Tag Archives: parties

As the day wanes…

…so do I.

The invitation arrived a couple of weeks ago. It verified news I had heard a week earlier. A long-time teacher friend had retired and there would be a party to celebrate the occasion. I had been a bit surprised to hear of the retirement, months after one would normally announce their retirement, only a week before a new school year began. Those in education know this is a bad time to announce one’s leaving as it makes the principal scramble to find a replacement and usually means the class will start with a substitute teacher. Actually, this is how I got my job at the inner city high school, but being credentialed in the subject, I was allowed to keep the position. Most teacher candidates, though, have already found a job and are settled in by the start of school.

So, the invitation comes, for a party that will be held late in September, late in the evening, on the other side of the valley, at a residence of people I don’t know. I laid it aside, contemplating the whole situation, but especially vexed by the date and time. As I stated at the beginning, I don’t do well late in the day, and especially after sunset. My extrovert personality only works until about 4 p.m., going off the clock when my introvert self shows up. And I use the term show up lightly. The introvert sort of sidles in, preferring no one see her, and if no one says anything to her, she sits mute and still. Certainly not a party personality.

This has been slowly coming on over the years. I used to have no problem going out at 8 p.m. and having a good time until midnight. Now, by 8 p.m. I am done for the day and heading for bed with my book. A couple of months ago we attended a backyard dinner at a friend’s house only a few blocks away. Although pleasant enough as I came onto the scene, I didn’t talk much, didn’t mingle, and by 8 o’clock I had slid down into my chair, ready to head home, which fortunately was only 5 minutes away. It just felt so wrong, though, because that behavior annoys my extrovert personality that shows up every the morning. That persona comes in the door talking, finding friends to greet and new people to meet. I offer to help with the food or service. I talk with different groups, moving around as the mood strikes. I don’t get stuck in one place. The extrovert doesn’t slink down in her chair, trying to disappear, hoping no one says a word to her.

The quandary is what to do with the invitation. In early morning, when I am typing this, I am gung-ho to go to this event, find out why the retiree made her decision so late in the summer (I just know there must be a good reason), chat with people I may not have seen in awhile or even met, eat some delicious food at a venue I’ve never been…then by late afternoon I know this will not happen. Ms Extrovert, who would do all those things, will have checked out hours before the party is scheduled to begin. Ms Introvert will sidle in and will be a party-poop.

Bored? Never

Today was a “ladies who lunch” date with a few of my friends who worked together at that inner city high school for 21 years. We tried a small, local sandwich shop this time that people had told us was very good. We picked it as it was located near to one ladies’ hair appointment at 2:30. Eating so close let us talk right up to time of her appointment. That’s right! We talked for almost three hours. Surprised? You really shouldn’t be. Our lives are very interesting and we love to catch up on all the activities we have each been involved in since the last “ladies who lunch.”

One of the lunch ladies was at the Red Heart Ball that I wrote about earlier this week. In discussing the evening she mentioned that another friend had been concerned that I looked bored at one point in the evening. Gladys’s response was, “Delaine? Bored? Never.”

She’s right. I am never bored. Although I wasn’t spending a lot of time talking at the party, I was watching all the people. As you may remember, there were over 700 in attendance. Lots to watch. Terry was running around, taking photos, and I wanted to keep track of all that was happening in the room so that I could guide him to certain people.

One of the young ladies at my table was wanting to dance but none of the young men were asking her. I had made note of this and so when I could locate Terry, I maneuvered through the crowd to tell him he really should go dance with her. While I hold the camera, he does, and they both have a terrific time. Then it was back to more picture taking.

Terry dancing with our table mate.

I stopped at another table and visited with some other friends. Then it was time to draw the winning ticket for the Shelby car that was being given away that night. I didn’t have a ticket, but some of my friends did. None of them won. Some man in Claremont did get the phone call telling him he won the car. The tickets are sold all year long at auto shows around the country so the winner is usually someone from another part of the country. Next year’s car is a 1963 red Corvette, all original. Terry said he might buy a ticket for that one.

So, bored? Not then, not now, not ever.

’tis the season

…for parties. Lots of parties. With friends, with family, with people you don’t even know. Parties you look forward to attending every year, parties you only attend because you feel obligated. Some of us go to parties, others give parties. Having planned events, and attended parties, I want to give some advice to party givers:

Guests like to mingle at parties.

People do not like to feel trapped in one area at parties.

Guests want a way to get to know certain people, and an out when they are talking to someone they would rather not.

So, here’s the thing: don’t put all of your food and drink into one tiny area. Food and drink draw people in, and then if there is another food area, they will move on. But, if you put it all in one place and invite a lot of people, they will gather in that one spot and not move too far. It’s too hard to mingle, or to get away if necessary, to meet the person you really do want to talk to.

I attended a party this past week where this was abundantly clear.  Huge room, lots of space, yet all the food and drink were put on one table in one corner. People did not move away from that table even as it became increasingly crowded. They formed groups of two or three to chat and did not move. Had there been a table for drinks in one corner, then a table for cheese and crackers in another, and finally dessert in another corner, people would have been forced to MOVE.

I really wanted to scream, “who planned this?” I was only able to maneuver so far and only chatted with two groups and then decided I had to leave.

Oh, also, if you are the host, please move around the room and encourage your guests to move about, not settle into one space and occupy it like a turtle. Unless they are frail and cannot stand, everyone should be moving about.

Let me know how your holiday parties are going.

 

Do you

still send Christmas cards?  At one time I sent between 50 and 75.  Now?  None.

pulled from Google Images

I think I stopped when I realized I was sending far more than I was getting and when I started teaching I had no time to get them done before the Christmas break.  I found myself sending New Year’s cards a few years because I had run out of time.  I would also use the New Year’s cards as thank you notes for the gifts we got and the parties we attended.

Today, as I wrapped a hostess gift, I realized I could stick a Christmas card on it.  And, lo and behold, I still had some in a drawer.  Maybe that’s how I’ll use up the stash of cards I just found.