This is probably the third or fourth time that I have gone, in the 8 years that I have known the P****'s family, though the last time I came was summer '02 while I was still an undergrad. This year was no different, though less painless, as I avoided a run in (laden with sexual tension) with Capt. Frustrated.
Anyway, while I was waiting for friends to show up, I began to notice the sub-cultural groups present at the party; 4 distinguishable groups at this gathering, that you too, may have noticed present at a function that you have attended.
Group A. The married crowd with kids, or any non-married's over the age of 40, this group also includes the elderly. This is the group at parties that cozy down in lawn furniture under the shade of trees and awnings, talking about who married who, and guess who's pregnant?, all while passing around the most recent addition to somebody's family. The men talk about sports (that night the Tigers vs. Red Socks), work, cars, your normal boring conversation. The women share recipes about how they made that great looking jello salad that looked like Richard Nixon...or firecrackers...or something patriotic. Am I sterotyping by gender? You bet. This is the Midwest and where I grew up, I find that gender stereotyping is still pretty accurate.
Which leads us to Group B. These are the ones seens cavorting, and baby passing with Group A. Group B. is especially dangerous to those in Group D. because Group B. members act as a chameleon, blending in with Group D. due to their ability to blend in on the basis of age. Use caution with this group, like Group A., Group B. members will ask singletons (see Group D.) questions like, "when are you getting married?" "When are you having babies?" "That wasn't you we saw stumble out of XYZ bar Saturday night, while we were on our way to a church function, was it?" And they also offer helpful Gone with the Wind-ish advice like, "Men may flirt with girls like that, but they don't marry them!" They are the worst group because they pretend that they were never in Group D. This is obviously a lie, how else did they meet Prince Charming? The church social. I don't think so.
Group C. (also known as "les innocentes") This is the group of anyone under the age of 15. Can be seen at parties such as this playing kick ball, singing what they think are "cool" modern songs- ones that their parents hate them listening to-karyoke style, and being a general nuisance. The older of the group may be smart enough to avoid Group A. and Group B., the younger of the group are loosed upon all party seekers, either running around screaming, or via a game of "pass the baby." This is also the group that throws things that hurt the Ozone into the bonfire.
Group D. A.k.a."The Singletons" ("Any individual with no partner, either of the same or opp sex, a person with the relationship status - "single"~Urban Dictionary) loll around the yard, playing horsehoes, admiring the pond, chit chatting as little as possible with Group A. and Group B., unless they can speak with them one-on-one (as members of those groups, like wolves or Cougars, are worse in packs). Group D. members talk about the last good concert they went to, what bar they hit last, where everyone is going next weekend. Sentences involving the words "married" or "children," better come from a conversation about the TV show Married with Children.
All in all it was an interesting party. Saw a few people that I had not seen in a while, had some conversations with the other Singletons, avoided Groups A. and B. successfully. At around midnight we all left to do what Singletons do-get a drink at the bar.