Alpha and Beta put together a Halloween party with over a dozen on their friends. We’re not typically party people, but we do enjoy the chance to have people over. I especially like it because it means I get a clean house. 🙂
We had a great time planning for, shopping for, and decorating for the party. (Really. The house looks great.) Beta enjoys decorating, planning, and being surrounded by large groups; I don’t know how she came to exist in a family full of introverts.
Meghan and I tend to take a particular approach to events: plan very little and let things come together naturally. The kids were happy to follow our lead.
One little personal detail: this party happened to coincide with our anniversary. It couldn’t happen any other day, unfortunately: Halloween is mid-week; we had a birthday party to attend on Sunday; and Halloween parties after Halloween are just no fun.
Fast-forward to the appointed day, and a nor’easter bore down on us from the early morning onwards. This wasn’t such a bad thing: I had wanted to keep the fireplace lit for the duration of the party and cold, bad weather is very amenable to that. Meghan made a (gluten-free) cake that made the house smell fantastic. Beta and I rearranged the seats into one long couch, plus another smaller love seat back-to-back with the big one.
Guest started arriving promptly at one, and very quickly we had a dozen teenagers, not related to us and all dressed in costumes, in the living room of our house. For some reason they all packed into the living room and refused to spread into the kitchen, dining room, or even the front room. The decibels rose and Meghan and I retreated, occasionally checking on the kids, the fire, and the food.
The first movie of the day was Young Frankenstein, chosen through first-past-the-post voting. (I believe it had two votes, which was one more vote than any other option.)
Around 4 pm, as the first movie was wrapping up, I headed out to pick up pizza and more soda. I came back to a relatively quiet room watching the Blair Witch Project. You kind of have to pay attention to the movie to get the full effect, but I there was also an air of the forbidden – that movie has a reputation.
As people finished up pizza, the movie was just finishing the setup and was about to get scary, the power went out. Whoops! We checked with neighbors to make sure it wasn’t just us, checked the power company to see if they knew yet, and lit candles and lamps. The kids took all this in stride and got busy socializing. I was honestly impressed how they acted — sociable and comfortable, even though many had never been to our house before.
Power was restored in about an hour, and the movie resumed. The end of the movie led to discussion of what the hell happened, because not everyone had paid attention in the beginning.
Unbeknownst to us during the week, Beta had been telling people that the party was planned to go until 10 pm. The first kids dropped out shortly after pizza, and most kids had left by 8:30 or so, but a couple stayed for the duration and were picked up right at 10 o’clock.
All in all, it seemed like everyone had a lot of fun. Even at the end, with three kids left, everybody was in a good mood.
Lessons learned: Megh and I now know to double-check what the plan’s details are before it’s announced, and Beta knows that a) 10 pm is just too late and b) nine hours is just too long. (She was exhausted, we all were, and I think she was glad to wrap up.)
Biggest lessons of all, though: Megh and I still know how to throw a good party, and Alpha and Beta saw how to make it come together by being a part of it and seeing how it’s done from the inside.