Friday, August 12, 2005

Social moires: bunco vs. poker nights

I am finding great amusement tonight as I sit here listening to the sounds coming from my garage. A whole gaggle of guys have landed at our house tonight, for my husband's turn at hosting poker night. What this translates to me is, staying up with crying daughter tonight and not getting any cool "me-time" that I thought I would get! (DAMN IT! NO FAIR!) I haven't even gotten to paint my horrid-looking toenails people!

But, I am most amused at thinking about the differences in social events for men and women. A few days ago, my husband decided to see if everyone could "pokerize" tonight. Did he plan a menu, clean the house like a madman, get out the good dishes and wine glasses, stress over every little detail as I would do when hosting my bunco group?

Hell no. He did clean the garage of the clouds of white Labrador retriever hair that float around most days in there. He made a quick trip last night to the grocery store for some chips and snacks. And, I'll be damned if that wasn't about it!

I kept asking him if he wanted me to make something, or even just heat up some store bought appetizers for the group.

"No, no, no. No one has hot stuff. Don't do that. Just the chips are fine."
Tables. The tables were an afterthought.

"Well, we'll just pull out the kitchen table and maybe someone else will have one."

Anywhere from 8 to 15 people were supposed to come. It was no big deal, they would figure it out when they got here, he told me.

I offered to put out my glass bowls I usually put the salsa in, so each table could have some. No, they'd just be using a couple of styrofoam, cheap-ass bowls. What about paper plates or something?
Oh, we'll just pass around the chips and grab from the bag. That's what we always do. Just hand me the paper towels."

"Paper towels? Don't you want to use the napkins at least?"

"No, these will be fine. Really.

"How about some queso? I could put in the crockpot and y'all could plug it in out there?"

"No, really. Just the salsa. Nothing hot. It's too much."

"Are you sure you don't want to just play in here? It's like 100 degrees and that garage is sweltering?"

"I'll put the shop fan on. We'll be fine."
(Translation/truth: there will be lots of drunkenness and cigar-smoking going on...I don't want to traumatize you or the kids.)

OK, now lets compare this to my normal bunco night. One time a year, I host a night of bunco with the girls. Each time you hostess, you're expected to make a full "froo-froo" meal for 12 ladies, complete with appetizers, lots of wine and drinks, a nice meal, and dessert. Oh, and each bunco table has candies or nuts for when we play.

People go all out. Their houses are all decorated either by a professional or look like they were (except mine which still has the builder beige paint throughout). Scented candles are lit, soft music plays in the background, lights are dimmed, etc. Kids are shuttled off to grandparents or the husband takes them out for a long dinner and then quickly takes them up to bed.

But, as I listen to the uproarious laughter outside my kitchen window, I realize the same thing really goes on at these things in the end. People just enjoying other people--having some drinks to numb the mind of all the stresses that go on in families today. Embellished stories and dirty jokes, bragging and betting, and the sex stories that build as the night goes on---it isn't that different between the women and men really--aside from the occasional belch or fart that can only be socially accepted by the men.

Hmm...maybe we're not so different after all...NOT!!!

2 Comments:

Blogger Suburban Turmoil said...

Yep, Hubs invites people over all the time with little or no notice of their arrival. He can't understand what I'm talking about when I say the house isn't clean. And he can't understand why on earth I host events like play group when he sees me get stressed out about cleaning the night before.
Men and women are definitely different! Although to be honest, I generally prefer the men's conversation to the women's...

10:00 AM, August 13, 2005  
Blogger Crazy MomCat said...

After the catty women I've had to deal with this year, I'd say a big AMEN to that last statement you made!

11:25 AM, August 13, 2005  

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