This Article is About
wine and cheese
desperate attempt
sense of responsibility
adulthood
embarrassment
guilt
Let's Do It Again!
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Let\'s Do It Again!

I wanna do it again! I want to throw a party and invite too many people and buy too much booze and beer and wine and cheese and chips. I want some people to show up early, and some to show up late—I want it to seem like a suspension of time while the party’s rocking. I want to go from room to room just saying hi and offering people drinks and asking someone to take care of the music (I never could do party music—people always complained until I gave up and let someone else be the DJ). I want latecomers to have a half-mile walk to get from where there’s room to park to where the party is.

Not these modern kids’ parties—no project X—I’m probably too old to party, but I’m definitely too old to lose my sense of responsibility. I rarely enjoyed chaos at my parties—it usually meant the wrong element had showed up—and would probably ruin everything before they left. What I enjoyed was the sense of celebration. When we were young it seemed quite simple to celebrate the mere fact of being at a party—we didn’t need winding up from an on-coming holiday (although that would take things up a notch). No, the weekend, and the sure knowledge that there was no school or parents until the party ended—that was enough to celebrate.

I’ve looked back on those old parties with guilt and embarrassment, even while others waxed nostalgic at the memory of them—the high school parties at my parents’ old Katonah home, and then the New Year’s Eve blow-outs we always enjoyed in our own home in Lincolndale for many years. To me they were sybaritic dissipations, an imposition on my parents, my wife, and later, even the kids. The main problem was that, as the years passed, the character of the parties—and of the people who were comfortable at them—began to slide into a darker place, a drug-centric and almost desperate attempt to escape from ever-encroaching adulthood and responsibility of any kind.

But I was just now remembering what they used to be, at first—mere delirium at the freedom of being unsupervised and part of a crowd that was into anything new or unusual—there was usually drinking, and as time went by, drugs and weed became ever-present—but at first they were just a bunch of young people would could have just as much fun playing Monopoly or Ping-Pong, talking to each other, flirting with each other.

Yes, I’d love to do it again. There’s a very sad (to me) Beach Boys song about ‘getting together and doing it again’—and the sadness comes from the same reason I’ll never be able to do it again. The atmosphere of those parties was of youth and restlessness and innocence—I could buy out a liquor store and invite a hundred people, I can never get that atmosphere again. Just the act of attempting it would be heart-breaking: trying to schedule it so’s everyone could come; trying to figure out how to throw a party in a tiny little house (it never seemed a problem back then). Worst of all, if we did it right, the cops would come (it ain’t a party if the cops don’t show) and they would look like very stern babies in uniform. There is no going back. There can be no party.

But I’d sure like to throw it.


Street Talk

Wow Chris, the wife and I were talking about this very thing this morning. One thing we do have and always will be able to tap is the memories of those days gone by. :) Good to see you writing again :)

Reply
  about 8 years ago

I guess it must be Spring, Shawn--it even gets under my 57-year-old skin. Memories are the best we can do, but what great ones. Thanks for reading.

Reply
  about 8 years ago

Spring does it for me every time Chris. Thanks for sharing bro.

  
  about 8 years ago
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