Let me preface this post (and this should be a standard disclaimer to every blog post I do) by saying that I know I am odd. Unusual. Strange. Not normal. My friends and family tell me this all the time and I have to agree with them. I am not normal. I am odd. I fully embrace this and I am at peace with my oddness.
Having said all of that, let me reiterate: I hate parties. I hate going to parties and I especially hate having (hosting) my own parties. Hosting your own party is the most self-defeating experience one could ever have. Why on earth would you want to celebrate a special occasion by punishing yourself? Because having to be hostess to hordes of people, spending a fortune on the comfort of others and having worrying about whether they are having fun / have enough to eat and drink / mingling well etc is certainly not my idea of fun, and I fail to see how it could be enjoyable to anyone else. A messy house and an empty wallet sound like absolutely horrible gifts. What a terrible idea. Please don't get me that for my birthday. Having to be hostess to my own party is my idea of absolute hell.
I have always known that I hated my own parties for the reason mentioned above, but I realized recently that not only do I hate my own parties, I actually hate going to other people's parties too. Staying up late (hate that), drinking too much (ok, no one is forcing me to do that but I have to do what I can to survive the evening), making small talk, wearing make up, dressing up - how can any of that be better than a night at home drinking decent wine, eating food I like and wearing comfy, warm clothes?? At least when I am at home I don't need to be all sneaky about checking my emails and FB.
I know that people will say this makes me terribly boring (sorry for you), but I am certainly not bored. I love my home! I love being at home! I am extremely grateful that I have a very small social circle (I wonder why....) because it means there are less opportunities (dangers) of being invited out to parties. I pity my friends who are invited out Every Single Weekend! I get exhausted just thinking about it.
Can one be an anti-social extrovert? Because that is what I am. An an extrovert who prefers to stay home and not interact with people too often.
However, because I know that it is important to other people (Marko. My family. My friends. Normal people.) I do make an effort not only to attend the occasional party, but also to do my best to enjoy it. Or at least present an air of enjoyment. And do my best not to be the first person to leave every time. (Maybe ever second time only.)
It is not that I don't want to see my friends or family, they are welcome to come visit anytime (for an hour and a half. Home time no later than 5:30*), it is just that I would prefer to socialize in small, digestible chunks. My ideal party would be for an hour and a half, with wine, between 3-5:30'ish. Preferably not more than 20 kms away. With (decent) wine. Obviously. (Because a party without wine is just untenable). And no dressing up. And the kids must be invited too. I will sit on a picnic blanket chatting to my BFF and drink wine while my husband watches the children. Now THAT is the kind of party I could enjoy. And then when the hour and a half is finished, I will put away my wine, pack up my picnic basket, collect my husband and kids and be home in time for my normal routine of bath/supper/bed.
So much more sensible, don't you think?
*My friends and family have now got used to the idea that when I issue an invite to a gathering at my house there is always an arrival time and a going home time. An idea that I know a lot of of my other anti-social friends wish they were brave enough to do. I think its a great idea. Arrive at 2:30, leave by 5:30. That way everyone knows when to leave and we don't have any of those awkward moments where people want to stay longer but I am busy tidying up around them and telling them to lock up when they leave. Much less messy.
So, having said all of that, I love my children more than I hate parties and I know parties are important to children so I had a party for Max's birthday on Wednesday. I randomly chose a party entertainment company on the internet called Bazinga (I did research them though, wasn't totally random) and they were excellent!! Max's party was a HUGE success - the kids had a great time, Max had a great time despite being ill and I didn't totally hate it. I highly recommend Bazinga Entertainment if you are hosting a kids party. The young lady who does the face painting is amazing, this is not normal face-painting, she is unbelievably artistic and so quick! Seriously, it was quite amazing to watch her. She created masterpieces in a few minutes. And her partner, the balloon guy is unreal too. Within a few minutes he has blown up a few balloons, twisted them around and turned them into a Spiderman, a mermaid, Hello Kitty, a sword, a bunch of flowers... it's like magic. Plus they brought a bubble machine and did all the party packs. It was a totally stress free party. EXACTLY the type of party I like. The service was excellent, from the point of enquiry right up to the actual day (plus they were exactly on time and even stayed a bit longer than I had paid for.) If you are in Cape Town and you want party entertainment for kids, drop them an email. Highly recommended. Even for someone who hates parties.