Recipe for a perfect Saturday Night

  1. Holiday party in a neighborhood (Rogers Park) you don’t frequent and that’s a bit out of the normal radius which makes you feel adventurous and that you’re really going somewhere tonight
  2. Warm enough weather that your sweater and infinity scarf is enough and you can go coat-less
  3. Comfy party pants
  4. Pick up pine-infused hostess flowers on the way to the party that make the car smell heavenly
  5. Drive through houses with lit-up windows that allow you to be the Peeping Tom you secretly are and tree-twinkling white lights lining Sheridan Road
  6. Parking spot on a street with no parking spots
  7. Reconnection with your first “new friend” you made when moving back to Chicago post-college fifteen years ago, whom you met training for your first marathon, so will always hold a special place in your heart; a spandex-clad, sweaty, 7AM Saturday morning long run place
  8. With twenty or so guests, conversational tones instead of yelling to be heard, and being able to move freely instead of being sardined
  9. An adult home with cheese knives and a lack of red solo cups
  10. Hold and play with a cute baby who thinks you are hilarious and keeps grabbing your boobs
  11. Give a crying baby back to its parents and stay in the other room for the rest of the night so glad that baby’s not yours
  12. Park it on a couch for the rest of the party and quality conversations with one, two, a few, chatting travel and home purchases and Fear Experiment and Best Friend’s Workplace Improv and Idea Potluck and Minglers, with others asking question after question so that you spend a chunk of time “selling” your business without ever selling your business
  13. A Southern gay guy, thick with drawl, makes you cosmos and keeps you topped off
  14. A two year old goes to town on the iced gingerbread cookies you brought
  15. Watch people decorate the beautiful tree, with ornaments and classic white lights (the only way to decorate a tree)
  16. Eventually the entire party around your couch, driving Fear Experiment and Workplace Improv chatter — “Tell my husband about improv and why it’ll help me in my career.” “Where do I find out more info?” “Alex, you have to hear this!”
  17. Fascinated party-goers when you explain that Best Friend went to one party and you came to this one, and that no, you probably won’t meet up later
  18. Because the party started at 5pm, your 8pm exit to head to another party is not rude and doesn’t make you feel like you just put in an appearance
  19. Second holiday party in a neighborhood about a 25 minute drive from first holiday party takes you past Ethiopian restaurants, stores with ducks hanging in the windows, a gorgeous community center for LGBT persons, the theater that houses Blue Man Group, men on the sidewalk in dark-rimmed glasses and rolled jeans
  20. Horrible spill-over traffic from Zoo Lights results in driving around in stop and start cars searching for parking
  21. Pretend to be upset at the thought of not being able to make party two, shrug and say “I tried”
  22. Happily head home at 8:45pm
  23. Ten piece chicken McNugget and sweet and sour sauce from the drive-through
  24. Return to utopia (Roscoe Village) where the streets are quiet and empty
  25. Pajama shorts and the softest Cubs tshirt
  26. Spritzes of just-arrived Cowshed’s Knackered Cow lavender-scented room fragrance
  27. A Best Friend’less home where you can eat your McNuggets without shame or him knowing you fell off the Health Wagon you’re on together
  28. A Best Friend’less home where you can watch Next Step Realty without him knowing you watch the trashiest TV show in the history of TV
  29. Get into clean sheets at 10:05pm, read a book about writing a book on your kindle while WBEZ plays on your Sonos and the humidifier hums peacefully

An ask: can all parties start at 5pm?