The other night my girlfriend and I had 3 parties to attend. Let’s get something straight off the bat: I hate party jumping. It feels like a constant search for the best time. It feels shitty to do it to people who’ve extended hospitality towards you. I’ve always thought it flaky and opportunistic. If someone’s been nice enough to invite you to something and you’ve said yes, then go there. Be present. If you’ve got your mind on other places you need to be, doing constant time checks to gauge your schedule, then how much are you really there at all?
It didn’t start out this way. I had one invite and that was all that mattered. It was simple, 4pm until “late”. Easy. Then rolled in the other party. It was with a mutual friend of me and my girlfriend. Previous parties at this place had been a blast, so it was a shoo-in for something to do. While traditionally anti-party hopping, I figured that as a compromise for dragging my girlfriend to one of my friend’s parties, we could go to one with her friends. The first one started early, right? Well we could flow breezily from one to the next. It was complicating the night, but totally doable.
A week ago I got another invite from a friend I hadn’t seen in months.
What was I gonna do? Our plans were sorted, but there were so many great friends pulling me towards this new party. I missed these people and skipping this party wouldn’t help. Should I part ways with my girlfriend after the first party? Leave her to her own party while I saw my friends again? But I’d feel shitty abandoning her, plus she’d probably get on pretty well with these predominantly theatre type people. I couldn’t ask her to miss the party with her friends, but like Veruca Salt, I wanted that Oompa Loompa (being an assembly of good people I wanted to see again).
So we drew up a timetable. First party from 6pm to 8.30pm. Second party from 9pm to 11.30pm. Last party from midnight to 3am. A little travel, time to sober up between engagements and mentally recharge for further interaction. Bulletproof. But what if we didn’t want to leave?
The first party was fantastic. A beer and latke festival. Plate after plate of latkes and a fridge full of random beers from a variety of breweries. Being famished, we arrived and immediately begun to consume large stacks of oiled, fried, grated potato. Piling on the sour cream, apple sauce and horseradish, we surrounded them with a selection of cheeses and antipasto for good measure. It’d be no exagerration to say I ate between 10 and 15 of the greasy bastards. The beer was top notch too. Looking around the fridge were offerings from Bellwoods Brewery, Unibroue (my favourite brewery), Flying Monkeys, Great Lakes, Rekorderlig and a host of other quality breweries. A few games of Telestrations ensued, leading to friendly arguments over the importance of good arrows and movement lines. Two gentlemen started playing piano as accompaniment just because they could. Possibly one of the most well behaved dogs, Betelgeuse, pleaded for leftover latkes repeatedly. I also learned that not only had America waged war on Canada multiple times, but it lost each time. Canada had even burned down the White House. Twice. I swear if the actions had been reversed, Americans would bring up their destruction of the Canadian house of parliament in every second sentence. Good ol’ humble Canada barely ever mentions it. An awesome party I was loathe to leave.
We did though, and walked into another outstanding function. In the depths of a Koreatown basement were assembled a throng of charismatic, loquacious folk. Theatre people, right? More food, more booze and a host of excellent chatter. There were multiple conversations on the myriad virtues of our One True God Nic Cage. I got on my soapbox and tried to sell anyone I could on You’re the Worst. I caught up with a recently married friend who I hadn’t seen since JFL42. I discussed the bizarre chaste hypersexualisation of K-pop and its infectious catchiness until it became clear that 11pm had struck and we regretfully needed to move on.
The final party was well into its swing by the time we arrived. More ceaselessly rich food and a table with a selection of strange liquors for alcoholic alchemy. My girlfriend mixed a tasty peppermint/chocolate/gingerale concoction and I followed suit. I got acquainted with the most densely huggable log shaped couch cushion I’ve ever known. Conversation topics spanned whether celebrities or not should be expected to have social awareness education, the nature of shopping for shopping’s sake and absurdity of gift giving. I met Robot Hugs and it became evident why their comic is so astute and relevant. I related an issue I’d been having to a friend I considered mature, socially aware and responsible. Like a real fucking adult she told me straight up how to act. It was marvellous.
By the time we jauntily strolled back home and rolled into bed, our bodies, minds and stomachs were about as full as possible. Three parties in one night was a lot of juggling, but there’s no way it wasn’t worth it.
The next morning, however, could go fuck itself.