Wednesday, June 20, 2012

the morning after

I am not a party animal. That surprises many people. Yes, I am outgoing and not a bit shy, befitting a journalist. Yet, even as a child, my parents had to cajole or force me to attend family gatherings. The larger and more formal the event the less attracted was I.

And as I age it’s only gotten worse.

Firstly, I am not comfortable in formal dress. Regardless of my weight or fitness level, clothes and I have never been friends. I feel constricted and downright cranky by the demands of accommodating the female form.

I am also not much of a drinker, so an open bar is no draw.

Although I admire the scene, the effort, the expense, the food, et al, I almost always find myself on the edge of the action, observing. I am the odd-man-out. Nobody knows where to seat me. And I’ve never really had a reliable dancing partner.

At a recent such swanky Bat Mitzvah for my cousin’s daughter, I watched in silent joy—mingled with envy—as my young cousins danced the night away with their own daughters, each on the verge of adolescence. I flashed back to my own younger self, watching my now late parents partner up for dance after dance. They were quite the accomplished pair. Late in the evening, when my dad had enough to drink, I got my turn. We would Lindy around the floor. And that was all she wrote.

The major source of my joy is reconnecting with family and friends. But the throbbing music needed to rev such events makes it next to impossible to engage in any meaningful conversation.

Lucky for me, my Aunt Sally offered to share her room, so I was able to participate in my favorite part of these celebrations—the morning after.

Low key and mellow, these morning-after-breakfasts allow me to really chat up those family and friends that remain. And this was a particularly productive time. The buzz was tangible. Laptops, Facebook, photos, etc. flew around the intimate gathering. Coming directly from my own family vacation I even had a bunch of those old sepia photos. You know the ones with some folks nobody alive can identify.

And there was no pounding beat and intense DJ to drown out the laughter.

It went a ways to sate my real hunger, not for fancy top-drawer food, but for a visceral infusion of memory—to help fill the void of those I can no longer reach out and touch.

1 comment:

Ellen said...

I too love the morning after. I do well with small gatherings. Hope you loved on your granddaughter.