So, I have this enormous party to go to this weekend, and I would like to be catty about it please. It’s being organised by my in-laws, so right off the bat you know there’s going to be some sort of eye rolling from me. And they’re drinkers. They’re not problem drinkers, per se – at least, I’ve never thought of them as such, except for my father-in-law, who was – but they’re the type who can’t possibly contemplate celebrating any occasion without copious food and alcohol.
Both my mother-in-law and husband hit milestone birthdays this year, and their birthdays being close together, it was decided that the whole family should rent a large holiday home and have a weekend away to celebrate. Saturday night is the actual party, for which invitations have been sent to a number of other people.
This is what the invitation says that guests should bring, in addition to ‘dancing shoes’:
It’s nice to have the angle of the event right out front, isn’t it?
Further emails are being sent to the extended family by my mother-in-law’s sister, who, a late invitee, has taken over the organising and delegated us all to cater a meal. Because goodness knows, if we have to make ourselves a piece of toast at any point during this four day extravaganza, it will be RUINED.
Here are some extracts from today:
‘Don’t forget, whoever is catering Sunday breakfast, to bring plenty of bacon and eggs – there’ll be some delicate stomachs!’
‘No entry without wine, and teetotallers are not invited!’
Teetotallers are not invited.
Oh, look. I know they’re just excited, and trying to set the scene for a wild party. But come the fuck on. LH is turning forty this year, and these invitations are being sent out by his parents’ generation. This is not a party for eighteen year olds, of whom I would forgive a little gaucheness.
Can we seriously not think of a way to indicate that this is a big party and everyone should have fun without hammering the alcohol references? For that matter, can we not contemplate the possibility that one can have fun at a party without alcohol? Especially given that the attendees include LH’s 85 year old grandmother, and five children under the age of seven?
Can we not be grateful that our daughter-in-law, being sober, has offered to cater Sunday breakfast on the grounds that she won’t be hungover, rather than making disparaging remarks about teetotallers?
It is just so damn juvenile, you guys. I don’t actually think that there will be any sort of big deal made on the night about me not drinking, and if there is I can more than hold my own. It’s just…it’s just so juvenile! SO. JUVENILE.
I don’t care if people drink. I keep alcohol in my house, I pour it for guests. But how do you get to the age of sixty-odd and never move on from the idea that you can’t have fun without getting drunk?
But of course, I used to think that as well. I didn’t say it out loud, because I knew that not everybody thought that way, and I knew that it was a deviant way of thinking. I knew that I should be able to at least pretend to have fun without alcohol. My in-laws are a very insular mob; they are one another’s main social circle, so maybe they’ve just never stepped outside that paradigm. I should probably not be bitchy about it, and instead say something poignant about the insidious way in which alcohol marketing has ingrained this association between fun and drinking into our lives.
But I can’t be arsed. I have to go and spend three days with a bunch of sixty year olds who are carrying on like eighteen year olds at their first keg party, and by the way also my mother-in-law hates her son-in-law and has asked her brother-in-law (following this?) to Speak To Him because, I don’t know, maybe only men can speak to men or something. And oh my God it is going to be so bad, SO BAD. And also so drunken.
Will I update you? Of course I will!