On Sunday morning as I was driving home from dropping off friends who had spent the night, I was listening to a pretentious radio show that informed me that a good host thinks about how she wants her event to be remembered and should try to create a unique experience. I realized that by that definition I am far from a good host. Almost every party I have hits the exact same notes. I am a one trick pony.
Every party involves food that has been prepared ahead of time or that can be thrown on the grill. It is served without fuss. People crowd around the insufferably messy kitchen. I make some sort of clear liquor cocktail, and there is always a cooler of mixed beer on the porch. The mix always include Natty Boh. We make a bonfire. People line up for the rope swing. Gaggles of children run around the house for hours, making too much noise to suit my neighbor. Two thirds of the party spends the night, and the next morning we make dozens of eggs and pot after pot of coffee while kids rekindle the fire and grown-ups wipe the sleep from their tired eyes.
This weekend, this party, was just as it always is, just as it will be for the foreseeable future. Except that this weekend my dad was dressed as Neal Cassidy, the kids bobbed for apples, and Arlo and Felix unknowingly picked out the same costume. This time the guacamole was a little grosser and candy more plentiful. But basically, it was the same old trick.