I like to party. I like joining friends and family for a few drinks and fun conversations and I like being at the center of those drinks and conversations the best I can. So, when I moved into my Southern California beach house in the dead of winter, I thought throwing a housewarming party to bring on warmer weather in California would be similar to how people once danced to bring on the rain.
Whether that works or not, throwing a party does bring about a chance to impress my friends and family. So, I invited a few friends and my twin brother, Tyler, and my half-sisters, Summerly and Amy to my housewarming party. And although Amy couldn’t join and my brother would come to the party later, which I’ll get into later, my half-sister Summerly came a full two days before the party even started.
That was a shock because Summerly, much like me, has an array of excuses handy to get out of social events.
Her most common are: “I have to work. My boyfriend, James, is sick. And I bought another pet.”
I don’t know how many pets she owns, but I was happy she didn’t use them as an excuse for the event. I was also happy to see her arrive with her own cot and pillows, as I didn’t have anywhere comfortable for her to sleep and the floor was entirely too cold. The extra time to get to know her was also cool, as we had only met a few times since meeting for the first time about three years ago.
We met pre-pandemic in 2020 for the first time on a reality TV show that thankfully never aired. Amy and Tyler were there to meet her as well. But unlike them, I moved from Germany (where I lived for five years) to California while they merely traveled from Irvine and San Diego to do the show in LA. I also had to reacquaint myself with Tyler and Amy since I hadn’t seen them in years and I may have had COVID before anyone knew what COVID even was. Mixed together, I cried like a toddler when seeing Summerly for the first time and learning that she was also adopted like Amy, Tyler and I.
It was a shit show, the entire experience of seeing them, moving back to the US, trying to get to know everyone, being in front of the cameras, that I’m grateful that I had another chance to get to know her at the housewarming party. I was also excited to prove that I’m just as cool as the rest of the family that she had gotten to know so well over the years.
Unfortunately, her arriving two days prior had no impact on our relationship because I was either working or she was sleeping on her cot, much to my chagrin.
The first guests were already arriving early in the evening and I still didn’t know Summerly any better than I had before. My previous neighbors, Joshua and his wife, Taylor, walked in and immediately noted the lack of seating and beelined for the one prime spot on the couch. How dare they. I pointed out that we could share one fork between us, which didn’t go over so well. Things started to get really awkward and I could tell Summerly was not impressed, because she left her seat on the flimsy chair in the corner of the family room and resorted back to her cot in the other corner in the family room, probably to sleep. I knew I had to think of something and think of something fast.
Luckily, I had crunched together a few aluminum sheets, slapped on a nice piece of salmon and shoved that fish in the oven at 450 degrees fahrenheit. It would be ready in 45 minutes, plenty of time to share some Hawaiian beers with the previous neighbors, my girlfriend Cally and my soon-to-be snoring sister.
An hour later, the salmon was ready and I had found an extra fork. Taylor, who I forgot was pregnant, enjoyed some tonic water that the next guest, my colleague, brought over, and we all enjoyed the fish with the two forks that I made sure was cleaned between each guest. Thank god for paper towels. The beers were going down smoothly between Josh and I. But Sums was getting even more tired and I forgot that her and Cally were hungover from the night before.
In an act of desperation and because I wanted more people to arrive, I invited the upstairs neighbors to come down and party. I probably should have done that in the first place. But to be honest, I didn’t know who they were, if they even wanted to party or if they cared at all about me trying to impress everyone, especially my sister.
Thankfully, they were home and ready with their liquor like they had heard the party was going on from upstairs. They also seemed amazed with how little I had done with the place.
“You’ll have plenty of time to get some furniture and stuff in here, right?” Arthur and Asena asked, seemingly worried that we were all sharing the same two forks.
“Yes, in due time. I plan to be here for a while,” I said.
They smiled, and the old neighbors frowned, probably out of jealousy.
Unimpressed with my place, my new neighbors invited us upstairs for some Turkish shots that Asena had gotten from visiting her family back home, and we were amazed with how much furniture their place had and how much silverware their drawers could hold. At least I was.
By that time, Tyler arrived. And James, Summerly’s boyfriend, had also arrived. We all chatted and enjoyed each other’s company in their flat and I could tell everyone was impressed that I had thrown a nice housewarming party even if we were all drinking upstairs.
There was a warmth of familiarity in the air, probably from the humidity but maybe also from the bonding of friends and family, and I was even impressed with myself for coming up with the idea to have people over. I just needed them to get downstairs.
Summerly even said she enjoyed herself but had to get going so she could get some sleep somewhere else rather than on a cot in the middle of a bare room. I couldn’t blame her.
“Plus,” she added, “James isn’t feeling too well so we have to get him home,” she said.
I was pleased to hear she got to know me better from talking with the neighbors. Though I was sure she was probably checking in on how I am as a neighbor overall.
“They say you’re not too bad. I told the new neighbors to give it some time,” she added, as her and James left and the rest of us continued downstairs.
The rest of the guests took their last shots and the party started to die out later in the night. Tyler, who had been there for just an hour, complained about not getting to the party sooner. This made me happy, as it was his way of saying that I had thrown a great housewarming party.
“Maybe next time you’ll know better than to show up late,” I said.
“You’re right. We all know now you’re the cooler twin and this is the best housewarming party ever,” he replied.
I’m not sure if that last part actually happened or if the Turkish liquor had gotten to me by then. But I soon kicked my colleague out of my place and offered Tyler the floor, which he happily accepted. I slept in my warm bed with a smile and opened Amazon to buy some silverware. I was ready to throw another party.
Leave a Reply