THE COCKTAIL PARTY … 1959 … NEW YORK CITY
In 1959 my husband was launching his free lance photography business. We lived in New York City and we gave and attended many a cocktail party. This was our intro duction to the strange world of business and we were led to believe that you had to be part of the “scene” if you wanted to succeed.
What a sham those evenings were. The people attending the parties were much more interested in being seen than in actually talking about business…or anything of import, for that matter. It was seldom that anyone looked you in the eye. They would talk to you but their eyes were constantly scanning the room, always in search of that one person who was going to enhance their career.
Dick and I soon learned that the best way to survive those events was with a sense of humor. This came to the fore one Spring evening when we were at a posh, and very large, cocktail party on Central Park West. There were many would-be actors and actresses there and the competition for attention was high. It became apparent that no one was actually listening to anything that Dick or I had to say.
I was pregnant at the time and I was trying to spark up the conversation so I told one of the starlets that I was a little bit concerned about the upcoming birth because so many of the children in my immediate family had been born with six digits on each foot. Without batting an eye Dick chimed in with “but we’re not really worried, since most of the children on my side of the family have had just four toes on each foot, so it should even out.”
It was all that Dick and I could do to keep a straight face, but it didn’t really matter. The would-be actress wasn’t listening anyway. She dismissed us with a wave of her hand and melted into the crowd.
Ah, yes…the cocktail party…an American institution.