Warning: Swear words inhabit this post.
As a university student living in a share house in Brisbane, parties were a regular facet of life. Parties at our house, other peoples’ houses, colleges, parks, pubs, on boats, at bus stops… Furniture would be rearranged, chips and beer bought, ice and eskies sourced and of course a plethora of CDs and in the early days, tapes.
Maybe I had tonnes of time to organise it all (let’s face it, you’re not exactly ‘under the pump’ doing an Arts degree), perhaps I was younger and dealt better with hangovers or (most probably) I just didn’t give a shit about whether the house was clean because back then parties were easy. Now, twenty years on, parties are hard. In fact, parties are so bloody energy sapping that the thought of throwing one next year for my 40th makes me want to lie down and have a nap, especially after this weekend’s events.
We had an impromptu do for Fiela’s birthday month. I always think ‘impromptu’ is a lovely way of saying ‘total fucking brain snap’, don’t you? We haven’t held a party for adults (as opposed to a kid’s birthday party which, I might add, is easier to clean up after) for years and so over the course of the week I sent out messages requesting the pleasure of the recipients’ company on that Saturday night.
Only one person declined. That’s a lot of people to feed and water. We did it, the food was great, the conversation scintillating, the wine flowed like beer and everyone had a great time. It was a wonderful night.
By the light of Sunday morning though, it was not very wonderful. It was a shit fight, a veritable cluster fuck of mud-cakey floors, plush chairs sitting outside in the dew and headaches for days: I even woke up to a corn chip on my pillow and more cake in the bed
Half way through cleaning it all up I had to take a nap.
I loved Saturday night. I truly did. Seeing and chatting with friends, feeding them, laughing with them and welcoming them into our house- I love all of that. But Sunday’s clean up? For the first time ever it was truly horrible. Usually I don’t mind dissecting the antics of the previous night with Fiela as we wash up and put the house back together. But this Sunday it was brutal. I don’t recall those university parties being so bloody tiring to clean up after. I’ve identified a few reasons why here:
In placating a whole heap of small children, my bedroom and it’s television was inhabited throughout the night by a group of them. Hence the corn chips and cake.
By this time at those university parties the horses have bolted into the city for a pub/club dance floor, where Houdiniing your way home is as simple as saying “I’m going to the toilet. Looks like there’s a lineup.” Not so now. The party is AT YOUR HOUSE. You are in for the long haul.
Whether, sugar, alcohol or lack of sleep induced, getting over a Big Night is infinitely more painful and time consuming than it was twenty years ago.
Cake on the walls at uni? Badge of honour. Cake on the walls in your late thirties?? Lazy and unhygienic.
I love our friends and family and I love having them around me all at once. To see people who’ve never met get on well and form new friendships- that’s even better. So it was absolutely worth the trouble; I just need a long time to recover before I think of throwing the next one.