Happening:

Love it or hate it: Parties

Love itOf course, I don’t like all parties. A bad party is like having the middle seat on an overcrowded airplane where on one side is a blathering chatterbox and on the other is a manspreading giant snoring and coughing: You simply want to get out as soon as possible.

But a great party? Yes, and all of the time. I love a party where you can survey a room of 30 or so people and can’t decide who you want to talk to first, saying, Oh I need to talk to him and her and her and him. I need to catch up with those two. And who is that stranger? I definitely need to see what her story is.

I love a party for the food, a place where cheese and crackers and carrot sticks and mystery dip never tasted so good.

I love a party where the lights and music have an inverse relationship. For the first half the lights are up (but not too bright) and the music low (but not too low), inviting conversation and catching up. For the second half, the lights go down, the music goes up, and people are dancing.

There’s almost no better place than a good party. Food, drink, people, music, and movement. Let’s get it on.

David HolubHate itOMG, nine out of 10 parties can suck it. As Virginia Woolf wrote in “Mrs. Dalloway,” “It was a great mistake to have come. He should have stayed at home and read his book, thought Peter Walsh; should have gone to a music hall; he should have stayed at home, for he knew no one.”

Parties are terrifying. They are full of people who are full of talking in a room that is already full of bustle-bashing-about noise.

I have two solaces at parties. One is trying to find a face I know or the face that looks even more somber and awkward than mine in the crowd. If I can find the person in the room who looks even lonelier than myself, I know that the party won’t be a wash. I will make a new friend, one of the wallflower tribe. Two, if there is music I can dance to. If there is music I can dance to and a semi-appropriate space to dance in, I can ignore the fact that I am in a room full of people I don’t know and flail to tunes instead.

Parties usually fall into the category of “intimidating.” I tend to do better one-on-one at coffee in a quiet diner booth.

Patty Templeton