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Friday, November 29, 2013

Theme party

in: Rsl, Dee Why NSW 2099, Australia
Australia appears to love theme parties. I have been to more themed parties here than I would have thought reasonable. One was even themed 'the letter W'. I wore a puzzled expression all night and kept asking people, "What? No, really. What?!". I know how to party I do.

I loathe theme parties. They have the painful combination of over-enthusiasm, limited ability and enforced fun also common to amateur dramatics and office sports teams.

Theme parties are okay if you're a student in your first year of university and genuinely need a theme to help break the ice, even then they can be treated with a degree of suspicion. I found a wary participation and a willingness to make fun of yourself good idea at that point in life (any point in life come to think of it).

I can't remember whether it was my university or a friends where I went to a "traffic light party"; if you are attached and not interested in intimate company you wear a red badge or piece of clothing, if open to offers but not actively looking you wear a yellow one, and if you're up for anything you wear green. Inevitably by the end of the night those wearing yellow had drifted off to another party, the greens clung hopefully on, imagining that their shy glances and self-conscious conversational openings would be rewarded by finding someone as awkward as themselves, and all those wearing red had copped off with each other.

A similar degradation of behaviour is one thing I fear when attending any themed party. That one minute you'll be thinking how fun it will be to wear a big fake moustache and the next you'll find yourself sat next to a bubbling fondue set picking car keys out of a bowl.

The other major fear is the party-goer who has taken it all a bit too seriously. There is a certain type of person to whom themed parties present an opportunity to show off that they simply cannot resist, and in any case can barely suppress in everyday life. You know the person I mean. The one who can source a pantomime horse costume at twenty minutes notice and, given a little extra time, will also supply a willing volunteer to be the rear-end of same. Not only do these people show all the rest of us up by putting in far too much effort, they somehow do it absolutely stone cold sober and are quite often disgusted by my lack of effort and/or unwillingness to 'get into the spirit of it' until at least mildly inebriated. For some unknown reason these people seem intent on having the most talked about costume - regarding this as some form of moral victory - and so they patrol the room bugging anyone and everyone until they collect even the faintest of compliments. Quite often they will stay sober the entire time. Bastards!

Tonight, in case you haven't guessed, I have my office Christmas party. It has a Wild West theme (yes indeed, how very festive). I was cajoled into going by a co-worker. It's at a local RSL club a short distance from work. I work in local government. BAH, HUMBUG!!