We were talking the other day about the way people entertain.
When I was young my parents often had parties, not only Holiday parties and special events, but Saturday Night parties.
The drink of choice was a high ball (whiskey and ginger ale). Some of the more uppity friends would have Gin & Soda or mixed drinks like Martinis, Manhattans and Old Fashions. Special drinks like Grasshoppers, Brandy Alexanders and Stingers were saved for nights out.
Then it seems we went through a Screwdriver phase and everyone was drinking the Vodka and Orange Juice concoction. Remember the popularity of wine coolers not too long ago?
The beer drinkers were always cool but they had their own time of specialness with the micro brews of recent years. Now wine is considered trendy and, as the cycle goes, we're back to the Martinis. But now they are flavored with apple, chocolate etc. Ugh.
My father would set up a bar, serve you the first drink and then you were on your own. I don't remember anyone ever drinking too much to drive or getting ill.
Someone would play the piano and we'd stand around and sing. A few women (non-singers) would gather in a corner and talk about "women things". I don't know what those things were - I preferred to hang on the outskirts of the men in the kitchen discussing world events, sports, politics etc.
On hot summer evenings some people would wind up on the porch. The next-door neighbors were always welcome. A lot of people had card parties and would play into the middle of the night.
My mother would set up a table of ham or luncheon meats for sandwiches with all the trimmings plus dessert. On the coffee tables were unusually nuts and candy.
I remember the first time I was introduced to the "dip" (the downfall of many of us chubbies). A friend of mine had a container of mustard set next to a bowl of pretzels. We ooh'd and ah'd and after that I served mustard and pretzels to everyone for several years.
Soon after the onion dip appeared. After that there was no stopping the hostesses. The big debate was sour cream or cream cheese for the base.
After awhile, the piano was gone and records and television took over. Still the small groups discussing the issues of the day remained. Gradually the porch faded and people would gather in the back yard. Enter the patio and BBQ grill, the hamburger, hot dogs, and steaks.
Now it seems that the parties are fewer and father-between. There are fewer people - usually just family and close friends. Often it is a dinner party. Wine is served at dinner and a cordial like Tia Maria afterward. Today most people are more cautious about drinking and driving. There are more cars on the road and penalties are stiffer.
People still sit around and talk but there seems to be many more restrictions (this is, after all, the 21st century). No more men in one room and women in the other. No more smoking.
Do not talk politics or Religion - someone might not agree and be offended. (Isn't that what conversation used to be - an exchange of ideas?)
Better not mention your favorite TV shows either or you'll be judged. You can play games but no card games for money.
I miss the old get togethers but the new ones are just as good, only different. Isn't that true about most everything?
Let's Party……….oops… I mean Let's Chat,
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