Monday, December 04, 2006

Ongoing discussions about the Halloween Party

A few of my friends got together Saturday, and the conversation eventually turned to the Halloween party.

Now this isn't as strange as it sounds, even though it is now December. We were just now getting to look at some pictures of the party that one of my friends just had developed. So the conversation started out nice enough, but they very quickly got around to complaining about it.

So one of my friends is just really unhappy that everything at the club is being turned into a fundraiser, and most of those funds end up going toward the Halloween party. The thing that got him started on that was the club gift exchange, or maybe I should say, the official gift exchange, since some of us will be exchanging more gifts afterwards. So, on the 16th, those of us who want to participate will bring a wrapped gift that costs between $10-$20, with exceptions being made to accept baked goods from a few people who have real talent in that area. So we place the gift on the appropriate table, and then we draw numbers. The person with the smallest number picks a gift, opens it in front of everyone, then sets down and the person with the next smallest number picks up a gift and opens it. Or if someone before you got something that you really like, you can "steal" it, and that person can go and open another gift. There are some rules about how many times a certain gift and change hands and how many times a person can have a gift "stolen", but I forget the exact rules for that.

The thing that has my friend upset, is that now there is a fundraiser associated with the gift exchange. Once you have a gift that you want to keep, you can purchase "theft insurance" for one dollar, and then you get to keep that gift even if someone else wants to take it.

But that fundraiser wasn't even for the Halloween Party. That money went to a needy family that we were trying to cheer up because one of them had cancer. And it's just costs a dollar. It's no big deal. And the needy family got an extra twenty-five dollars or so towards whatever else they might have wanted. It's not the same thing at all as a Halloween party fundraiser.

And as for the other fundraisers, I think that they're fun. But to be truthful, I've never had the winning bid on anything, and I've only recently started donating things. I haven't participated in them near as much as my friend, and I can see that after all of this time he might be tired of the whole thing.

But really, if that's the way you feel about it, just don't bid on anything, and don't contribute anything. If others feel the same those particular fundraisers will go away entirely. If not, they will continue on just fine without your help, and you can either watch other people have fun or find something else to do that day.

So my other friend has a whole different set of problems with the Halloween party.

She also has a problem with the fundraisers. Not so much that we have fund raisers, but that we still have to buy tickets after we've had all these fundraisers. She thinks that we should either have a free party or at least really cheap tickets so that more people will come. And this year, in addition to having all these fundraisers, our friend who doesn't like the fundraisers did the music himself and we didn't spend waste money on a DJ. So we had fundraisers and we didn't have a DJ, so why were the tickets so expensive? It just doesn't seem to register that the club could still do something else with that money, or that maybe the tickets will cost less next year because we've got money left over from this year. Besides, I think some other problem has come up, and the club is going to be spending about an extra six hundred dollars next year, and we need to hold on to some of this money just in case.

I think her main concern is that she doesn't think it was a good party unless there were a lot of people dancing. She remembers fifteen years ago or whenever the first party was, and everyone came to dance and they only bought the food so that they'd have enough energy to keep dancing. And that's what she wants it to be now, a party with a bunch of people dancing in elaborate costumes. And this year there just weren't many people dancing, or the year before, and probably the year before that.

To be honest, I don't much remember a lot of people dancing since 9-11. Since the party is at a government building, 9-11 did kind of put a damper on things. But I still don't think she should get all upset about people not dancing.

To begin with, this is not the same exact group from years ago. I think the guy who started the party has died. I certainly have not seen him in many years, and he was never in good health even back then. So a lot of the people who really liked to dance have either moved away or just have other things that keep them busy. Or maybe they like dancing so much that they spend more of their time doing just that, and they don't have time for the club anymore.

I personally do not dance much. I dance a couple of times at this party and a bit at the New Year's party, and that is all. Dancing wasn't allowed at all when I was younger, and I found I didn't have much use for it in college either. To tell the truth, dancing in public is a bit of a headache. Other people like to dance with music that is much louder than I enjoy. So even during that brief time in my life that I wanted to go out and dance, I just couldn't do it much because of the noise level. So, I do not go to party to dance. In fact, I am one of those people who buys a ticket not to use the dance floor, but to eat. My friend just hates that.

So the party now has a different group of people, and some of them just don't like to dance. And the other thing is, even though there are still a lot of people from the original group, it's fifteen years later, and maybe dancing just isn't their thing anymore. And, some of them do go to eat, and some of them go to enter the costume contest or the weird food contest or some other contest. And some of them just go to talk to their friends and watch other people and don't dance and don't even enter a contest. Some of them don't wear great costumes. Some of them don't wear any costumes.

Personally, I don't know why a person would want to go to this particular party if they don't wear a costume, but there's not a rule against it.

So my friend hates that no one was dancing, and I said why weren't you dancing more, and she said she didn't want to be the only one out there. So if you don't like dancing enough that you won't do it without a bunch of other people dancing too, and you are the main one complaining about people not dancing, maybe there just shouldn't be dancing. Get over it.

The other thing that had her upset this time was that no one was mingling. People got some food and sat down at a table with some friends and didn't mingle. It's a party and they're supposed to be mingling. She thinks this happened because there wasn't a DJ, and her solution to the problem is to turn up the volume and point the speakers right at the tables, so people can't hear themselves talk at the tables and they'll have to get up and walk around a bit. And, while they're standing up, they might want to go dance. She thinks it's a party and people shouldn't just sit at a table and talk to their friends.

But it's their party too. If they want to sit at a table and eat and talk to their friends and not participate in any of the contests, they can do that. Get over it already. It's the Halloween Party, not the Halloween Dance.

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