I have a love for art and a missing art form I felt worthy of discussion is the annual company party. Done well it is about true appreciation. Those who participate in the capitalist system as owners and managers and those who make the products that the system requires come together to show their interdependence, their respect for each other, and most importantly to have fun. I fell into a third category, the ones who supply the goods and services, the outside vendors. It is a study in mutual symbiosis. You seepartying is scientific and it is quite surreal. I get up on a snowy morning, ride to the airport, fly into Charlotte, snatch a rental car, and within an eight hour period, I am in the coiffing mode segue into the party state of mind.
While Lloyd was finishing getting ready, I slipped my blue sport coat over my pink alligator shirt that matched my pink socks. I am comfortable in my sexuality and I like color. I stepped out the hotel room door and saw the crowd gathering by the lobby bar and it prompted me to sing lowly Ricky Nelson’s comeback hit.
“I went to a garden party to reminisce with my old friends
A chance to share old memories and play our songs again
When I got to the garden party, they all knew my name
No one recognized me, I didn’t look the same.”
Actually in my case that last line of the stanza was not an issue. Dr. Seuss once said, “If I were invited to a dinner party with my characters, I wouldn’t show up.” Again not true for me. I love the characters of my life.
I also dearly love parties and I am very proud of companies that throw parties for their employees. Capitalism and caring are not mutually exclusive concepts. When entrepreneurs do things because they want to and not because they have to, it is genuine. I like genuine. I am proud and honored to do business with genuine companies. It is pure joy for an old road warrior like me.
And as to a good party I fall in with the expressive Walt Whitman, “I am for those who believe in loose delights…I dance with the dancers and drink with the drinkers.” Being sensible, the organizers gave each person, three drink coupons which promotes a good time but not imprudence. Compromise can make for good business and good partying.
And when the DJ started off with “Shout” and then moved directly into “The Twist”, I was on the floor after adding Mardi Gras beads to my person and keeping a fire extinguisher on standby in case myloafers caught afire.
I talked a lot Saturday night because I like people but only afterstuffing myself withplenty of good food. “At a dinner party one should eat wisely but not too well, and talk well but not too wisely,” said Somerset Maugham. I ran the gamut of conversation from business to sports to the meaning of life while standing outside for a breath of fresh air in the midst of those who still smoke and do so regardless of the temperature outside; where they have now been required to go.
You will often see me ina dark corner at a party merely observing the fun. That, too, is also fun for watching other people have fun is fun and people having fun rarely want to fight except if you grow up in East Tennessee where fighting is also amusement and which is why I now have front caps.
On Sunday after another plane ride and a time zone change, I am back in Nashville, finishing up the NY Times crossword that I started on Saturday morning. I began singing the Ricky Nelson song again and this time I finished it,
“But it’s all right now, I learned my lesson well.
You see, ya can’t please everyone, so ya got to please yourself.”
Kudos to Great American Companies and Adam Smith,