Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Party Talk

A party is only as good as the conversation I get out of it.

So while I'd been at a party the other night with hundreds of people, I got very little in the way of quality chat.

Not so for the Christmas Eve eve party I got invited to Sunday night.

The guest list was small, only eight people.

But it wasn't a dinner party; it was a bona fide cocktail party.

Like the song says, mix and a-mingle in the jingle bell feet.

Oh, we mixed and mingled all right.

As in lots of libations, lots of heavy hors d'eouvres and interesting discussion at every turn.

My hosts had recently moved into a new house on northside and had had it redecorated from top to bottom.

From the lipstick-red settee to the elephant parade on the bedroom drapes, the place was stunning.

My favorite thing was a striking abstract portrait of my friend hanging in the living room.

When I inquired about its provenance, I learned it was done twenty years ago and the only stipulation he'd given the artist was "no pink."

Of course, there were several large splotches of pink across the fabulously fractured face.

Most interesting to me was that his beloved had had no idea that the portrait was of him (it was that obtuse).

So all of us learned something about the house tonight, including the owner.

Over endless glasses of wine and plates of food, the talk rambled from the halcyon days of life as a 20-something in Washington, D.C. (me and one of the hosts) to protocol when a restaurant keeps you waiting 30 minutes when you have a reservation (two restaurant types).

Two of us discovered that we'd frequented the same clubs at the same time.

Not that we'd known each other then, but it presents some compelling what-ifs.

I was a tad surprised to have to tell a Church Hill resident what the new restaurants in her 'hood were, but obliged.

One guest went on a rant that surprised the rest of us and effectively shut down conversation for a few minutes.

We heard about one couple's plans for a Christmas eve day trip, although they hadn't yet chosen mountains or Williamsburg as a destination.

I can appreciate the idea of a non-traditional holiday celebration, even if it is only the eve of the big day.

In fact, the conversation was so colorful, the laughter so frequent, that by the time I looked up, I realized that five and a half hours had passed since walking in the door.

Now, that's a good cocktail party.

Even if it did come with one wee regret.

I wish I'd had the sense to have my portrait painted twenty years ago. With or without pink.

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