Like most people I love parties. Last year I had the revelation that I enjoy hosting parties more than I usually enjoy attending. Maybe that is because I’m a control freak? Or it could be I am always thinking that I could have done something better?
There are parties that I will always remember. Some from childhood. For some reason I still can picture my first grade teacher, Miss Rutledge, shaking her head to the music of the Doobie Brothers as we danced around the room in classic first-grader style. It never got better than that for school parties.
I grew up in Indiana, and in my teen years my friend Ralph who had “Very Cool” parents had a yearly kegger at a house his parents owned. The house was in the middle of no-where, with Indiana corn fields as the only neighbors. Sadly those parties got too big. So big that there was a traffic jam on this small county road. And when that happens law enforcement takes notice. That was the end of that.
In my college years there was the Hairy Buffalo. This must be a mid-west thing, no one in New England seem to have ever heard of this. It goes like this: call all your friends and tell them you are having a party and everyone is invited as long as they show up with a bottle of some type of alcohol. You get a large container that can handle a lot of liquid. Fill the container with all the fruit you can find. As people arrive they gain entrance with the bottle of booze. You pour the booze in the container of fruit. That is a Hairy Buffalo.
Now as an older married man I attend and throw a tamer more sophisticated version of a party. The shift seems to have been made from a party focused on drink to a party focused on food. But I think both are equally important. I believe the key to a great party are the two Q’s: sufficient quantity and quality of food and drink. There has to be at least one food item that is above average with a supply sufficient enough so everyone gets a taste. There should be enough drink choices that everyone’s taste buds are delighted – regardless if the drinks contain alcohol or not. Not everyone drinks alcohol and some would not call it a party without some. Of course it would be easier to plan for a party that you know beforehand all the attendee’s drink preferences. If not it makes it more of a challenge making sure everyone has a satisfactory option. But then again, I love a challenge!