A Very Civilized Evening

There has been a long silence in this corner of the cyber world. It’s not to do with me spending more time in the tangible reality of face-to-face human contact, I’m afraid. I was just entangled in another corner of the cyber world – http://www.matriwedding.wordpress.com – that prevented me from doing, well, all else in life. On this particular Saturday morning, however, I have no choice but to relay the bizarre occurrences of last night.

The theme of the evening was wine. A couple dozen people were invited to a tasting that would help us pick the right wine for the wedding – an idea endorsed and encouraged by my dear parents. I admit it has been a long time since I hosted a party, in fact, the last party I co-hosted that springs to mind (there might be one or two that I have no recollection of) featured a watermelon injected with vodka, a stack of beer crates that almost reached the ceiling, and a plethora of snacks that were mostly smeared and squashed on the floor and a few other inexplicable places – spinach dip on all door handles of my apartment, though the party was not in my apartment.

This, of course, would be a different kind of party, but I made a dip anyway – it went untouched – and set it out with a small army of nibbles that would, with some luck, match the amount of wine we had bought. People always ask what they can bring to these things, and we told them there was no need to bring anything, that we had bought enough of everything. To a vodka-watermelon crowd, that would have been an easy request to follow, and since I don’t really know the guests (all new co-workers of Mr Wild), I wasn’t sure what to expect. Perhaps, I hoped, someone might bring flowers.

One person brought a plant. Everyone else brought all manner of foods to compliment a wine tasting. Cheese, fruit, chocolate, cheese, crackers, nuts, cheese, cake, yogurt, cheese, olives, bread, cheese. By the time we finished plating all the food and I got to pour myself a glass of wine #3, the house was full of people happily eating and drinking. Most guests were diligent with the task at hand of making notes of the wines and discussing which they liked. It seemed to be going well, though with all that food there was no danger of even light-headedness.

In the middle of chatting/eating/drinking, a couple of guests approached me. They wanted to thank us and say good night; they were going home now, it was getting late. Only, it was not late, not even mildly late. One by one people made their excuses and said good night as I tried to push food on them – it was just too much – and begged them to stay a bit longer. When there was only one couple left, the four of us sat in the living room with about half a dozen half-full bottles of wine – there was another half dozen unopened in the kitchen – and surrounded by so much food it was overwhelming. They left before midnight.

“Welcome to middle age,” said Mr Wild, the two of us sober and not tired.

It used to be that the aftermath of a party entailed – aside from stories that I refuse to believe about myself – a path of chaos and destruction; broken glass, stained furniture, un-enterable bathrooms, spilled food, etc. And so, this morning, holding a cup of coffee to kill my non-hangover, I looked around: glasses intact, white furniture intact, bathrooms in great condition, and a kitchen with more food than we had started, not to mention about eight bottles of unopened wine, and about five bottles of opened wine. Oh, and a plant.

It’s a nice welcome to another stage of life, I suppose. I can’t help but wish, though, that our vodka watermelon friends and the rest of you who know how to conduct yourselves when faced with all the wine you can drink were around, ’cause we’re fully prepared for a do-over this Saturday night.


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