In the Kitchen at Parties
As the song says "You'll always find me in the kitchen at parties"
I found myself in the kitchen at a couple of parties last year. Not because that's where all the food and drink is, but being forced to hang out there. On the first occasion the party was held in a tiny flat with a stupidly long and thin lounge, resulting in me and my plus one hanging out in a state of limbo drifting between the tiny kitchen and the hallway. The other occasion was at one of my friend's parties. The host had too much to drink and plonked herself in the lounge playing her Michael Jackson DVD far too loud. Efforts to reduce the late Mr Jackson's volume down to a reasonable level failed miserably so we sought refuge in the kitchen, shut the door behind us and got out the acoustic guitar. I blame myself really, never should have bought her that DVD...
As you get older it seems that the parties get less frequent and more restrained. That said, parties are always a hit and miss affair. For me they are divided into the good, the bad and the ugly.
The ugly party is of course when there are gatecrashers at your door. Fliers for a party seem like a good idea, until one of your more stupid friends hands them out to all and sundry. Luckily door entry systems and threats of calling the police are usually enough to deter even the most determined of gatecrasher.
A bad party is usually caused by a lack of guests. Occasionally the party can fall flat for other reasons. Take for example the party supposedly celebrating the engagement of my then flatmate and my ex business partner's daughter. This was indeed a very unlikely pairing (more of this in a future blog post). By convention you are supposed to say "Congratulations" when hearing about an engagement. News of their engagement, elicited more of a "What the fuck!?" type response. It is customary when attending engagement parties to bring a present. Some bright spark (yes, it was probably me) decided that we should all bring the same present. A set of very cheap and tacky silver-plated coasters from Argos. That is where the hilarity ended, you can only listen to a Tanita Tikaram album so many times before tiring of it.
The best type of party is the spontaneous one. Like the time when we invited the entire troupe of the Moscow City Ballet back to our flat after we'd DJ'd at a local hotel. Yes, it was a very big flat. Luckily we had the foresight to get all the dancers' signatures. This proved to be a great conciliatory gift for our downstairs neighbour, who not only forgave us for the noisy party, but also the broken window from our failed attempt to hoist a sofa up through our third-floor window.
Despite my advancing years I think I may still have a few good, and perhaps even legendary, parties in me. We shall see what 2011 has to hold.