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The unexamined Oscar party is not worth having - Not Prince Hamlet, nor was meant to be
The unexamined Oscar party is not worth having
Oscar parties are weird. At least, ours is. We throw it almost every year at Cass’ parents’ place, a split-level that can accommodate two separate parties: Us and 20 or so of our friends in the couch-and-chair-crammed TV room with the wall projector, and Cass’ parents and their friends and relatives upstairs with a giant flatscreen. It involves a ton of prep, what with me making and displaying enough food to keep dozens of people going for five hours, and Cass writing up the second TV and designing and printing and collecting ballots and coming up with prizes. But then the actual party itself is an exercise in immobility. Almost no one really mingles. There are wisecracks and conversations, but since we’re all pinned to specific chairs and couches, everyone talks with the little group nearest to them. We had guests last night who are friends of mine who I was happy to see, but I barely spoke to them at all.

Last night we had somewhere around 35 people, not counting the neighborhood kids who sequestered themselves in the kitchen to draw and color, or the one wiggly toddler who really wanted to be exploring the house. And this year I noticed more than ever how the ones in the basement formed their own separate parties. My party consisted of our work liveblog and the people immediately behind and in front of me. Cass, on the other side of the room, was at a different party altogether, with a different group of people, plus ballot-grading duty to distract him. There was a small party of co-workers and former co-workers in the back row, and I’m not sure they associated with anyone else, though I did come back to check up on them midway through the ceremony. I visited the outpost of Upstairs a few times. But given that when people first came in, I was running around pulling things in and out of the oven, there were people at our party for five hours whom I maybe said five words to.

And usually by hour five, people are tired and ready to be gone, so the second the last award is announced, people are out the door. Given that most parties feature lingering and chatting and a few tail-end stragglers and sometimes 4 a.m. conversations, I’m always a little amused and surprised by how quickly 35 people can retrieve 15 Tupperware containers and 35 coats and 70 shoes and get themselves out the door. This year one of our Oscar-tabulation winners was out the door so fast, he didn’t learn that he’d won until he returned half an hour later for something he’d dropped.

So my experience of the Oscars is always a day of baking, two hours of setup, a blur of Hello-your-coats-go-here-the-food-is-here-the-booze-is-here-help-yourself, a blur of online and offline witticisms, a blur of bye-thanks-for-coming-hope-you-had-fun, and then a social hangover that feels like “What just happened?” In spite of watching the whole thing, I often look at the results in the news the next morning and think “That won? Really? Huh.”

I hope everyone enjoyed themselves at our seven different Oscar parties in the same room.

I'm-a feelin': busy busy

4 people still haven't weakened / Isn't it a great life?
muckefuck From: muckefuck Date: February 25th, 2013 06:12 pm (UTC) (Link)
Not as much as I enjoyed following the Onion on Twitter. Must be a great day to come to the office, huh?
rollick From: rollick Date: February 26th, 2013 08:00 am (UTC) (Link)
We weren't particularly effected, though it was a bad day for our phone-answering receptionist.
lcohen From: lcohen Date: February 25th, 2013 08:47 pm (UTC) (Link)
i hung out with the back row, fwiw. and had lovely time--thank you!
insidian From: insidian Date: February 26th, 2013 05:03 pm (UTC) (Link)
I had a great time! Stole Bob's chair and everything.

The problem with the Oscars is that it's on a "school" night, and most folks need to break for the door ASAP to get in some sleep. Now, if it were on a Saturday or Friday, I think you'd have a lot more milling about, post-party. I know I'd stick around and have a "what the WHAT?" gabfest if I didn't have to wake up a few hours after the end of ceremonies.
4 people still haven't weakened / Isn't it a great life?