Thursday, October 30, 2008

Party 'til the Donkeys Come Home

Win or Lose, We'll Feel Better When We Eat
by Jane Black
Washington Post Staff Writer
Washington Post
Food Section
October 29, 2008

Or is it "party 'til the elephants come home"? It all depends on your perspective. I laughed at Jane Black's article, because it sounded so familiar. Election night has a festive feel to it, and E. and I have the urge to have people over. But an election night party is different from a Holiday Open House or a Halloween Haunting or a Cinco de Mayo Fiesta or any other gathering I can think of. We all know that some of the people who are nearest and dearest to us are not people we would choose to spend election night with. For some reason, the conversations that get the most heated and hurtful usually have to do with politics or religion, so often it is best to just not go there. The invitees to the election night party have to be people who will mourn if you are mourning and celebrate if you are celebrating. They have to be willing to stay up until the West Coast polls close and will sweat out the wait on the swing states with you. They have to be the people who will appreciate all the snarky comments you have saved up for this one and only night. In other words, it's a pretty small group. Nevertheless, it's an occasion that calls for some kind of communal observance.

Jane Black's article totally nails the dicey etiquette of election night parties, and she talks about how many local restaurants are getting into the spirit of the occasion by offering uniquely named dishes and drinks like "Obamalettes" and "McHitos" and asking people to "vote" with their order. Different chefs propose "red" menus for Republican gatherings (roasted red pepper soup and braised beef, for example) and "blue" for Democrat (blue cheese burgers and cheesecake topped with blueberries). Either menu sounds pretty delicious to me.

We are returning from a short trip to NYC on Election Day, so we are settling for a small gathering with a few neighbors. We will purchase snack foods in advance and probably whip up a pot of chili. Pretty simple stuff, but festive and communal all the same. We'll bust out a bottle of champagne of things go as we hope, and make do with hot chocolate and comfort food if they do not.

So - what are you doing for election night? Who is coming over or where are you going? What will you eat and drink? This is not a poll of any kind - I'm taking a sabbatical from those. I'm simply curious and glad to find a spot of humor in the election coverage.

Reverent Reader


At 10/30/08, 4:19 PM , Blogger Deb said...

I read this article and laughed heartily as well. We're actually taking advantage of the two-day hiatus in MoCo schools and doing a quick college visit. The plan is to get in line before the polls close to do our civic duty.

(My smart middle schooler suggested that you could make bleucheese burgers and put catsup on them and have both parties represented.) LOL


At 10/30/08, 4:25 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

L - I only glimpsed the article, but came away from it and your commentary with the feeling that prior conversation with whomever you invite is a must, perhaps two or three encounters before you can feel safe entertaining on election night. Vet your guest. Similarly, watch whom you invite to OU TV football games, as do we for PSU. Enemies lurk everywhere. Neighbor hood parties can also be treacherous, not knowing who talks to whom at the present (boundary disputes, barking dogs, late night parties, etc., we attest. And as I have said before, an election night party with our kids present would be a disaster. The safest party is an SM get together, knowing that we agree to disagree, if called for. You can't go wrong with that as a filter. Invite me - you know how tolerant I am as long as you agree with me.

At 10/31/08, 9:51 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey sis...good question. I haven't really thought about what I am going to do election night. Whatever I do, it will be MUCH more tame than the events I used to go to in DC.

Also, I believe you are making a slight referral to the epic intrafamily political argument at Bullfeathers a few years ago. LOL. *shudders*


Yer brother.

At 10/31/08, 10:31 AM , Blogger Reverent Reader said...

Chan - was I there? I can certainly remember some hideous arguments over the years, which is why we don't discuss it anymore. But I do NOT remember one at Bullfeathers. Maybe I have blocked it out.


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