The Party's Over... HURRAY!

Since I can't seem to go one day without watching a cooking show I know what time of year it is. Party time. First, Halloween then Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year celebrations. After that is Super Bowl and god only knows what else. The Irish are lurking out there too. They are probably already developing Green Reeses Pieces and other weird stuff by now. That's why I love 'em.

Why is my party over? Been there. Done that for what I believe was more than a bazillion times. Even before our nuptials, Nick's house was party central. After we made our marriage official things only got worse. Why? That saying, "Necessity is the mother of invention," isn't a hoax. It's for real. I used to come home from work to a rowdy crowd of partiers who had drunk all the beer they could handle but not a single one had thought of food until they spied the cook.

If this sort of series of events repeats itself you'll get a reputation. In our case there were several of them. Our house was a party place and holidays or reasons for parties were not necessary. BYOB was suggested but not mandatory and the food was good because I couldn't let those men starve... especially the ones who had beer cans on their shoes. Before you get upset, let it be known that most of these goofy guys were on foot and the ones who weren't had wives and rules are rules so the wives also became regulars as they picked up their happy hubbies.

During this period of time we had parties to ruin the rug (until someone decided they wanted it), celebrate Un-Father's Day, Hawaiian Shirt Valentine's Day (kind of risky in Coastal weather), Mash Farewell, 3-D Attack of the Swamp Monster, Nick's birthday x2 (which occurs on Christmas Day), Thanksgiving complete with a broccoli forest and too many others for me to remember. Halloween was celebrated at the Oceanside Community Center so at least we didn't have to worry about that one.

Each of these events and all the others not mentioned here required FOOD. Those were the days before Mr. S started pitching in with cooking. He helped buy chips and dips. I guess that counts. Along with my BFF Mary, I became a master of tasty bits which could accompany adult beverages. Desserts came later when we got older and switched to coffee drinks.

After I took other jobs in the Great Valley our group of friends was enlarged and changed and so was the food. Nick took up grilling but that was fairly short-lived after he and his buddies built camp fires in the grill. Clearly food treats were forced to return to the kitchen. By the time we got to Dallas (the Oregon one) meals had become our offering to guests. We usually provided the main course and appetizers. Others provided everything from a case of beer to chips and dips or boxes of day-old donuts. It can be said that you should choose your friends carefully but is that REALLY necessary when it comes to food? I will go on record here to say that men with wives bring better food to parties than men who ask, "Dooo you has any scissssors? I wanna marry 'em."

By the time we returned home and settled in Netarts those parties changed again. We were older and kind-of-wiser. We didn't celebrate every time the sun shined during summer or every holiday during winter. We had slowed down in able to work more and party less. We also had learned to meet friends at a local tavern to visit. They had food. We had money. Ah, the perfect combination, at least until I couldn't work any more. Looking back, that was the end of the party era. We continued to celebrate Mr. S's birthday each year and some of those parties were EPIC... 'specially the ones in the late 90s.

Life changed and I'm not sure we even knew it until we got out those albums of photos of ALL the parties through the years in all the places we'd lived with all the friends we'd loved... and the one who brought the donuts. The only party we have now is for Mr. S's birthday on Christmas Day. That's it... that's all and I am happy for it. Why? If you can't put your mind and body into something... you ought not to do it. It's not that I don't like parties... I do. I just don't want to host them. I'll leave that up to the neighbor lady. Her turn!

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