Party behavior

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Party behavior

Postby Covert » Mon Jan 01, 2007 12:44 pm

There is no question that my wife and I have a different worldview than average people. And I don’t use the term ‘average’ in a pejorative sense; we have but average professional-grade IQs, not special.

One thing that is different about us is our strict avoidance of social events (except for interacting on this forum in my case – my wife wouldn’t kibitz online on a bet). Now that I write this, I realize that this antipathy of ours is not all that unique. Almost every serial killer you read about was a loner.

The only social engagement that I can remember attending in the last fifteen or twenty years, not counting very occasional wine tasting dinners and obligatory acts of professional reciprocity, was last night’s trip across the street to accept an invitation to a NYE party (which I thought might be a wine tasting event, since the host had mentioned over a short at-the-mailbox introduction that he was building a wine cellar). At first Lynn and I were going to decline, as usual, but decided that we really should mix once in a while, especially with our neighbors, just so we don’t through impoverishment start acting like Ted Kaczynski (you know, the men in white coats are watching).

What we encountered looked crazy to us. So I am asking what other folks do at parties to either dismiss what we witnessed as aberrant or start practicing mimicry for our self protection, in this last leg of life.

Once everybody assembled, the host rang attention with a spoon against his glass. He announced that the men and women would be separated to play a few games, and after scores were taken, the groups would merge for final playoffs. Contests included card games, darts, something like charades (which was added to the mix by a fellow reveler) and taking a trivia exam on a piece of paper.

It seemed to me that the entire evening was constructed to block discourse and intimacy; much like parallel play appeals to and is appropriate for two- and three-year-olds, if I can remember my Child Psychology/Development classes. Also, when I am drinking wine, I don’t really enjoy exercises that could be better performed with a clear head.

Is this behavior we encountered usual at adult parties? (I know it would be great for a little kid’s birthday party.) The members of this forum are certainly experienced with parties and as adept as any group in party protocol. What do you do at your parties? What is normal?

Thanks.

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Re: Party behavior

Postby Carl Eppig » Mon Jan 01, 2007 1:38 pm

We socialize regularly and have not encountered parlor games for decades. Sure hope they are not making a comeback.
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Re: Party behavior

Postby James Roscoe » Mon Jan 01, 2007 1:46 pm

There are a set of people who LOVE parlor games. Some of them are wine people. (Get out your venn diagrams.) There are wine party kits devoted to these people, so there must be a pretty large number of them. They seem harmless enough. They might even be fun if you allowed yourself the time to be a little child-like. I don't care for them myself, but I am more reserved in social situations than most people.
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Re: Party behavior

Postby Ian Sutton » Mon Jan 01, 2007 1:49 pm

Games as an interlude are ok (well for me at least), or for groups that really enjoy them, as a regular event. Anything artificially set up can seem a bit naff. Relaxed is the key for me, and this sounds a little too forced to allow you to relax.

Not many great games out there and quite a few poor ones. Ones that worked well with a group of friends I used to meet up with - Masquerade (Charades, but phrases rather than movies, books etc.), Zuma (a fairly basic whist style card game, but with a funny and at times painful twist). Murder mysteries were good as occasional dress-up and ham-up events. Once a year was plenty!

regards

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Re: Party behavior

Postby Redwinger » Mon Jan 01, 2007 1:54 pm

Carl Eppig (Middleton, NH wrote:We socialize regularly and have not encountered parlor games for decades. Sure hope they are not making a comeback.

AMEN to that Carl.
I've attended a few functions/parties in the past few years where the boys go off in a corner a play low stakes Texas Hold'em. Kinda rude IMO.
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Re: Party behavior

Postby Brian K Miller » Mon Jan 01, 2007 2:24 pm

It does sound a little forced to me, too. I'm not all that social myself, overall, so most parties and dinners I attend are with friends, coworkers, and ex-coworkers that I already know somewhat well. So, there is less need for parlor games-gossip aboput coworkers who are not attending is enough :oops:

I've been to one dinner where the hostess brought out the games as part of the event, and that was ok. She didn't do it right at the beginning of the evening, there was no men/women thing, either.
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Re: Party behavior

Postby Cynthia Wenslow » Mon Jan 01, 2007 3:31 pm

I socialize fairly regularly, but only with a very select small circle of people I know well. Being extremely shy, I would have felt completely out of my depth at the party you describe. I would doubtless have thanked them for the invitation and left before the games commenced.

