The first time I heard about someone making a living by throwing parties, I thought it was an odd extension of college fraternity life. Maybe it’s the semantics. You party with your friends. These big traveling gatherings seemed more like the modern version of a Baptist tent revival for the young, bored urbanite. Put your faith in youth and music and a drug of choice, believe in the power of the almost-celebrity, the near-fame.
The first couple professional party throwers I encountered were gay men, so I shrugged it off as a homosexual thang. In fact, the first ones were two men, originally from Hong Kong, who threw parties in San Francisco who’d just been busted for selling ecstasy as part of their full service party menu. They were selling happiness, whatever form your personal preference for happiness came in, and ecstasy was one more thing to sell. Unfortunately, the Justice Department disagreed with them. It’s hard not to look at the pictures of these two delicate boned men in their formal gray suits about to be sent into the caged-death match of the US penal system and not shiver, to not believe that to release these two butterfly men into the Crips and the Bloods and the skinheads was a one-way ticket for them.
But since then, I’ve met more people who do this as a way to earn money, to make a living. In fact, it’s showed up on TV the other night, the Sopranos season finale had a subplot about the youngest boy pursuing this line of work. And once it shows up there, I can sit here and hear the thought popping like popcorn kernels in brains across America. “Wait a minute. I… I could throw parties for a living. I love to party.” I tried to mention this to my husband and he said, well, you know all those people who organize corporate parties with circus themes and big $500-a-ticket charity balls for old women to show off their jewelry, this is probably how these caterers / organizers get started. And I sat there looking at the latest of these invitations to come my way, with pictures of a dozen girls or so dressed in strips of leather and spandex smaller than the black eyeliner smeared across their their faces. It wasn’t clear whether they were strippers or prostitutes, but they were guaranteed to be there. A few drugs, a little pimping. Hmmm, somehow I don’t think these people are preparing for a career in organizing circus-themed corporate events, but… I could be wrong.
This is a long roundabout explanation for my dream last night. Where I dreamed that my job no longer involved sitting at a computer programming, but required bungee jumping from large heights into a tangled field of large, solid, pointed obstacles. And I refused. The heights thang is bad enough. I literally lock up with the weak kneed vapors like a Victorian housewife, but I didn’t have the confidence that I could avoid the large solid objects. So, they fired me and hired someone else and as an alternative career, I went to one of these professional parties to check it out to see if I could throw one and make money that way. And the room was filled with beautiful Asian women, like day lilies, their heads the biggest parts of their bodies. You know, the ones who walk awkwardly in the most uncomfortable shoes like momma birds pretending to have broken wings to lure the cat away from the nest. All dressed in red-white-and-blue sequined outfits. And a mama-san trying to sell me some sort of transparent outfit to fit in with them. But I realized that after 9 months of spinning classes, my thighs and calves looked like the riders in The Triplets of Belleville. I mean, seriously I’m ready for Lance Armstrong to blow past me on a hill. I’m ready to be embarrassed by real bike racers as the whiny little girl I am. So, I refused the transparent outfit in whole “I-am-woman” snit-fit and the dream ended.