At the Party
The neighborhood was nicer than mine, so I was a little class conscious upon arriving to the housewarming party my friend at work had invited me to. I'm still getting used to housewarming parties. Am I supposed to bring a gift to congratulate his movement up the ladder? What's an appropriate gift? A welcome mat? A vase? A decent bottle of wine?
I opted for a bottle of wine and scribbled a note--"May you always be happy in your home." The sentiment was sincere. There were some beautiful people at the party, a bit intimidating in their trendiness. Each person seemed to have a knack for finding the right thing to say. I was a little tongue-tied that night. At parties I search for good conversation. I'm less interested in food or drink. I'd rather find someone with something interesting to say.
I found one eventually. About halfway through the evening, I met a guy who seemed a little out of place. He was the odd sibling of my friend from work. He presented himself as the scrappy blue-collar guy who doesn't care much for houses and possessions. He cares more for drinking beer and playing horseshoes. We teamed up for horseshoes and beat all comers. Why it feels like such a grand achievement to beat strangers in horseshoes, I'll never know. But it does.
We became fast friends, shooting the breeze about lost loves and lost opportunities. We talked a lot about annoying people from our past and wondered why people are so caught up in cell phones and Facebook. We shared an observation that everyone at the party was white. We wondered why people from the same race always seem to congregate. Is it so hard to befriend someone of another race?
We also noticed that guys mostly talked to guys, and women to other women. We overheard guys talking about home projects. We heard moms talking about being moms. It was all pretty stereotypical. One guy managed to strike up a conversation with an attractive woman. He flirted, she flirted back. Man I love to watch people flirt. I was something of a flirt in my younger days. So I always appreciate someone who's good at flirting.
When the clock struck midnight, it was time for me to go. I'm always the first person to leave a party. It's just what I do. I never need to find out how the party ends. In fact, I'd rather not know how it ends. I went home hungry because I passed on all the nice food. I stopped at Great Pizza, which isn't great at all, but I always like to end a Friday night with a slice of pizza.
All in all, it was an interesting night. It's always fun to find out what makes people tick.
Author's note: This is a work of fiction. I wrote this story as an example of what I had in mind when I developed a writing assignment about the sociology of parties: http://creativesociology.blogspot.com/2011/07/sociology-of-parties-writing-exercise.html
You might want to try it yourself after your next party.