A while ago, I crashed two parties that were a good distance from each other. Luckily, it was before gas was so damn expensive.
The first event was downtown. It was early, and I knew the second one in Solana Beach would run late.
Tim explained that several wedding DJs were having a networking party. It was a Roaring ’20s–themed party. Tim wore a suit that fit the theme. I wore slacks and a jacket. I thought about borrowing a pocket watch from a friend whose husband collects them, but I forgot.
The backdrops of the name tags were newspaper clippings held by double-sided tape. I wasn’t paying much attention when I put mine on and ended up tearing it to shreds. It was half peeled and dangled from my chest.
I talked with a woman named Shari, who works for Charmed Events. She’s a wedding consultant. I asked her why it was that wedding parties needed consultants. I said, “Other than the premise for some Jennifer Lopez movie, where it gives added drama, is one really necessary? Is it that hard for someone to plan a wedding on their own?” Shari went into detail about how it eliminates the necessity of screening vendors and helps to avoid costly mistakes.
I talked to a few DJs and asked them if they thought live bands resent the fact that DJs have taken a lot of their jobs. One DJ said, “We can work a wedding for $1000 to $1500. A band might want four grand. I think if a couple wants to save money, they shouldn’t hire a wedding consultant, though.”
I thought about sending Shari over to set him straight.
Tim kept working the room, so I didn’t have much time to talk to him. I went and grabbed a drink and a pastry and overheard two women discussing J-Date. I asked what that was, and they told me that it was a dating service for Jewish singles. A joke popped into my head, but I refrained. I heard two other women discussing the costs of a wedding. I asked them what was the average cost these days, and they said $40,000 to $50,000.
As I was taking a picture of an African-American DJ, I heard one guy say, “It’s funny because you see the opposite in clubs: more black DJs. Here there’s only one.” I then overheard a woman say that that DJ was a jerk. I asked her why. “We’ve worked a few weddings together, and he has to run the show. One couple wanted to do their first dance at a certain time, and he wanted it done at a different time. I would tell him something else the couple wanted done, and he wouldn’t want to do it. This happened at two different weddings and then he had the nerve to send me a nasty letter about how I was unprofessional.”
“Doesn’t the couple getting married have the say in all of that?” I asked. “I mean, if they want to hear ‘Brown Eyed Girl’ 25 times in a row, doesn’t the DJ just do that?” She replied, “You’d think. But he doesn’t. He just does what he wants.”
I looked back over at the DJ in question and said, “Oh my God! I know that guy. We worked at the same radio station...and he did the same thing there. He’d play songs that weren’t on the playlist.” I knew bands trying to make it big often ended up playing weddings and bar mitzvahs, but I didn’t realize that that can also happen with radio DJs.
* * *
I drove up to Solana Beach for the party at Beth’s house. I walked into the living room and heard a few women telling a guy that he was a hit with the ladies. Another guy said, “Did you say Mike hit a lady?”
I saw that the food set up on the counter was gone, except for a little bit of dip.
I talked with someone who worked for the U.S. Forest Service. He told me a story about a trap that is used for small animals, such as squirrels. He was using one at his house and caught a skunk that bit his thumb and sprayed everything.
I asked him if tomato juice got rid of the smell. “Nothing did. I left my shoes outside for weeks.”
Someone else mentioned being bitten by a possum. When a woman walked by, someone said, “You have any animal-bite stories?” She said, “Yeah, actually. I reached into a fish tank and got bit.”
The skunk-bite story ended with tetanus shots.
I noticed that a woman sitting on a barstool had a long scar on her knee and asked her about it. She said it was from a shark. She started to talk about the attack. I guess after hearing the previous animal stories and with the recent shark attack in Solana Beach, I was gullible. As her story got outlandish, I called her on it. She admitted that she’d had ACL surgery after a lacrosse injury in high school.
A few guys were leaving, and one told his friend he had to drive. He said, “I can’t, man. I’ll get a DUI. My dad’s been a cop for 30 years. I can’t drive drunk.” His friend replied, “If your dad’s a cop, doesn’t that mean other cops won’t give you tickets?”
There was one girl on the couch asking if any men would give her a massage. I said, “What are men to you? Are we just massage machines? We’re not just pieces of meat for you women! We have feelings. We have needs, too. Sometimes we like to talk and would like for you to get to know us, instead of just giving you massages and getting all physical.” She wasn’t picking up on my sarcasm. Another guy jumped over and said, “I’ll give you a massage!”
He started rubbing her neck and shoulders and she said, “Oh, yeah, that’s great. Now I need someone to wax me,” and she threw a leg over the arm of the couch.
I walked out to the fire pit in the back yard to talk to my friend Meryl. She had just returned from a trip back East to visit relatives.
A woman brought a piece of pie out to her boyfriend and started feeding it to him. I said, “You should be making airplane sounds as you do that.” He said, “It’s mint chocolate. You should try some.” I said, “Okay,” and opened my mouth. She brought her fork over with a piece, laughing, and put it in my mouth.
It was good.