Thursday, December 9, 2010

Differences and Parties

I'm participating in Reverb 10 for the month of December. Each day has a new prompt to encourage participants to reflect on 2010 and manifest what’s next in 2011. And sometimes I have to do more than one day at once because I'm still trying to write about other things.

December 8 – Beautifully Different. Think about what makes you different and what you do that lights people up. Reflect on all the things that make you different – you’ll find they’re what make you beautiful. (Author: Karen Walrond)
It's kind of sad that the first things I think that make me different are negative -- the facts that I'm more critical and argumentative than most. I can try to spin it into a positive -- that I'm skilled in demonstrating how things can be improved, and how I can always see both sides of things. Either way, I wouldn't say those are things that light people up. Hmm... My reliability? Not really illuminating.

I guess I'd say my sarcasm and/or sense of humor is probably what makes me marginally different and lights people up. Not sure it makes me beautiful. But it can make people laugh. Anyway, the cynical part of me thinks not many people are really that different. It always makes me think about the stat that "if you're one in a million, that means there are 6,000 other people just like you on Earth right now!" As for differences making people beautiful, obviously some differences (like being a homicidal sociopath) don't really do that. But even if you're a homicidal sociopath, there are surely plenty of others right now, and there have been countless others in history, so you're not really all that different.

I feel kind of jaded today. In terms of beauty, I guess what matters most to me is that my husband thinks I'm beautiful, and at least a couple friends (my family is stuck with me either way!). And even if none of them find me to be that different from or unique among the billions on this earth, or even the thousands who are or have been in their lives, as long as they like me even with my ugly differences (like being critical and argumentative (not a homicidal sociopath)), I'm good with that.

Holy CRAP! I posted a huge second reverb post in this same entry and it's apparently gone! Oh no! Let's try again. I might have to spare some of the details since I'm so irritated about having to rewrite it. On to today's topic:
December 9 – Party. What social gathering rocked your socks off in 2010? Describe the people, music, food, drink, clothes, shenanigans. (Author: Shauna Reid)

Last year, this question would have been easy: our wedding. Followed closely by our U.S. wedding reception and by my bridal shower and bachelorette party day. And next year, if I had to bet, I'd guess it would be my brother's wedding. Not so clear-cut for this year though. My first instinct would be our rehearsal dinner anniversary party, but I already posted about that here. I can think of tons of other great times this past year. An insanely fun night with new friends in Moscow. Dinner parties at our house (part of an unsuccessful attempt to meet a New Year's resolution regarding dinner parties). Dinners out with friends at restaurants and in others' homes. Book Club nights, but as much fun as they are, not really a party. There was an awesome night right at the beginning of the year when a bunch of my best running friends and their spouses went out for a farewell party for one of my best running buds. And at the time I didn't know one other dear running friend in attendance would also move away over the course of the year. So that night might be a little too bittersweet to count for this Reverb. And we were sitting down most of the time at a table, so not really a party.

What exactly is a party, according to me? I'd say it has to be something where people mingle. Food can be served but isn't necessary. Alcohol maybe must be available and consumed by at least some people? Not sure of that one. There should be at least some people there who don't know each other and it should probably be big enough that you talk to lots of different people during the night.

And to be a fun party, possibly the best social gathering of the year, it probably has to be kid-free, involve alcohol for at least some attendees, and last way past my bedtime. Bonus points if I end up taking off my shoes.

So I haven't been to tons of parties this year. My husband's coworker's annual crawfish boil is a party for sure and lots of fun. Another friend had a Canada Day party, which was great. The wife of one of my husband's other coworkers recently had a wives' party, which was fun, but since hubby makes everything in my life more fun and he wasn't with me, I can't choose that one. So it would have to be the party the final night of my law school reunion.

To set the stage, it had been an awesome day so far. We were staying at my best friend's house. We went to the law school for breakfast and a presentation, then there was a softball game and a picnic where we got to meet a bunch of my section-mates' new babies/kids. After that, we went with my best friend and her family and a few other friends to a local vineyard for some wine tasting. Then we went to get ready for the party, and we were off.

