I hate Parties; They bring out the worst in me. There is the Novelty Affair, Given by the woman Who is awfully clever at that sort of thing. Everybody must come in fancy dress; They are always eleven Old-Fashioned Girls, And fourteen Hawaiian gentlemen Wearing the native costume Of last season's tennis clothes, with a wreath around the neck. The hostess introduces a series of clean, home games: Each participant is given a fair chance To guess the number of seeds in a cucumber, Or thread a needle against time, Or see how many names of wild flowers he knows. Ice cream in trick formations, And punch like Volstead used to make Buoy up the players after the mental strain. You have to tell the hostess that it's a riot, And she says she'll just die if you don't come to her next party— If only a guarantee went with that! Then there is the Bridge Festival. The winner is awarded an arts-and-crafts hearth-brush, And all the rest get garlands of hothouse raspberries. You cut for partners And draw the man who wrote the game. He won't let bygones be bygones; After each hand He starts getting personal about your motives in leading clubs, And one word frequently leads to another. At the next table You have one of those partners Who says it is nothing but a game, after all. He trumps your ace And tries to laugh it off. And yet they shoot men like Elwell. There is the Day in the Country; It seems more like a week. All the contestants are wedged into automobiles, And you are allotted the space between two ladies Who close in on you. The party gets a nice early start, Because everybody wants to make a long day of it— They get their wish. Everyone contributes a basket of lunch; Each person has it all figured out That no one else will think of bringing hard-boiled eggs. There is intensive picking of dogwood, And no one is quite sure what poison ivy is like; They find out the next day. Things start off with a rush. Everybody joins in the old songs, And points out cloud effects, And puts in a good word for the colour of the grass. But after the first fifty miles, Nature doesn't go over so big, And singing belongs to the lost arts. There is a slight spurt on the homestretch, And everyone exclaims over how beautiful the lights of the city look— I'll say they do. And there is the informal little Dinner Party; The lowest form of taking nourishment. The man on your left draws diagrams with a fork, Illustrating the way he is going to have a new sun-parlour built on; And the one on your right Explains how soon business conditions will better, and why. When the more material part of the evening is over, You have your choice of listening to the Harry Lauder records, Or having the hostess hem you in And show you the snapshots of the baby they took last summer. Just before you break away, You mutter something to the host and hostess About sometime soon you must have them over— Over your dead body. I hate Parties; They bring out the worst in me.
Dorothy Parker - 1893-1967
The Passionate Freudian to His Love
Only name the day, and we'll fly away In the face of old traditions, To a sheltered spot, by the world forgot, Where we'll park our inhibitions. Come and gaze in eyes where the lovelight lies As it psychoanalyzes, And when once you glean what your fantasies mean Life will hold no more surprises. When you've told your love what you're thinking of Things will be much more informal; Through a sunlit land we'll go hand-in-hand, Drifting gently back to normal. While the pale moon gleams, we will dream sweet dreams, And I'll win your admiration, For it's only fair to admit I'm there With a mean interpretation. In the sunrise glow we will whisper low Of the scenes our dreams have painted, And when you're advised what they symbolized We'll begin to feel acquainted. So we'll gaily float in a slumber boat Where subconscious waves dash wildly; In the stars' soft light, we will say good-night— And “good-night!” will put it mildly. Our desires shall be from repressions free— As it's only right to treat them. To your ego's whims I will sing sweet hymns, And ad libido repeat them. With your hand in mine, idly we'll recline Amid bowers of neuroses, While the sun seeks rest in the great red west We will sit and match psychoses. So come dwell a while on that distant isle In the brilliant tropic weather; Where a Freud in need is a Freud indeed, We'll always be Jung together.