So go and party your pants off (maybe literally) but just don’t invite me along


I hate social functions. There, I said it. I think I have always hated social functions.

I think anybody with a lick of common sense should hate social functions. But maybe that’s just me.

I hate them because they challenge me and stress me out. I think they challenge and stress out everybody, or at least those with the aforementioned ‘lick of common sense.’

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not antisocial. I love (some) people and am happy to be in their company. As it stands I’m heading out in a half hour to have lunch with a dear (and did I mention ‘pretty’?) friend of mine and am looking forward to it since we haven’t linked up over nosh for a while.

Should be nice. And there is the crux of the matter, it will be a case of a deux, No confusion when there are just two people. Just me and her making chat and enjoying a meal. Ideal. In similar context, my wife an I can have another couple for dinner or meet them somewhere, and that’s nice too and with a minimum of stress. In that context though, there remains a problem if they come to our place because you can’t just tell them to leave if they seem to be overstaying their welcome. You cannot just up and say: “Well, it’s getting late so could you folks just bugger off now?” Better to go to theirs because then you can say: “Gee, is that really the time? How did it get to be 9:30 already?”

The social functions that really put nits under my skin are parties. I hate parties. I have always hated parties. I mean, I have been to lots of them and have hosted lots of them (in years past, not latterly), and I have concluded I always hated them.

donLast night, watching Mad Men, we were presented with a party hosted by Don Draper’s comely wife. Don was tense at it. He reflected my feelings because just watching the party scene made me tense, I’d rather watch a gunfight any time. No, I’d feel uptight as people were boozing, passing joints (“aren’t we fuckin’ cool, man?), hitting on people they shouldn’t, and it brought me to the conclusion that a lot of people are tense at parties, and even angry. This is why they drink too much, smoke dope when they don’t normally, hit on people they aren’t hitched to, and even sometimes get into fistfights or nasty verbal exchanges.

I had a dear (now departed) uncle who once said: “In my opinion the only reason to go to a party is to get drunk or get laid. And if I can’t do those things I’d rather stay home and read a book.”

At one time I used to drink. Some might have even been driven to say, “Too much.” Booze, as per my uncle, made parties tolerable. Since I no longer do that has rendered parties much less tolerable. In that context the best parties were the ones I attended when I was young, had lots of stamina and libido and was blessedly single. Then I could hope to link up with somebody special and, in the ugly cliche, ‘get lucky.’ Sometimes it even happened. And, since I was young and had founts of energy, I didn’t much suffer from the rigors the next day.

Those days have long since fled and I don’t have an ounce of regret that partying has left me in its wake.

Now I have that book I want to finish before turning in at a reasonable hour only to awaken the next morning feeling refreshed and contented.

Call me a stick-in-the-mud and I don’t care at all.


10 responses to “So go and party your pants off (maybe literally) but just don’t invite me along

  1. Ian, I totally agree with you but I do think it’s an age thing; and we’re both journos so we know how to party! In my teens, 20’s and 30’s I was forever going to parties and dinner parties and social get-togethers. And I was a pub man. Why? Because if I were between girlfriends I’d hope to meet someone nice and sexy. And I enjoyed drinking (and smoking in those days). Today, I really don’t like dinner parties if it’s anything over six people. Forget it. However, I LOVE having dinner with my wife and, say, two dear friends; or just my two children.

    Yeah, I’ve become a boring old fart and I love reading! And writing. And my son came over for Sunday dinner and he told me I should get writing again, not just blogging etc. “Just write”, he urged. All right, I replied.

    The younger generation wot do they know, eh?

    • I suspect it is an age thing because you and I sound virtually alike in our predelictions re parties. And maybe it is a journo thing and your misspent youth sounds just like mine. So, if ever we’re in Paris I should love to come for an intimate dinner a quatre.

  2. I still enjoy my parties, but I drink roughly a quarter what I used to.

    And that makes a difference. 🙂

  3. The parties I and my friends have do not include drugs or alcohol. They are a creative lot–mostly writers–and we just enjoy sharing stories, company and good food. I never liked parties where people drink far too much and then act like idiots while believing they are entertaining.
    I do not drink at all. I have not had any alcohol since I was 23, so only 2 years of minor alcohol consumption.

  4. I had a friend up island who used to say ” well dear I guess we should go to bed so these good folks can go home ” when the party started to lag , a good escape got the message in a hurry ,

  5. How about: If I were elsewhere I would leave about now.

    If I don’t know at least 50% of the people at any gathering! I am one unhappy camper.

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