My annual New Year’s Blog
My husband Mike, went to high school in Pelham, New York, a suburb where affluent homeowners threw festive parties. Having moved often during his childhood, he’d skipped a couple of grades. So, younger than most of his classmates, he was thrilled when a popular classmate invited him to a New Year’s Eve party at her home. Of course he would go. But the invitation specified black tie.
“You can wear my tux,” his father said, even though Mike hadn’t grown into it yet.
He rode to the party with a friend old enough to have a driver’s license. The family dining room, decorated with silver bells, had been cleared of furniture to create a dance floor. The music of Lester Lanin’s fashionable orchestra drowned out the sound of nearby commuters starting up their cars as they arrived at their nearby homerailroad station.
Mike, overwhelmed by shyness, headed for the punch bowl where he plied himself with crystal cups of the fruity beverage, whatever it was. He soon felt nature’s call. Finding a bathroom upstairs, he promptly fell backwards into the tub. He pulled himself to a standing position, shoved his shoulder through the window, and listened to the the sound of splintering glass.
His friend agreed to give him a ride home after he watched him weave his way downstairs. Mike thanked the hostess, staggered through the front door and promptly threw up on the lawn.
Arriving home, he crept surreptitiously up the stairs, hoping his parents were asleep. His father wasn’t. He sat reading in bed.
“Hi Pop,” Mike said.
Looking up from his book, his father took the situation in with a glance. “Mike,” he said, “The way to have fun at a party is to see how little you can drink. Not how much.”