Tuesday, 20 December 2011

The Party Season

Every year at this time, the Sunday Supplements are full of such articles as "get in shape for the Party Season!", "Fashion must-haves for the Party Season!" and "Hangover cures for the Party Season morning-after!"
And initially I think "Yes! Of course! It's Christmas! There will be festivities! How exciting!"
And I look around and... where are these parties that comprise this "Party Season"?

Now it could be just that I am not terribly sociable or popular, but I shan't be attending any parties this Christmas. Indeed, I am not aware of any taking place. And every Christmas, this seems to be so. This vague cloud of indistinct festivities looms up at us from about October onwards with a promise of happy throngs of revellers enjoying each others' company with abandon in some social whirl of celebratory engagements.
And suddenly, I look up and its a few days before Christmas and, well, no invitations have been forthcoming, in fact, I haven't heard from anyone for ages!

Is it me? Do I smell? Am I just persona-non-grata in civilised society? Or do people just stay in and watch telly nowadays?

Ok, in an ideal world, it would be deeply exciting to be invited to, and attend parties where flamboyantly-dressed characters converse with much laughter in darkened halls where bands of musicians play evocative tunes and acrobats cavort in harlequin suits above. I would dance all night and hold quickfire bantering conversations with a man in a purple silk top hat and a lady in a burgundy velvet ball gown. And we would toast "To life and living it!" and jostle and laugh,
But a quick drink down the pub after work would be good too. Only.. everyone works from home now (as I do mostly) and face-to-face interaction seems a thing of the past.

I suppose I could hold a party. But I start to draw up the list and realise that, the kids are grown up and the link they provided to the friends of the last twenty years (i.e. those with whom we shared children of the same age) is broken now. The list of potential attendees is somehow strangely short and everyone we ever knew has buggered off somewhere. A few tentative phone calls and discouragement is complete. Despite there being no parties elsewhere, those few people I know are all somehow otherwise engaged.

So, let's hear it for the party season! We can pour ourselves a drink, put on our party hats and sit down to watch Christmas Escape to the Country as we toast to "Absent Friends!"


Jane and Lance Hattatt said...

Hello Pete:
Oh dear, this could all seem a little sad, and more so at a time when we are all supposed to don party hats and be very jolly at the prospect of Father Christmas, reindeer, snow, Christmas pudding and cake, crackers, mince pies, etc. etc.

Actually, we think it much more fun to divorce oneself from anything which is associated with the ever more commercial and conventional aspects of Christmas celebrations and, instead, go in pursuit of the out of the way, the unusual, the extraordinary where, meeting similarly minded people, you will, we assure you, have the time of your life. But quite what these things are, we have yet to consider.

In the meantime, we have to confess to being out to a dinner party on the 23rd., another on the 24th., and yet another on the 25th. Sorry!!!


I had one (mediocre, at best) night out, that's IT.

One day I'll host the kind of party you speak of, and you'll be 3rd on the list. Just below Jane and Lance.

Summer's the same - 'BBQ' this, 'garden party' that in the papers. Damp sandwiches on a field are the best it ever gets.

Unpopular is my conclusion.

Librarian said...

When I think "party", I have an image in my mind of myself wearing a short glittery dress and sparkling strappy high heels and make-up (for me, THE ultimate sign that I am in party mood), whirling around to funky music, enjoying spirited conversations and equally spirited cocktails (preferably creamy ones, tasting of coconut and vodka).
Alas, most parties I am invited to involve sitting around large tables filled with delicious food, with nice people for company, some of which I only get to see about once a year (if that), spirited conversations and spirited drinks (no cocktails), with no music and me wearing clothes that have allowed me to get to the house of the host either on foot or by public transport - thus excluding the strappy high heels and short glitzy dress.
Still, I like those parties, and why I hardly ever get invited to the more glamourous ones has probably to do with me not really moving in glamourous circles.
Which gives me an idea... why don't I throw a glamour party for my birthday next spring?
Anyone possessing a pair of strappy high heels OR a purple silk top hat is invited :-)

Another reason (at least in my case) is that I am too old. Most of my friends have children and/or work very hard, so that glamour & funk do not feature much in their lives anymore.


Librarian- I may have children, but that WON'T stop me getting the sequins, fur, heels and black eye-shadow out in preparation for your party.

PLEASE can I come? I'll try to behave.

Librarian said...

As long as you promise to dance, you can come :-) Mark the 22nd of March in your diary!