We went to a house party at Lynelle and Joe’s on Saturday night, a last-minute get together before we all head back to work on Monday. It was drizzling, the rain following an afternoon of wet snow that graced the trees, lawns, parked cars but left the streets uncovered. Driving on 91 South to 95 North Bill turned the wipers on to the delay mode, the blades moving in an arc across the windshield every two seconds, until the rain covered the glass in tiny bursts of silver causing him to switch the wipers to a constant pace. It was just around freezing when we arrived, the driveway icy when I stepped out of the car. Bill balanced an insulated bag with warm artichoke dip and chips in one hand and me in the other. We made our way up the back porch into their warm kitchen.
We were one of the first at the party but soon others arrived until fourteen of us were standing around the kitchen’s center island eating the appetizers we all brought, drinking wine, mixed drinks with vodka, flavored seltzer. We were invited to sit at the dining room table but chose to stand, walk around the food and talk to the others who stood. We all knew each other, some more than others, had all been to parties there before.
After grazing on dips, stuffed clams, sushi and shrimp we broke into two teams to play Head’s Up, a charades-like game that uses a smart phone. I had never heard of it before, don’t have much opportunity to watch Ellen, where apparently the game originated, don’t have a smart phone. The topics range from animals to accents to blockbusters to celebrities; the clues appear on the phone’s display, someone holds the phone to their forehead while their teammates shout out clues to help them correctly guess the topic. To register a correct answer the person tilts the phone toward the floor, to pass on a word the person tilts the phone toward the ceiling, after each tilt up or down a new word appears. It’s charades for the 21st century.
We took turns holding the phone up to our foreheads, tried to guess the topic/subject our teammates acted out. The funniest topic was music; we weren’t allowed to say anything, could only hum the tunes. We played air guitar, hummed loudly and out of tune, passed on many, got very silly. I’m not up on Lady Gaga’s music, haven’t seen The Little Mermaid (two songs came up) and have no idea how to hum John Mayer’s Daughters; each team only scored 1 point. We moved on to other topics where we fared a little better although Reese Witherspoon, Clare Danes, Amy Poehler were all described as blonde actresses making it tough to guess who they were until we started ticking off their movie and TV credits. It quickly became obvious who doesn’t keep up with popular culture, who isn’t interested in movies or rap singers. Also obvious was who didn’t understand the rules and which way to tilt their head when they guessed correctly or wanted to pass, up instead of down, down instead of up. Just watching the one with the phone jerk their head back or snap their head forward was enough to cause peals of laughter. Each team won a match; we played a tie breaker then pitted husbands against wives. By the time we finished playing we were all acting out or shouting out clues, the two teams having dissolved into one big one.
When we left the party the temperature had risen by about 5 degrees, the rain had stopped, the streets quiet and deserted.