From the Ashes of a House Party

Seeing a house party through to its conclusion requires stamina, willpower, and a lack of pressing activities the following day. And the only way ensure that the last drop of life has been squeezed from the function-in-question is to further impose upon the gracious hosts and find an empty piece of furniture to sleep on until things start moving the next morning.

I’ve closed down a handful of parties this way and I would feel guiltier about it if I was always alone. But I’m rarely the only one.

The aftermath of a good bash usually includes three or four bodies strewn throughout the previous night’s battlefield. However, unlike war, these bodies rise in the morning — or early afternoon — wearing crinkled smiles and crinkled shirts.

There is an instant camaraderie amongst the next-morning crowd.

Survivors ease themselves vertical and search for their pants, and/or wallet, and/or phone, and/or dignity. One searcher inevitably comes across another; greetings are given, rumours of ibuprofen are  exchanged, and coffee is declared essential.

Like moths to a lamp, life-forms congregate in the living room or the kitchen, where they stand/sit/slouch in a circle and colourfully recount the racket of the previous night. Hangovers insist upon themselves.

And then a prophet emerges from the hoi polloi and asks the only question anyone really cares about: Who wants to get breakfast?


And thus the weary crew moves in the direction of food.

Have you ever had one of those semi-spiritual moments where you can sense that you are in exactly the right place at the right time? Going for breakfast the morning after a house party elicits such a feeling in me. This is why:

Everyone has their own reason for staying to the bitter end of a soiree, and often these reasons cause the breakfast-eaters to outlast the people they came to the party with. So it is not a core group of friends that sits together at the restaurant table after a gathering, but an eclectic group of easy riders and solo acts.

I like that bonds form between people who have been through an experience together, even if it’s only a party. I like that friendships can be forged over French toast. I like that new social units can arise ad-hoc from the ashes of a shaker.

And most of all, I like a good breakfast after a good night.

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