The fall of a great institution (not the EU)... House Parties.
If you had a 'Greatest Moments' showreel in existence, I'm sure 80% of the footage would be sourced from house parties you've been to over the years.
Getting with girls for the first time, running from police, running from angry taxi drivers, breaking into the hosts parents room and raiding their drink cabinet when the Strongbow ran low, getting into dumb fights. Even murder mysteries. A friends hamster died when a partygoer laced its water bottle with substances. Yep, they've provided some real memories. I've been to (and hosted) some quite ridiculous ones in my time. For my second and final year at university, I lived in an ex-Victorian morgue which was purchased by a student letting agency and turned into a fifteen bedroom property. Hilariously nicknamed ''The Mansion''. We were architects of chaos, using every inch of space in the house for acts of debauchery. Our parties vaulted us into university folklore, once people pushed through those mighty double doors and walked down that vodka stained, beer ridden, baggie laden cobbled street... They entered a lawless state. The house was filled top to tail with people. There were DJ's, PA's, Portuguese drug barons, motion sensor smoke machines, an epileptic fit inducing light set-up. There were even little baby dragons that flew around lighting people's joints at will. You name it. I wont delve into any further detail, but I can say with confidence that those mansion parties are etched into the annals of history.
This isn't some swansong to university days or a message longing for their return. This is paying respect to a great institution that is dying a slow and painful death.
Since that time, I've been to some strange things people like to call 'house parties'. These things usually have about 10-15 people in attendance, a laptop with Spotify (meaning there's no quality control on the tunes) which means minimal dancing and minimal chance of getting whines.
But, the lack of dancing I can deal with. Instead of making sure the music is proper and that there's enough drink, the emphasis is on having the right crisps and some hummus. These 'house parties' are just things for people to show how 'grown up' they've become. The chat revolves around work, relationships, getting engaged, moving in with each other. Taking pride in being able to pull up to the party with their long-term girlfriends/boyfriends in tow, showing up after work as a functional pre-marital double act, there to publicly fawn over each other and discuss how carnivorous their bosses are and the toils of trying to buy a property. Of course, we grow up so expectations and priorities change. But sorry, that's not what I'm trying to hear at a 'house party'. These things are not house parties. They are Social Milestone Discussion Clubs. House parties are about meeting the love of your life, doing funny shit, shaking a leg, getting waved, creating memories and having a good fucking time.
The shaking of said leg.
Every person you meet at a house party is a door. And every conversation is an avenue. You don't know what's on the other side of that encounter. Or where that chat may take you. Sometimes, our lives can feel scripted. Experienced through a subconscious lens. House parties are like a big slash scythed into the space time continuum, a fortuitous imbalance in the force. Which set off a series of completely random events. They represent spontaneity and surprise which for me, is the magic of life.
So please, let's not ruin that with a cheese board.