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He Said/She Said: Party Planning — Who Does it Better?

December 6, 2010

My guest this week is the ubertalented writer Ryne Douglas Pearson, a screenwriter of one of my personal favorite sci-fi movies, Knowing. Author of Top Ten & Simple Simon (made into the Bruce Willis movie Mercury Rising). He’s a devoted bacon aficionado, good guy, and all-around cool dude.

We decided to tackle this issue: who plans better parties? (Chicks, der.) To be fair though, we were specific to football parties; to make it fair to the dudes.

Shall we?

SHE SAID:

Pigskin, Prada, and Primebeef. Oh, My.

To say that men and women prepare for a Monday Night Football bash differently is a wee bit of an understatement.



For me, I want to make sure that the house is presentable, the kids are clean, and that the kitchen and liquor cabinet are well stocked.


But in truth, at the top of my priority list is: what the hell am I gonna wear?


The second my guy informs me that a few peeps are coming over for a party, my mind automatically heads to my closet of course.


I’m already mentally picturing my cute new jeans that make my butt look not fat along with that great new clingy black sweater that make my boobs look not small—and that won’t clash with whoever the hell is playing that day. Priorities, ya know.


And of course there’s the shoes! Hmmm…too bad it’s casual, dammit. Realizing my new Prada heels would probably make me look a tad overdressed, I sigh disappointedly as I gaze at them longingly in my mind before mentally putting them back on the lonely closet shelf and trading them for my stupid, stupid (though of course adorable) new trainers.


That task accomplished, I’m off to discuss menu options with my man. But wait—what’s this? The guy who is incapable of finding butter in a refrigerator filled with the stuff has not only already been to the grocery store, he’s planned an entire menu around the prime beef that can only be found at the specialty butcher thirty miles away, which he’s already purchased in mass quantities.


I feel as if I’ve entered some kind of food Twilight Zone. Cue music.


Couldn’t we have just ordered pizza? I’ve got hair to blow dry and straighten here, dude.


Husband explains that he’s got a new meat recipe going that’s he’s all excited about and to just chill out. Which I would do, except for the fact that my formerly clean kitchen is now a complete disaster and people will be here in a few hours.


I certainly hope he purchased vodka on one of his trips to the store. #justsayin


What is it that gets men so jazzed up about football and meat? Maybe it’s the pigskin. Or, is it the animalistic, masculine nature of the game that brings out the need for our testosterone-filled guys to go out and hunt for meat in the wild forests and jungles of our brightly lit, modern grocery stores?


Martini in hand, I wield my blowdryer and mascara wand, mutli-tasking like nobody’s business. Dress my wriggling five-year old son, pull my eleven-year-old’s hair back, clean the sink, and announce the house ready for the party. Bring it.


Wait a sec. If he can have his prime beef, then by golly, I can certainly have my Pradas.


Hey, all is fair in love and football, baby.





HE SAID:

America’s Next Top Meathead

I’ve come to the conclusion that women equate parties with organization, a spotless house, and some form of centerpiece on a table—usually something that’s little more than a bowl of fruit, with the money citrus shuffled to the top. Because, you know, guests can be so judgmental when they spot a bruised rind.







Why do they miss the point of parties? Which every Tomdickenharry knows from the first invite they get to a pre-school classmate’s third birthday.






To channel some Carville here, ‘It’s the food, stupid.’






Food. Be it sugary treats and cake frosting that snot-nosed munchkins devour, or the more substantial offerings at gatherings where the main focus is pretending to like football while Super Bowl XXXXXXVIIIXMCM is being played, the point of a party IS TO EAT.






Socialize? What? You’re suggesting the idea is to get together and ‘talk?’ Excuse me, my wife and every other female member of the family are over by the chips and dip proving my point. They would not be gossiping by a bowl drained of Ruffles.






So, with the point being proven that ‘to party is to eat,’ I share with you now my shining moment in the realm of embracing that credo…






Twelve years ago. Maybe thirteen. It was an aforementioned Super Bowl get together, with a mere six guests expected. I believe the Braves were taking on the Canucks at the Blazerdome in Fargo. So I was dispatched to the store to acquire all necessary supplies. Drinks aplenty, bags and bags of chips, rolls for sandwiches, and…






…the meat.






I cannot describe the pure joy I feel when shopping for dead flesh. It’s what I do best. Moving up and down the deli case, to me, is like foreplay. The look before the dance. That day I visually sampled the choices and made my selections. Sliced applewood smoked turkey for sandwiches. And roast beef, perfectly rare and cut as thin as paper. And ham. Sliced roasted chicken breast. Dry salami. And cheese. Some people do like cheese. Provolone is my poison so that went in the basket. And swiss. Some pepper jack.






It was, to be perfectly honest, something requiring a poet to describe. That gorgeous selection of meat and cheese. And I could not wait to get home to show my wife what an amazing spread we were going to be putting out for our guests.






When I arrived home and laid all that I had purchased on the kitchen counter for her to adore, this is how the exchange went.






Wife: What is all this?






Me: Meat and cheese. Isn’t it amazing?






Wife: Uh, how much did you get?






Me: Enough. Why?






Wife: Enough? (She looks at packages) You bought a pound of each? (I nod, pleased.) A pound of each for every person?






Me: So everybody can have some of each.






Wife: We’re having six people over. Plus us makes eight. You bought a pound each of five kinds of meat and three cheeses…for every person?






Me: Is there a problem?






Wife: (Stunned look precedes what comes next) You just came home with SIXTY FOUR pounds of meat and cheese, for eight people, for a party that’s going to last four hours, tops.






I kinda did the math there after she said that. If I could have, I would have chest-bumped myself. Only problem was I forgot the bread.






The wife decided to go get that herself.

You should leave any comments for Rachel or Ryne below. They appreciate them and are especially happy if you press the little RETWEET button. You can also go visit Ryne over on his fabulous blog because he’s a genius, needs more followers and the validation. And stuff.

Ryne has a bunch of books out. Confessions is his latest; go buy them here.


Thanks for your support. (Wait. Wasn’t that a winecooler tagline from the 80s? I hate winecoolers. Never mind. )





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3 Comments
  1. I tend to let the hubby deal with the parties. I'm not a social person and I don't like to do much in regards to parties. Of course I'm the one who gets saddled with cleaning up before the parties. I make him clean up after. He complains about having to cook and clean. I just tell him he's the one who wanted the party so he can stuff it.

  2. I am not much of a party person, however the wife is. More of a good cleaning of the house and a fantastic FOOD menu. I would rather hide than help out – but I force myself and do what I can.
    Your posts were hilarious. Thanks.

  3. Okay, this is totally spot on in our house, but the spouse prefers to showcase his dutchoven cooking skills by cooking up bbq babyback ribs…which by the way are fab! The men go to the basement theatre room and the girls stay upstairs to chat. Only problem is, I would prefer to be downstairs w/the men and HELL NO, you're not going to find me in a pair a pradas.

    Great post-sorry it took me so long to get to it. You both rock

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