OTOH, it is really pretty doubtful I would have accepted the invitation in the first place! One of the things I hate most in life is to be blindsided by people Not Like Me, and forced into a situation that is awkward. It's bad enough when I have to do it for work!

FWIW, at any parties I have attended in the last 10 years or so, the point of the event is conversation and spending time with people. Not competition of some kind or social oneupmanship.
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Re: Party behavior

Postby Thomas » Mon Jan 01, 2007 4:09 pm

My one and only encounter with a forced parlor game party was, for my wife and me, completely absurd, right down to issuing name tags as we entered the home of the hosts (I eschew name tags even at business gatherings, being perfectly able to speak my name when asked, and being obviously unwilling to make sure every person I come across can all of a sudden be intimate).

To us, a perfect gathering is a time for conversation. If there is no conversation, my wife and I always have an excuse to move on home.

Having said all that, I do enjoy gatherings and conversation, with or without wine. My wife is generally a mild misanthrope. I do play a game when we are at a gathering--it's my personal game to guess at which point my wife had had her fill and had tuned out everyone in the place except the guy with car keys...
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Re: Party behavior

Postby Covert » Mon Jan 01, 2007 5:06 pm

Thanks to everyone who replied. I feel that I got a very well balanced spectrum of opinions. It seems it is a personality thing, and not a case of what is typical. So the thing for us to do in the future might simply be to ask the person extending the invitation if there will be organized activities (other than a dinner or wine tasting) or games; and if so, simply say we wouldn't be much fun; but if he or she would enjoy getting together sometime to chat over a glass of wine, or enjoy a nice dinner, that would be great.

Thanks again.

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Re: Party behavior

Postby Howie Hart » Mon Jan 01, 2007 6:14 pm

Most of the enteratining I do at home is in the summer and is a picnic event, last night being an exception. I have a horseshoe pit in my back yard and that's the only game played at picnics, for those who wish. Small family get-togethers sometimes end up with a game or two of Euchre.

Thamas - regarding name tags - I see and appreciate your point. However, I believe they have their place. At MOCOOL, for instance, name tags allow you to identify people you've engaged in serious discussions with, but have no idea what they look like. It allows bypassing the standard introduction, which may never take place otherwise, especially at a well populated event. I supplied name tags at NiagaraCOOL for the same reason.
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Re: Party behavior

Postby Thomas » Mon Jan 01, 2007 10:05 pm

Howie Hart wrote:Most of the enteratining I do at home is in the summer and is a picnic event, last night being an exception. I have a horseshoe pit in my back yard and that's the only game played at picnics, for those who wish. Small family get-togethers sometimes end up with a game or two of Euchre.

Thamas - regarding name tags - I see and appreciate your point. However, I believe they have their place. At MOCOOL, for instance, name tags allow you to identify people you've engaged in serious discussions with, but have no idea what they look like. It allows bypassing the standard introduction, which may never take place otherwise, especially at a well populated event. I supplied name tags at NiagaraCOOL for the same reason.


If I can ever make a NiagaraCool, Howie, you will have to wrestle me to get me to wear one. You'd probably win the wrestling match, and then I would defiantly take the nametag off anyway ;)
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Re: Party behavior

Postby Dale Williams » Mon Jan 01, 2007 11:35 pm

I'm a person who likes parties (as long as I know some of the people, I'm actually shy and dread those big cocktail parties where I know noone). So I go to a lot. And can only remember one party with an organized game - a 60th birthday party where the bday girl said she wanted to play charades, and it was on invite. Only about 30 minutes of a 3-4 hour party.

What I've run into more often happened just tonight (due to my wife's profession). I went to a New Year Day party, the host an ethnomusicologist, the hostess a mezzo- soprano. You're in the middle of a conversation when suddenly a keyboard starts and an aria breaks out.I like concerts, I like parties, I just think they should be separate. Tonight the hostess did a couple of pieces (including a great Bizet Habanera), a voice student did an aria from Figaro, a soprano did a piece with lots of pyrotechnics, plus one duet. All were well-done, but I hate standing with a plate and a cup in my hand listening when I wasn't prepared for a reading party. Betsy is a great cellist, but doesn't suddenly do a Bach solo suite in the middle of a party. Rant over.
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Re: Party behavior

