Are you a party animal?

In “the Club of Queer Trades”, G K Chesterton says of a character:

“He welcomed a human face as he might welcome a sudden blend of colour in a sunset; but he no more felt the need of going out to parties than he felt the need of altering the sunset clouds.”

What a wonderful way to describe how I feel. I do like people but I couldn’t eat a whole one!. Seriously, I do enjoy the company of others and meeting new people but it has to be in the right situation and parties just don’t do it for me. They always seem contrived and orchestrated and often “put on” either to impress, keep up or just because it’s the thing to do.

I much prefer impromptu gatherings and when I was a girl I dreamt of having the sort of  home where anyone was welcome to drop in anytime and a corner would be easily found for them, in the plural, to stay a night or four. But life’s not like that and I ended up married to a quiet man who doesn’t find it easy to allow hoards of people into his safe place. You can’t have your cake and eat it. I would have run a mile from anyone who phoned up from work at 4pm announcing “I’ve invited Fred and Ginger round to dinner tonight”. When our eldest was a baby I knew someone whose husband did that all that time and also ran his finger across the top of doors to check for dust. Phew! A lucky escape. I’ll stick with my mildly anti-social spouse and be thankful.

So why GKC  all of a sudden? Many years ago when I was in secondary school I remember reading some of his Fr Brown detective stories but I hadn’t even thought of him until this morning when Stuck-in-a-Book was talking about authors who had initials rather than first names. Then I discovered LIBRIVOX , blogged about it and even had a comment from the project’s founder, Hugh McGuire.  He reassured me about a minor technical query and was kind enough to suggest some audio books that I might enjoy. I browsed a while and then wandered over to Project Gutenberg and came across the words that I decided to share with you my virtual friends. Is there anyone there? Party anybody?

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2 Responses to “Are you a party animal?”

  1. Harriet Says:

    Gosh yes how I do agree. I can’t see the point of parties — too much noise, impossible to hear what anyone is saying and so no chance of actual conversation — though like you I do enjoy gatherings of friends. Probably a sign of old age? As the young presumably think parties are for pulling.

  2. Juliet Says:

    Oh I do so agree. When I was young and single and living in London, I LOVED parties – especially throwing my own. Now, the very word ‘party’ makes me cringe. Not that I get invited to many these days (wonder why!!). I, too, used to harbour fantasies of keeping a lovely ‘open’ house – everyone welcome; the more the merrier. Now I can’t think of anything more ghastly! I don’t even much like people dropping in unanounced. What has happened to me?! Partly, I suspect, it is having worked from home for 18-odd years and constantly having to ‘train’ people to understand that just because I’m here doesn’t mean I’m ‘at home’ to all-comers who fancy popping round for a lengthy cuppa and even lengthier chat. Interesting conversation at small gatherings is my preferred form of social interaction these days. Most certainly NOT a party animal any more. A sign of old age? – yes, probably, but let’s call it a sign of ‘maturity’ to make ourselves feel better!


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