Scripture

Alabaster Tears (Part 1): Party as a Verb

I’ve been doing some preparation for a sermon I’ll share in a few weeks. As I work out some of my thoughts and results of my study, I’d love to hear from you. I’ll post every other day or so on topics ranging from holidays to the glory of a woman’s hair (and a man’s if it looks good!) to the pregnant girl who sat in front of me in senior English class.

Party (pahr-tee)—verb (informal) to enjoy oneself thoroughly and without restraint; indulge in pleasure.

Hey, mama, it’s on

One of mine and Cindy’s favorite musicians, Harry Connick Jr., known particularly for crooner-type jazz and his “It Had to Be You” rendition, released two CDs ten or so years ago that deviated from his big band sound. He calls the style New Orleans funk. On the album She, one primarily instrumental track features Connick sort of narrating:

I don’t like throwing parties like that but I love going
They said no guests so I thought of you
Hey, mama, it’s on

(Check out Star Turtle, one of my favorites.)

Though I don’t typify truly the sanguine personality, I love going to and hosting parties. I remember birthday parties as a kid, ones I always shared with my twin sister. My mother used to order a sheet cake from Goldsboro’s Bakery, I think it was, featuring Strawberry Shortcake on one half for Becky and the other with Hot Wheels or the like for me.

One childhood birthday party in particular I remember with shame. My friend from down the street arrived with an unwrapped gift for me, a used toy of his own. His parents—did he have a mom and a dad?—didn’t have much money and therefore couldn’t afford to buy something. Only recently had my mom taken me out to purchase him a gift for his party, so I wouldn’t let him into my party without a suitable present. My grandfather discovered me standing at the closed screen door and inquired as to the reason Kevin wasn’t allowed in. I don’t remember what Papa said; maybe it wasn’t what he said at all, perhaps just his tone. Oh, the lesson I learned as a seven year old!

Parties in high school were altogether different than the innocent gatherings of 2nd graders. Freshman year I remember parties in the middle of the Arizona desert (we called it B.F.E.), where it was so dark and too hot to build a fire that you really couldn’t see who you were talking to—or what you were drinking. I’m not sure if my mom knew about the parties her fourteen-year-old son attended, parties hosted by my older brother’s friends (upperclassmen). Though, she may have found out about the one we threw on New Year’s Eve in 1991. That night … or I should say, the next morning I decided drinking wasn’t for me (not to that extent). But I still liked parties.

The Comeback of Chargers (not the car)

Some of my favorite times in Toledo were at parties hosted by the Bourciers and Macketts and Brookens and other families. We’d ring in the New Year together, much more sober than my freshman year, or in the summer sit around the pool watching our kids splash around. Super Bowl was reason enough to enjoy food and drink and each other’s company. Cookouts, dinner parties, holidays. Was it Easter or Thanksgiving when my friend Pat pretended not to know that a charger itself isn’t to be used as a plate? (I’m not sure he was pretending.)

lamb-chops-cropped Jesus might have known what a charger is for, because he was very familiar with parties of all varieties. He loved going to parties, whether hosted by religious leaders or sinners. If the least I can do in imitating Jesus is to go to parties, then I’m all for it.

So what do you think of parties? Any memorable ones? What substantiates a reason for a party? Some people like throwing sheep-shearing parties. I might go for a lamb roast. You cook it, I’ll bring the mint jelly.

I’d love to hear back from you. Comment using a profile or anonymously.

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