Wednesday, October 20, 2010


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.

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 evening when we were at a posh, and very large, cocktail party on Central Park West held to celebrate the marriage of my friend Sheila.

It became apparent that no one was actually listening to anything that Dick or I had to say so I decided to try to spark up the conversation. I told one of the guests (an aspiring actress) that I was a bit concerned about every having a child since so many of them 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 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. This would-be actress wasn’t listening anyway. She dismissed us with a wave of her hand and rushed off into the crowd.

Ah, yes…the cocktail party…an American institution.


Blogger Beatrice P. Boyd said...

Another interesting observation and accompanying story, Ginnie. And, the not listening still goes on today at social events.

6:46 PM  
Blogger Anvilcloud said...

It's a good thing I am a nobody because those kinds of "do's" would drive me crazy.

5:22 AM  
Blogger Diana said...

A good sense of humor can make things much bearable! I think it's great that you and your husband were so in sink that evening!
I wonder if the what to be actress ever got her shot at fame?
Love Di ♥

10:39 AM  
Blogger KGMom said...

Haha--hoisted in their own petard. I always wanted to say that...

4:14 PM  
Blogger kenju said...

I think that is still true today, especially in the 20-30 age group.

7:04 PM  
Blogger possum said...

I do not miss that scene and refuse to go to similiar events today. Fortunately I have a group of wonderful friends who accept the fact that I don't drink and honor that. When we have get togethers, they are booze free and amazingly we DO listen to each other and have a lot of fun! And we have discovered, we are interesting people!
(maybe it is because we don't go with agendas like being "noticed?")

5:28 AM  
Blogger Syd said...

I think those kinds of folks still are around. Always looking to move to the next person, someone who will either feed their ego or to whom they may ingratiate themselves.

6:39 AM  

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