Saturday, March 25, 2006

Pizza Party

Come on over for pizza was the invitation. What does that conjure up in your mind? A seat in front of a huge TV, a coffee table and its enrivons obscured by a gaggle of cardboard boxes, empty beeer bottles standing sentry on the floor, and crumpled up paper napkins stained with tomato sauce?

Well, you haven't been to a pizza party with older women, those rare females who remember when the act of wearing white gloves, a hat and pearls was more than just a Halloween costume.

Despite efforts by a wily Y chromosome to be the fox in the henhouse, the group remained unpenetrated by boy germs throughout the evening. Scissors cuts paper, paper covers rock, testosterone overwhelms estrogen [the two drops left]. The "girls" would have reverted to old behaviors, i.e., flirting, so no boys allowed.

Everyone gathered in the living room prior to game time for conversation and a designer plate of gaily arranged Carr's table water crackers, surrounded by slices of imported brie [which I guess is redundant, but I couldn't help myself], accompanied by a bowl of deliciously seasoned gourmet peanuts and another of sweet grape tomatoes for those with health requirements. And for your beverage of choice, a Waterford or Riedel glass.

How was your day? the hostess inquired. Old habits die hard, or take on an ironic twist. That classic query, asked by a woman who knew what it was like to stay home, raise children, and bring meat, potatoes and a smile to the table at the end of the day, elicited a flood of complaints foreign to most men. 

Changing hair color, getting new hairdos, and caring for an elderly parent topped the charts. Struggling with the vagaries of a digital camera caused one technically challenged senior citiizen [that's also redundant] more than a little consternation.

Enthusiasm for the teams was mixed, with the oldest guest lamenting the loss of the "short shorts" that were replaced by those long and baggy things ushered in during the Michael Jordan era, itself almost a generation ago. A return to those halcyon days of yesteryear and she might consider becoming a real fan once again.

Joining the group before we adjourned to the "game" room were two small dogs, the hallmarks of any older female gathering, providing the entertainment that small children usually offer. Several times the little poochies were scooped up for hugs and loves, while they worked the room like furry dustbusters vacuuming up whatever crumbs might have dropped on the floor.

Preparations for the pizza and a salad to accompany it were underway with the lighting of the oven. The very thought of serving, let alone preparing a salad is an anathema to most pizza party hosts. The hostess excused herself to lay out the buffet, joined by a volunteer sous chef who offered to contribute her culinary skills to insure the success of the fresh greens.

Finding comfortable spots in front of the TV, our feet warmed by the Persian rug, the rest of us chatted merrily about the tournament so far. Finding out that Gonzaga was not the name of a famous Indian chief was a revelation to some. Noting the football player size of the entire Boston College team caused some admiring gasps in others. The more knowledgeable among us explained the intricacies of telling the difference between home and away teams, while the neophytes guessed what the teams' initials meant.

Dinner was served. The mere announcement adds a grace note of decorum don't you think? Okay it was frozen pizza from Costco, but the buffet was pure Martha, with lovely Italian earthenware, cloth napkins, real, not plastic, flatware, a delicious argula salad, and red wine in crystal glasses, so it could breathe properly.

All agreed that the pizza met our standards for a good crispy crust and marvelous cheese. The flavor was no doubt enhanced by having it served on clean plates.

Dessert was passed around by our hostess afterward. She managed the difficult technique of presenting the sweets with one hand while offering us a glass dessert plate simultaneously with the other. A far cry from the food tossing so prevalent at most pizza parties.

Did I mention we were treated to baklava, which she had spent considerable time choosing just for us, along with the wine and salad, all of which, like the pizza, were bought at Costco.

Times have changed. Women work like men. Men finally figured out that wasn't such a bad deal. Marriage is on the wane. Partners are on the rise. Furniture can be rented. Meals have been outsourced. Dishes aren't washed, they're thrown away. Placemats are plastic. So are the utensils. Silver and china languish in their packing boxes, waitiing for the kind of parties that may now be virtually extinct.

But like the early Christians who celebrated the gospel in secret, there are women who still remember what it means to bring out the good stuff for their friends. 


psychfun said...

Bravo! Just lovely! Ha! I was smiling & laughing! Thanks! Lets see if we had someone write the equivalent of what a guys pizza party would be like that would be hysterical! Testosterone overwhelms estrogen HAAAAA! I love that! So true! Well at times! Sometimes you just roll your eyes at them & walk away laughing! HA! I think they would be the one's flirting you know just drooling at the estrogen but ya I know ball game on so that is just a tough decision. Hey, that would be a great question for guys, you got a top game & a "sure thing" which do you pick? Knowing them they'd say both with the long commercials (ok, short still but then did you see Woody Harrelson in "After the Sunset"? Ha! I'm real quick!) ;-) Of course you have half time so that would be a bit more time...they can go to the john & get some snacks too! HA! Sorry but see what you did! HAAAA! I do truly love men they are the best but the end of your post I also thought of how partners are disposable these days also! You know. Everything is just replace it. Sad sometimes! Thanks for the great posting! :-)

ksquester said...

Waterford, wine, pizza and women who know how to do it up right.........I'm tearing up and clasping my black Tahitian pearls now.  Invite me next time, please?  Anne

swibirun said...

Soooooo, I take it there were no burping contests?  What kind of game night is that? ha ha ha

We live in a neighborhood with a lot of young retirees and widows and I have been to several gatherings like you described.