my apartment, since I’ll be moving out this Feb. I had TWENTY people over.1 I was planning to do the good host thing when each person came: take the coat, get them a drink, get them talking to somebody, then wait for the next one.

Instead, since everybody was fashionably late by almost exactly the same amount of time, they all descended on my apt. within about fifteen minutes of each other. So I started going “Have you met Dave? Can I get you a beer? Let me take your coat! DO YOU WANT SOME CHILI??”, which is not so much welcoming as overwhelming, and pretty soon I was so confused that I just started introducing people to their beers, shoving their coats into the chili pot, and pushing them bodily into the hall closet.

No, but seriously, after I settled down a little, I noticed that everyone was talking to everyone else WITHOUT MY HELP. Phew. So I narrowly avoided the trap of overhosting, and just had a good time. I was also pleased when the neighbors not only stopped by but stayed a few hours, and proved not to be too cool for my geeky friends, nor too heathenish for my Christian friends.2 And everybody had the good sense to leave by about 2:00, which is a lot better than last time.

Throw in a Baptism for my new niece, a nice chat with my father, and an (admittedly sort of lucky)3 win for the Pats and that makes a pretty good weekend.

So, hey, not to brag too much, but if you’re the sort of person who would prefer (1) swimming with sharks, (2) hara kiri, or (3) both, simultaneously, to actually (4) being in a room with a bunch of other people who want to make SMALL TALK — it does get better with practice, like almost anything else.

1 Not that I counted them up by name just now because I secretly believe there is a direct correlation between the number of guests who will come to my party and my coolness. Nope, nothing like that.
2 if A = {My geeky friends} and B = {My Christian friends}, then
A ∪ B = {Pretty much all my friends},
A ∩ B = {Most of my best friends}, and
{The neighbors} ⊂ (A ∪ B)’.

3 Not that they didn’t fight hard, it’s just that, dude, I could’ve made that field goal. (Nope.) I just hope nobody lynches poor Billy Cundiff.

Post-party blues. I had more than twenty people over last night, and all I’ve got to show for it is a kitchen floor covered in beery footprints — someone brought a keg?! — and a pantry full of tortilla fragments and mostly-empties.

It was fun, which frankly sort of surprised me. For someone who used to be scared of going to parties at all — or really even just talking to people in general — hosting one is kind of an achievement. I spent a good part of the day cleaning up, buying supplies, and just generally fretting.

But! Everyone had a good time, nobody got drunk enough to be sick, and nobody seemed to be skulking around in the shadows and feeling left out. I got to play the good host, going from group to group, making sure everyone had a drink, providing blankets and couches for the unfit-to-drive. I was proud of myself.

I wasn’t quite prepared for the letdown afterwards, though, and I admit that I spent a good part of today being lazy and watching too many episodes of Angel, just trying to adjust to the place being empty again.

So, things learned from my first hosting experience: (1) If every time someone asks what they can bring you say “beer”, that will probably be too much beer. (2) Guests are not always adept enough in body language to pick up on the universal symbol for “I’m enjoying your company tremendously but I would enjoy falling asleep before dawn EVEN MORE.” (3) Just because it’s a party full of nice Catholic people doesn’t mean nobody’s beard will get set on fire.1

I think I might be too tired to have a point.

1 Not mine.

I like arguing. The more I’m surrounded by liberals, the more conservative I start talking. The converse is also true. I don’t, for example, have any great love for the Novus Ordo Mass in particular, but surround me with traddies and you’d think I came straight from Steubenville.1

This isn’t a great character trait. I’d like to think it’s because I’m perfectly balanced on every issue, but it’s probably just because I want to look brave and outspoken. Or something. There is something about parties in particular that makes me want to say exactly the wrong thing, just because everyone is trying so hard to do the opposite.

This is especially true at liberal parties, where so many points of view are verboten. I remember a party last Hallowe’en where I met an Oberlin alumna dressed as Dorothy. The only thing I knew about Oberlin was something about rainbow couches and gender studies, so I proffered the diplomatic remark (I had had a few beers, certainly) that Oberlin was destroying western civilization.

For some reason this struck her as offensive, but she also took it in the spirit in which it was offered — namely, a kind of beery sparring. So we sparred, beerily, for a while. Eventually, ineluctably, we came to the twin topics of abortion and homosexuality.2 Turned out she was bisexual, so my views there didn’t give me any points in her book either. I actually think I kept my cool pretty well all through being called a closed-minded, sheeplike bigot.

At some point in the discussion I thought it would be a good idea to play my trump card: as in, You think I oppose gay marriage because I’m insensitive to gay people, Well, what would you say if I WAS ONE?

Well, it wasn’t a great idea. It did defuse the situation a bit. She seemed to stop regarding me as some kind of evil authoritarian swine and and start pitying me for a medievalist self-flagellator. Sigh. We got friendlier after that, but I wasn’t able to make her understand that my life is not one of constant, tortured internal conflict. Some people imagine that, if you’re not having sex at LEAST once a week, you must be in TERRIBLE pain (whether spiritual or just pelvic), and must have to supplement yourself with various, hm, practices.3

Anyway. We parted amicably enough, and saw each other once or twice more. I stopped hanging out with her when, after inviting me and her gay friend C. out to a movie, she admitted that she had been trying to play matchmaker. To rescue me from the prison of my celibacy. This, after hearing that I would regard a homosexual relationship as a betrayal of the things I believed in most deeply.

Sheesh. Thanks, Dorothy. Dude wasn’t my type anyway.4

I’d draw a point from all this, but I have to go get ready for Mass.

1 If this sentence made any sense to you at all, then we probably know each other. Or at least we are guaranteed to know some of the same people. We may even be related.
2 Why “twin”? To start with, because if someone dissents from the Church about one, chances are they will dissent about the other, too — but this is enough fodder for at least a whole nother post.
3 Heh — actually, “supplement” is exactly right: some people regard porn & masturbation the way a nutritionist regards vitamin pills.
4 But then, what is my type? Tall, dark, and chaste?