The Party You Cannot Come To

Twin Oaks throws a pretty amazing New Years Eve party.  Part of what makes it great is that you can’t come.  Let me explain.

There are lots of things which go into making a great party.  One of the most important pieces is that participants feel comfortable and relaxed.  The easiest way to mess this up is to invite a lot of people who are unknown to most of the people who are attending.

Try to not take it personally

Try to not take it personally.

The community wrestled with this situation for the first years of my membership.  We want to be welcoming as much as we can be.  Being exclusive and restrictive rubs us the wrong way collectively.  And we get that not everyone can participate in everything and we have an obligation to take care of our members first.  So what evolved over the last decade or so is the norm that you can not invite someone to the New Years Eve party, unless they have spent time at the community before the event.

I actually think the reasoning behind this is quite strong.  It prevents people (including people like me) from bringing some “super cool” person who has never been here before, to this event, increasing the chances that folks already have some experience with the guest from their earlier visit.  This makes the members more comfortable and makes for a better party.

[Edited by Judy Youngquest]

Tags: ,

About paxus calta

a funologist, memeticist and revolutionary. Can be found on Wikipedia and in locations of imminent calamity. buckle up, there is going to be some rough sledding.

9 responses to “The Party You Cannot Come To”

  1. Rayne Tupelo says :

    I agree with you that this is the norm around inviting people, but it’s not my experience of New Year’s. My experience of New Year’s is that there are *many* people there that I don’t think I’ve ever met before (ex-visitors from years ago, guests who have only been at Twin Oaks for a day, Acorn interns who have never come over, etc.). The make-up of NYE actually makes me feel rather on edge — because it’s disconcerting to be surrounded by people you don’t know in your own “home.” Furthermore, when I’ve gotten unwanted sexual attention at NYE, it’s always been from someone’s male guest that I don’t really know (not a member or a known person).

  2. Michael says :

    Thanks Rayne, it is interesting to see the two different perspectives on the same event. Has anyone ever opted out of the big party and thrown a smaller, more intimate one? For most of us non-communal folks, 30 people is a big party. Knowing maybe half of the people at the party still takes a lot of social effort. I have been to smaller parties at T.O. and Acorn. I can only imagine what NYE must be like.

  3. Cara says :

    I’m pretty sure I went one year – but that was probably the year i’d been guested for a month and we’d just started making hammocks as an entity. Mmmm, 95/96?

  4. richard w. lisko says :

    I understand, though the piece makes me think of Rumi and the lines an act of destruction is an act of god and an act of security is an act of satan… the commune leans towards satan, go figure. I’m enjoying going out each day with the knowledge that this may be my last… activists need to be on the frontline and that is the streets said the writing on the wall. Wake up, Dorothy! there’s a war on! says the song on WKDU. Yes, indeedy. Whether here or there party like it’s 1999, right? Rock on, Pax. I know if you had it your way things would be different and anybody could come and party. a lutta continua

    • paxus says :

      i certainly would like people to be daring AND i want the members to have a good time. i have mellowed and feel like there are places for different rules at different events. Anniversary is a better place for strangers or at least people who have not come before.

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