Yesterday I shared some thoughts about the dark-sided social gatherings, and the day before was about the “flop” get-togethers we’ve all attended. At last tonight, I’ll share my beliefs on what I consider delightful and uplifting social gatherings.
Coming from someone who definitely wouldn’t consider himself a socialite, I believe a a social engagement a success when nearly everyone walks out feeling as though they could’ve stayed but a bit longer simply because they were enjoying themselves beyond recent experiences. For me, there were a handful of memorable ones over the years, but I will share several of the most charming with you tonight.
Having listed and sold a young family’s home in a newer subdivision and subsequently sold them a very large and somewhat dilapidated older two story, I became more acquainted with them during the whole process of restoration; thus, I found myself stopping by from time to time. About two years later I received a card in the mail inviting me to their first Christmas party at their new home. I thought it best I make at least an appearance, so when the evening arrived, I left work and drove to their home. My clients had the home nearly finished and quite inviting to say the least, with all the turn-of-the century Christmas decorations. I was delighted to find many of the neighbors in attendance as well as people I knew from the community; likely 30 people in all.
The topics of conversation were either about the changes and improvements made on the house, or about each others families and homes. We were all given tours of the home in groups of three or four. There were the usual light snacks and drinks and soft string background music. To my embarrassment, the owner who knew I could play the piano cajoled me into sitting down and playing Christmas music. It must have been two hours that passed with everyone singing a little, dancing a little, and laughing a lot when I found myself trying to take a few breaks and being pulled back to the piano. Several neighbors went home and brought back accompanying instruments which made it even more delightful. I smiled greatly on my drive home. That evening was one where years later people spoke about that wonderful experience.
Another memorable party was where nearly everyone was included in some sort of progressive mystery that had to be solved by the participants. Later, we played find the marble which was held in the fist of someone walking around the home, and if you guessed wrong, you were out of the game. Believe me, many minutes were spent with people simply watching the movements of others and of course interjecting laughable comments before choosing. Many of the guests shared some of their favorite hobbies including one who started reciting palindromes. What a hoot! Upon leaving, well all felt as though we could have stayed until sunrise simply because real soulful fun was taking us to the next level. Whenever I see the “palindrome” lady after these long years, I recite one of them she shared. “A man a plan a canal Panama”, and laughingly she interjects how much I must have enjoyed that long ago party.
I hope I’ve given all a bit of a glimpse of what I consider being part of a delightful gathering. I consider up-lifting experiences at gatherings the most endearing, as well as memorable. It’s all hard-coded for future reference as well as comparison.