Everybody Loves a Laurie Party

What are all these people doing in my house? Who are these people? I can’t get from the living room to the kitchen! I better go downstairs and get away from it all.

What are all these people doing in my basement? Who are these people? They better not be touching my stuff. How did it come to this?

Seven months earlier

“Ronnie! If I add some extra money to our next house payment we’ll pay off our mortgage!”

“That’s nice.”

“Nice?! Do you know what this means? We’ll be debt free!”

“That’s good, right?”

“This is why I don’t let you near our money. Yes, it’s very good. So good, in fact, that we’re going to celebrate. I’m throwing a party.”

You’re throwing a party?”

Now, in the Roy household the division of labor is thus: I do laundry (but not hers), empty dishwasher, mow yard, clean toilets and plan parties. She does everything else. Oh, I try to do more, but she’s such a Type A that I can spend the day vacuuming and mopping floors and she’ll come home and 20 minutes later she’s running the vacuum and getting out the still-wet mop.

My parties are small, intimate affairs. I don’t plan them that way, it’s just that I have a small circle of friends — 75 percent of whom don’t show up when I invite them over. I’ve never been to a Laurie Party before. Should be interesting.

Susan: “Where is the rest of the gang? Where’s Dennis and Chris and Michelle and Mickey and Amy?”

RRoy: “Uh, I did hear from Mick, but I don’t know where the others are. Oh, and Amy called and said she’d be here at 10.”

Susan: “Ten?”

RRoy: “I know. that’s when I expect people to be leaving my house, not entering.”

Six months earlier, Trailhead Restaurant, Journal Reunion

Laura: “I want everyone to mark the date of Oct. 9. We’re having a party.”

Amy: “Hold on, let me get my calendar. There. I’ve got the date marked. I will be there. And all the rest of you will be there, right? Because I don’t want to show up and be the only person there that I know.”

All: “We’ll be there.”

Seven Hours Earlier, Laura’s cellphone

“Hey Laura. It’s Amy. I’m calling your cell so I don’t have to deal with Ronnie. We are coming tonight, however it will probably be 10 before we get there because we’re going out to eat with a big huge  group at Soulard so I didn’t want you to think I was bailing on you guys  and I didn’t want Ronnie to have a chance to say too much bad about me before I could get there.”

Stevie: I’ve never seen this many people in your house.

RRoy: You’re telling me.

Stevie: Who are all these people?

RRoy: I have no idea.

Two months earlier

“So, did you invite everyone?”

“Yep. I think the regulars will show — Stevie, the Finleys, the Peines, Yellow and Tim, the Hermann clan…I invited several others but I doubt they’ll make it. As usual.”

“Erica?”

“Hahahahhahahahahahahha, good one. No, I sent her a “save the date” message three months ago and she wrote back that she had 4 other things on that date. Did you invite anybody?”

“Let’s see — I invited my family, my friends from high school and college, friends from work, people at church and our neighbors.”

“Uh…are they coming?”

“I think so. Most of them.”

Holy crap. She’s really taking this seriously. I don’t know who half those people are. I’m not the type of neighbor who talks to the neighbors. I’m the neighbor that all the neighbors sit around and say, “What’s with the guy in 134? He never talks to anyone.” It’s not that they’re bad people, it’s just — autism is probably hereditary, you know.

“Welcome, welcome!”

“Thanks for inviting us.”

“Why, thank you for the lovely gift. Can I get you a drink?”

Stevie: Who are these people?

“I don’t know. Would you pull Lar out of the basement to make introductions? She should be the greeter, not me.”

One week earlier, Costco

“How much beer should we get?”

“I dunno, depends on how long Tim stays.”

“Seriously, we’ve got a lot of people coming.”

“Yes, but not everyone drinks beer. And those that do often bring their own.”

“Well, I don’t want to run out. How would that look?”

In the end we bought 94 cans and bottles of various brands of beer. I’m thinking that’s more than enough but she’s not sure. I pick up another 18 pack when I go back the day before the party.

Oct. 9, 5:30 p.m.

Time to get the ice and dinner (see “The Ronnie & Ronald Project, Day 32”). The Wife thinks three 20-pound bags should do it. I get four just to be sure.

Oct. 9, 6 p.m.

The party is supposed to begin at 7 p.m. but Stevie pointed out that the Missouri-Colorado football game started at 6 so we agreed that any Mizzou fans that wanted to could come early to watch the game. When I get back from the ice shop Stevie is already there and the Finleys arrive as I’m unpacking the ice. The party is now officially underway.

Oct. 9, 7-10:30 p.m.

What are all these people doing in my house? Who are these people? I can’t get from the living room to the kitchen! I better go downstairs and get away from it all.

What are all these people doing in my basement? Who are these people? They better not be touching my stuff. How did it come to this?

We concluded that when Ronnie throws a party, no one shows up; when Laurie throws a party, Everyone Shows Up.

Oct. 9, 10:30 p.m. 

Several people have left, bringing things to a more manageable size. I’m ready to shut things down so naturally, Russ and Amy arrive. We go down to the basement but there’s nowhere to sit so they sit on the floor in front of my Batman shrine.

Now so far everyone — including several children — has obeyed the First Rule of RRoycave: Don’t Touch Anything. Within 5 minutes of arrival, Russ is knocking over my Batman action figures. And now he’s fiddling with them, trying to get them to stand up. Everyone thinks it’s funny. Everyone but me.

Oct. 9, 11:30 p.m.

Everyone has gone home. Party is deemed a success. The two mix CDs I made for the party have gone unlistened to because people wanted to watch sports. We are left with 5 bags of chips, two boxes of crackers, various cheeses, a large container of cut up vegetables, three containers of dip, some pretzels, various pieces of cakes and cookies, 84 cans and bottles of beer and 40 pounds of ice. Oh, and a dozen bottles of wine, champagne and sparkling grape juice that people gave us.

So, if anyone out there is having a Halloween party in the coming weeks, please invite me. I already have my costume picked out:

Beer Delivery Man.

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2 responses to “Everybody Loves a Laurie Party

  1. I was there. There were so many people, however, that you didn’t notice.

  2. Reading your post is almost as much fun as attending Laurie’s party…but not quite!

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