Thursday, August 06, 2009

Croquet, Anyone?

Even the Gainfully Unemployed deserve and should take some time off from pursuing their various career options. Last weekend I attended a lovely annual event in the burbs: a croquet, aka white, party.

Yes, everyone wears white. Which gives the indoor/outdoor gala a sort of old-fashioned, ethereal atmosphere. Attendees range in age from 2 to over 70. The young children are surprisingly well-behaved (they don't run around or scream). The teens, most of whom have grown up together, are surprisingly polite and friendly.

The wealth and variety of food is amazing at this potluck gathering, from fabulous lobster salad to fresh fruit. Enough desserts (including delicious turtle brownies) to weigh down the sideboard. Champagne and margaritas flow.

So many people play croquet that each heated game takes around an hour. With so many balls on the field and more than one croquet set in use, it must be hard to keep track of whose turn it is. Cheers and moans fill the air as the competitors make their way around the course, smacking each other's balls out of play whenever possible.

Because many partygoers return year after year, there's a Same Time, Next Year sensibility. A neighbor of the hosts', with whom I'd had a long "writers write" discussion last year, said because of that conversation she'd started sending out some of her short stories. Though she's gotten rejections so far, she plans to keep writing and submitting. So you never know when a seemingly random conversation can impact someone's life.

This is also a fairly artsy group. Many guests sing, some professionally. Several years ago, I had the privilege of singing in a Sondheim festival with several of them...including a command performance for Stephen Sondheim himself. Last year, a piece of music was emailed in advance for anyone interested, and we had a short pickup rehearsal before recording A Song of Peace, available on YouTube, here.

So thanks to the hosts for having such a wonderful party at their home, and thanks to the guests for bringing such great food.


EilisFlynn said...

It's been years since I've played ... what an interesting party!

Croquet Sets Man said...

So many people have never played croquet, or have not played for years. So good to hear you talking so positively about playing.