Tell us about the "best" party you attended this year.
Despite not being much of a "party person", I did attend a few this year. Some were huge, mind blowing affairs, the likes of which I have rarely seen. Others were more modest. Each had their own appeal. But if I had to choose the best one, I think I would go with one of the smaller ones I attended at a local friend's house back in April.
I have known members of this family in one way or another for the better part of ten years. Over those years I came to know the other members. I am simpatico with some of them in a number of ways, especially in regards to introversion. Back in the spring, I had, with much fanfare, just finished the rough draft of my novel. On schedule. Always supportive of me and my endeavors, a few of my friends in this family suggested I come over to their house the following week, for some drink, food, and camaraderie, in celebration of my writing accomplishment. Touched by their consideration and generosity, I accepted.
The party itself was low-key. One or two other people outside of the family did show up, but it was mostly just me and the family. They asked me about my book, what the next step was, and what it had been like to write it. How it felt to achieve the rough draft. More than once one of them told me that just finishing the draft was an accomplishment that most people only talk about, but never actually achieve. I am still not sure if the act of finishing a draft is as worthy of the gracious praise they bestowed upon me that night, but I appreciated it quite a bit, nonetheless.
Some people are drawn most to the parties that are the biggest, the loudest, the most expensive, the most well stocked with refreshment. Some are drawn to the hosts, or the venue, or other expected guests. Each of those things, and more are legitimate metrics to determine the success of a party. Yet for me, it was the spirit and purpose for this party that made it my best in 2011.
The fact that friends of mine opened their home and offered their food to me for the specific purpose of taking an interesting and celebrating an accomplishment that was so personally significant to me says a lot about them. And a lot about that party. Outside of my own mind, it was the first and thus far most demonstrative expression as to the importance of my writing the draft. Outsiders looking in may not have judged it to be a great party, but I have rarely appreciated a celebration more than I did that one.