Postby James Roscoe » Tue Jan 02, 2007 12:09 am

Thomas wrote:If I can ever make a NiagaraCool, Howie, you will have to wrestle me to get me to wear one. You'd probably win the wrestling match, and then I would defiantly take the nametag off anyway ;)


I have to laugh. I feel exactly the same way. I HATE nametags. I am not a cow! Thomas, come to Niagracool this summer and we can be the two guys without the nametags.
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Re: Party behavior

Postby Randy Buckner » Tue Jan 02, 2007 12:59 am

being obviously unwilling to make sure every person I come across can all of a sudden be intimate


As if anyone would want to be intimate with you, you toothless old fart. You have to hang a pork chop around your neck just to get the neighbor's dog to play with you....
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Re: Party behavior

Postby James Roscoe » Tue Jan 02, 2007 1:11 am

you toothless old fart.


Isn't this a case of the pot calling the kettle black? You old toothless hillbilly! I figure somebody had to come to Thomas's defense as he has been in bed since 8:00 PM. :lol: done!
Last edited by James Roscoe on Tue Jan 02, 2007 1:39 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Party behavior

Postby Randy Buckner » Tue Jan 02, 2007 1:29 am

You lod toothless hillbilly!


Hey, edit your insults. Your Depends riding a little high or what? 8)
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Re: Party behavior

Postby Harry Cantrell » Tue Jan 02, 2007 1:37 am

C., I too agree that this seemed forced. Are you sure you two were the only "unknowns" at the party, and that all the others there knew each other fairly well? (Stretching my mind to the limit, it would be conceivable that that was the norm in this group.) But it seems a shame that they missed a chance to do a wine tasting. I have seen a very informal wine tasting turn into a great opportunity for people who know little about each other to instantly have something in common to discuss-and thus a successful party. Too bad.
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Re: Party behavior

Postby James Roscoe » Tue Jan 02, 2007 1:40 am

Randy Buckner wrote:
You lod toothless hillbilly!


Hey, edit your insults. Your Depends riding a little high or what? 8)


I don't think I've had any sleep the last couple days! Happy New Year!
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Re: Party behavior

Postby Randy Buckner » Tue Jan 02, 2007 3:54 am

Happy New Year!


Started off wrong -- Boise State jumped up and bit my Sooners in the arse in one of the most exciting football games I have ever watched -- truly amazing game, win or lose. :(
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Re: Party behavior

Postby Bob Parsons Alberta » Tue Jan 02, 2007 11:22 am

Yeah, I watched some of that game. Boise ran out of muscle at the end as OK piled it on!! Why on earth do these games last so long??!!!
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Re: Party behavior

Postby Carl Eppig » Tue Jan 02, 2007 12:24 pm

Here is a hint for all of you who will be attending a wine event such as MOCOOL and see a guy who looks like David Coffaro wandering around without a nametag. If you know it is not David, it's Thomas!
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Re: Party behavior

Postby Bob Henrick » Tue Jan 02, 2007 12:26 pm

Bob Parsons Alberta. wrote:Yeah, I watched some of that game. Boise ran out of muscle at the end as OK piled it on!! Why on earth do these games last so long??!!!


In a word Bob...television! plus timeouts, reviews of plays, and commercials.
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Re: Party behavior

Postby Jenise » Tue Jan 02, 2007 12:36 pm

Thomas wrote:If I can ever make a NiagaraCool, Howie, you will have to wrestle me to get me to wear one. You'd probably win the wrestling match, and then I would defiantly take the nametag off anyway ;)


And I'll be right behind you, Thomas. Though as an alternative to removing the name tag, I sometimes switch nametags with another reveler or choose someone else's when directed to find my own name tag from a table. I recently spent a happy evening as 'Horace', the real Horace not having showed.

Covert--I went to five parties in the last five days, and only encountered one table game that one person started which is a lot different than host-planned games. And I've only been to one adult party in my life where there were such things. It was a 50th birthday party for a friend about two years ago, and we're not talking Naked Twister or Texas Hold 'Em which would be another kind of problem in themselves, but the kind of STOOOPID, childish games that some women consider di rigeur for baby showers and the like. Which is why I avoid baby showers and the like. At a party for adults, particularly on New Years Eve, it's definitely odd.
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Re: Party behavior

Postby Thomas » Tue Jan 02, 2007 12:39 pm

Bucko, when you gonna take this pork chop from my neck??? Bucko sit, stay, be quiet...

Never met Coffaro, but he sure must be handsome.
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