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A Generic Summer Party
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Last night, The Varmint and I broke out of our air-conditioned cocoon, and hightailed eastward on a steamy Saturday night for 'The Generic Summer Shindig' at Vince and Lisa's place.

Vince is a favorite friend and colleague; Lisa's in the ol' Book Group. We've known each other for years and have loads of mutual pals, so this was what I like to call a "no fuss" get-together: A low-key party where you can hang out and catch up with old friends. These are people with whom you don't necessarily have to put your best foot forward - and that's a good thing when you spend as much of your time with your feet in your mouth as I do. ChristyAntArrive.jpg

The only person who rivals me, perhaps, in the "I can't believe she just said that!" category, is my friend Christy (with husband, Ant, right) - but she's also known as a witty and brilliant conversationalist who asks fantastic probing questions and is a big-time party (and relationship) sparker. My favorite line from last night was when Christy cornered our friend JM and while poking him in the chest said: "It's true! You were just mean the last time I saw you! I can't remember exactly what you said, but I know I talked to Tam about it because it was so awful." (Note: Here's where I ducked behind a large party guest and slinked away.)

There's no bullshitting or sidetracking Christy, either, so I left JM (left, with The Varmint) tapdancing his little heart out and moved on to discussing with friend Eric the benefits of approaching middle age. Yes, our conversation was nothing more than a luke-warm sponge bath for our burgeoning late-30s anxieties, but it still felt great to know that we're all splashing around in the same tub. (That's Eric, below, right.)

Meanwhile The Varmint discussed The World Cup, Ducati racing anShanJM.jpgd, after sufficiently greasing the testosteronal gears, delved into the more delicate territory of looming Fatherhood with Christy's husband Ant.

Here's where the true beauty of a good party shines: You hear truths come out of your partner's mouth that are not tailored specifically for your ears. That means if you remain somewhat sober and listen carefully, you can learn much more than you would otherwise - especially, I've noticed, if they're talking to another guy who can relate.

In this case, after hearing The Varmint's concerns about his impending adventure into parenthood, Ant, a wry Brit and father of two, offered some EricwithBeer.jpgexcellent nuggets of wisdom:

Nugget #1: "Don't worry about being a father right away. Newborns sleep 20 hours a day, so you've got some time to ramp up before it all becomes truly overwhelming."

Nugget #2: "At first you will probably be spending a lot of time pointing at the baby, and asking yourself 'Who the hell is that and what are they doing here?' I'd say you're in a perpetual state of shock for the first month - it's a bit like having post traumatic stress syndrome, but its rather blissful in its own way."

And finally, Nugget #3: "The good news is, they really do grow on you." I'm not 100% sure whether he was discussing babies in this last bit or not - you just can't tell with Brits.

We decided to gamble that he was not discussing genital warts at that particular moment and found ourselves calmed and mollified. Temporarily, anyway.

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I am a writer and lazy artist who loves travel, architecture and design. Right now, I'm into photography. My fabulous husband (a.k.a. The Varmint) and I are also the principals of a San Diego-based creative agency - and new parents to the divine Baby Mak. Read More >