The party was actually two parts. First, my graduating class and their spouses/partners were in a designated location for happy hour and dinner. Then, after that, all the law school classes reunited at the law school to listen to music, dance and drink. While some of the details of the night are a little fuzzy, I know I had a great time. Here's what I remember about the night:

People: It seemed like a lot of classmates were at the reunion. Plus there were spouses and significant others, some of whom were in the picture during law school, some of whom I've met since, some of whom I met this night. I wish I got to see these people more often. I think one downside to going to a highly ranked law school is that you and your classmates scatter all over after school. While someone going to a school like the local law school here, SMU, might have a majority of friends staying and working in the area. But maybe that makes our few reunion opportunities more special, since we don't see each other enough? The only way this night clearly could have been improved would have been if my best friend (who lives in the same town as our school but was a year behind me in school) would have agreed to come meet us at the second half of the party in response to my repeated phone call requests that she do so.

Music: I don't recall what music was being played during the first part of the party. But I know there was music. But at a certain point, we were expected to vacate the premises. The lights came on, the bar was closed, and announcements were made. But we kept standing around talking. Then a dear classmate turned co-worker turned ex-co-worker approached the microphone and began his own a cappella rendition of “The Gambler” (you’ve got to know when to hold ‘em, know when to fold ‘em, know when to walk away, know when to run…). A couple guys came to back him up. When they’d exhausted those lyrics to the extent they knew them, they rolled into a rousing rendition of “Closing Time.” It was beautiful, hilarious and awesome. We were all singing along, many people putting arms around each other and swaying. My husband, our designated driver, assures me now, however, that the renditions were neither good nor hilarious, but beauty is in the eye of the beholder I guess!

Food: I don't know what I ate but I know it was good! I had assumed it would be some kind of a buffet, but it was a seated dinner, so I was worried there would not be a vegetarian option. They were able to accommodate me at the last minute, and the meal was great. As a bonus, hubby (who lacks a sweet tooth) let me eat his dessert in addition to my own!

Drink: I couldn't even say what I was drinking. Knowing me, I started off with wine, then moved to gin and tonic and/or beer. But I definitely drank more than my fair share. Though it's rare for me, this was a night where I actually managed to maintain my happy tipsy stage without getting drunk. Everything was extra fun and extra funny, but there was no serious hangover. I might have stumbled a couple times, but it was certainly the shoes (before they came off, then it was probably some kind of rock or uneven pavement causing the trouble).

Clothes: I remember exactly what I wore. I had a dress that I wore to my cousin’s wedding a few years ago and I loved it. Then I took that dress to a wedding in Mexico with me in 2008 (fortunately I also took another dress). I tried it on to wear to the wedding and it didn’t fit. Not even close. I brought it home and stowed it in the closet. I shopped for a new dress to wear to this reunion party. But I think I was just searching for this gold dress I already owned. Dissatisfied with everything I’d seen, I came home empty-handed (well, that’s a lie, I bought a couple dresses I returned when I decided to wear the gold one). Instead, I took the dress to a tailor and had it altered. It fit so well at the party, I loved it. The dress is knee-length with a fairly straight skirt to just below the bust, where there is a ribbon. Then the top is straight with spaghetti straps. The fabric is some kind of gold with a subtle pattern to it, maybe made of some kind of processed silk. The only downside was that it wrinkles easily around the waist when I’m warm and seated for a long time. But I don’t care, I think I looked good at the start of the evening. Pictures from later in the night however show glassy eyes, my gummy slightly intoxicated smile, flat hair, and no traces of make-up, but like I said, it was all good when the evening began. My husband looked awesome in a suit with a white shirt and a gold tie. Everyone else was also dressed well.

Shenanigans: Well, my favorite shenanigans are described above under music. And I really shouldn't write about any others since all by definition would involve upstanding members of the various state bars. Haha. Nothing got too crazy, and I enjoyed every minute of it.  (For the record, I originally added more details here, but blogger isn't going to get me to do it twice. 

So there you have it, I'm temporarily caught up on Reverb. And if you think today's post is long, you should have seen what I originally wrote before it got deleted by blogger!  I've lost all motivation to try to add pictures, now that I've written all this twice.  Sigh...

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