nothing quite like them. I prefer to think its not because im a tight wad or cheap or anything but the politely referred to 'catered' or 'lunch/dinner provided' has a way of bringing people together in a spirit thats unmatched. Its a freedom to revert to the somewhat irresponsible, unite as a group, feel a part of Team Friend. Thats why I really love weddings. The ultimate in TeamFriend, a party of oneness like no other. But the 'free meals' Ive been invited to lately have been for the ritual passing over into the 'shit, I really am officially in the no longer a groovy young thing realm and staying there may be a little embarrassing' camp.
Somehow, with the passing of years we have morphed into 'middle class, middle aged comfortables with kids' and after time apart when we we all get together we relive our misspent youth (some more than others) and wonder how 25 years has passed so quickly. These cliches of time inadvertantly arise, get dissected and declared 'how true' and the comfortable conversation of people who have been around each other for so long moves seamlessly along. We are doing this more and more, the amazed declarations of the passing of time.
I love these occasions, and as I get older these old friendships from high school and university have come to mean so much and catching up with families of these friends; the parents, siblings and grandparents gives us all an opportunity to remember those parts of our lives we shared together. The trouble we got into and the accidents we had, life events like death and divorce get discussed and all are viewed with the rose coloured spectacles of time and drinking too much wine together. Then we sing a silly song, candles get blown, cake cut and shared, cheers are called. Its all good fun and life affirming. Im looking forward to another 12 months of the passing into 40 of those around me and I have to say Im looking forward to mine.