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Always bring ice to house parties (there’s never enough)

There are a few downsides to this gelid proposal, starting with Urs Truly is never invited to house parties. Even if I was invited I would probably decline courteously, out of fear of contagion. [1] When attending a house party I bring along a bottle of wine or better yet bourbon, not necessarily for immediate consumption but to symbolically replenish the hosts’ stock.[2] Bringing a bag of ice is risky, especially in Arizona, where one has to drive a long while in ardent heat to get anywhere. The ice is certain to show up in a less-than-stellar state, and there is the chance the host has heaps and doesn’t need any. I think a better way to do this is to call the host just as one is leaving and say ‘Darling! I am on my way! Can’t wait to see you! Would you like me to pick up a bag of ice on the way?’ I don’t think this especially improves my life even slightly but it seems good manners.

Back to the house parties. Gay men are – or were – notorious for their ‘theme parties’ but I haven’t heard of any lately, worse luck. That breed died out in the 80s, when everyone realized the sage statement:

“It’s like your second theme party. You realize it’s all been done before.”

Throughout the years I’ve either landed with chums who don’t throw house parties or who have them but don’t invite me. Back in the early ’90s a colleague threw a “Come as your mother party” which was amusing. 15 years ago, back when we had friends, Someone and I threw a “Pink Party” (I forgot why) where all the attendants arrived in pink. [3] The lawn was bedecked with pink trimmings making which made the neighbors wonder if there was a baby girl in our midst. We regularly attended a post-holiday hangover party that chums held every January – until they stopped having them or stopped including us. I never quite learned which was the reason; perhaps we should have brought more ice.

Arizona house parties usually involve backyard swimming pools. However, everyone is so ‘body conscious’ nowadays no one wants to take their shirt off etc. even among friends, so no one goes into them.

I suppose it is just easier to invite friend out to the pub or a restaurant so there is no preparation or washing up and no one needs to worry about bringing ice or running out of it as the wait-staff can bring more. Here in Arizona I’ve never seen a drink that wasn’t full of ice cubes. My life would improve slightly if it had less ice and more scotch.

[1] On the whole my friends are tree-hugging liberal-types who all did the right thing and got their shots and boosters, but some unvaccinated rebel is sure to show up, with or without ice, and make every one ill. Stirge.

[2] I write on the label ‘A present from Spo’ along with the date so the recipient can remember later on how on earth is there a bottle of Boone’s Farm in the larder.

[3] We still have a large bright pink plastic bowl of which Someone is quite fond. It doesn’t fit anywhere and moves from drawer to drawer never quite wanted anywhere. He uses it whenever he makes popcorn.

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