So...a few months ago, I complained to a neighbor who I barely knew (despite that we live next door to each other) that, well, I hardly knew any of the neighbors. She agreed that she, too, hardly knew a soul. (I've written about my neighborhood before.)
Next thing I know, she and her husband organized a very nice backyard get-together and invited the neighbors. She and I have since started to occasionally walk together. It's nice, you know, to know your neighbors. I can now identify at least four couples in the neighborhood, even if I cannot always remember what they do or the names of their (grown) children.
They probably can't remember those details about us, either. Although they do tend to remember the "oh, you're the professors, right?"
I guess we stand out as the nerds of the neighborhood.
A few weeks ago, we were invited to a Halloween party by another set of neighbors that we had met at that summertime get together. Tonight was the party. My husband is out of town (giving a talk at Southern Methodist University, in Dallas, TX), so I went alone -- as Marge Simpson.
When I arrived, a few things immediately struck me. One, these people are very committed to Halloween decor. Not only was their yard decorated with webs and lighted pumpkins and witches and spiders, but every surface in every room was, too, including the guest bath and the garage. Two, this couple is very comfortable partying in general, and not just with other couples their age. The age range for this party was WIDE (teens to grandparents).
There was also a serious amount of alcohol available. More on that in a minute.
Since I was alone and didn't know anybody other than the hosts, I paid more attention, initially, to the decor: spider webs and ghosts, spiders and bats, pumpkins and Frankenstein dolls, mummies and witches, orange and black and CANDLES. Everywhere -- lots and lots of candles. The house was *perfectly* appointed for a Halloween party. Impressive. Even if I owned all that stuff, I wouldn't be half as good at using it. The woman (who told me she did it all herself) could easily be paid to decorate professionally. Fantastic decor. Even the grand piano looked spooky.
Then I paid attention to the food. Lots of it had a Halloween theme: "Vampire Barf" (sausages and tomatoes in melted cheese), "Eyes of Newt" (deviled eggs with green-dye yolks and black olive centers), "Cauldron Punch" (some vodka-infused thing with dry ice -- it *looked* good but I didn't try it) and "Guts" (a mixed drink). Fortunately, for my veganish palate, there were also several trays of veggies. And candy corn.
I love my candy corn.
Then, of course, the costumes: big ol' Popeye, Roman man in toga with *very sexy* Roman woman in *very short* toga, caveman and sexy cave woman, bumblebee and sexy ladybug, gangster with sexy clown, SWAT ("Sexy Woman Assault Team") woman, Dr. "Shots" with sexy nurse, Sexy Dorothy and the Tin Man, Mexican man, sexy pirate, sexy princess.
You should see the theme here, at least among the women's costumes: SEX. And the older women were wearing costumes *almost* as sexy as the college kids. Almost. Their skirts might have been two inches longer. Maybe.
I was a little surprised that a middle-aged couple was also serving jello shots and tray after tray of drinks.
I'm not a prude, but I'm also not much of a drinker. And somehow I thought jello shots were, well, kinda for college kids? Guess I was wrong. They went fast. And certainly not just to the under 25 crowd. In fact, a high school principal was thoroughly enjoying them.
The party started at 6:30 (though I got there closer to 7). When I left at 9:30 (to get home to the kids), the party was in full, loud, fraternity-like swing. Garage doors open. Music BLASTING. People dancing. Fog machine working overtime. Drunken revelry definitely starting to show.
College kids groping each other's asses right in front of their parents.
That last bit struck me as odd as the 50-year-olds downing jello shots. But I cannot help but wonder what else I would have seen had I been able to stay longer.
It was fun and underscored to me that *I need to get out more*.
Hopefully, next year we'll be invited again.
I really want another chance to wear the wig.
- My interests include veganism and vegetarianism, health, ethics, politics and culture, media, and the environment. I have three kids; I teach college part-time, study piano and attempt to garden. I knit. I blog on just about anything, but many posts are related to my somewhat pathetic quest to eat better, be more mindful of the environment, and be a more responsible news consumer. Sometimes I write about parenting, but, like so many Mommy bloggers, my kids have recently told me not to. :) Thanks for reading.