I love parties. I especially love parties full of people I know, at least a little bit. And I love them most of all when they’re in my house or in my good friends’ houses. What’s better than hanging out with friends for an evening, eating, drinking, listening to music, and talking about anything from the weather to complicated questions of theology to where we’re going to go on our next roadtrip?* Still…I pulled up outside my house on Sunday night after yet another party with many good friends, and this uneasy thought flickered through my head: What will happen to the parties once all my friends–and possibly even I–get married?
Pre-marriage, everyone says they’ll still be around. “You’ll see us…it’s not like we’re dying or anything,” they say with a laugh when you start to sniffle at their impending jump from singleness into matrimony. But post-marriage? It’s only a matter of time…sometimes a few months, sometimes a year…before they start turning down most invitations. Family commitments, they say. Lots of work. Need a quiet night in. Then pregnancy. Then babies. If they live close enough by you might bump into them now and then at baptisms and babies’ first birthday parties, but in general marriage seems to be the end of parties. At least for the young adults. I suspect they start back up again when you’re married 10 years with kids–potluck dinners and backyard barbecues certainly happened a lot in my family, and I intend to keep that tradition going until I’m too senile to remember who my own kids are. (And even then, really, what’s to stop me?)
This isn’t meant in any way as a slam on marriage or the married folks I know. Really, it’s just a bit of scrutiny of my own values. Maybe parties of the good old “hanging out and chatting” variety lose their appeal after marriage because, quite simply, you’re not “looking” anymore. Not that I go to parties specifically with that intention, mind you, but if the potential isn’t lingering around in your subconscious…why not just organize the occasional girls’ night in and save yourself the headache? I hadn’t really thought of that before. Maybe along with the settling of the old restless heart comes a certain level of satisfaction with fewer–but deeper–relationships.
In any event. Until that blessed day arrives–or until all my single friends get married and stop coming–I’m going to keep right on enjoying my weekend parties. There’s really no better way to get ready for Monday.
*Which leads to the all-important question, guys: where are we going to go on our next roadtrip?