to party or not to party

when i first arrived back in europe in 2016 i knew about two people there and one of them hated me so i decided that, for one year, i'd be saying yes to any and all invitations — and i'd try to be nice.

i ended up in some mind-numbingly boring situations but i'd console my-so-called-self with the thought 'this is the Year of Saying Yes!'. these days i am very reluctant to say yes to things. the default is 'no sorry too busy or too tired' and, as of next week i will be adding : 'no, i've joined a monastery so i don't go out much' to my repertoire.

also, as most people who can be bothered reading this know, i am not much of a party dude anymore. never was really but 20 years ago, if you put enough booze and/or mind-altering substances into me (or i put them into myself), i was up for anything. but alas at my rapidly advancing age i have to use my ever diminishing reserves of energy sparingly.

so today the first order of the day is to decide whether, and how, to respond to a birthday party invitation. that is, arnon grunberg's 50th birthday party invitation. as you might imagine the invitation is more than a little idiosyncratic.

oh did i mention i've been invited to arnon grunberg's birthday party? or rather, i've been invited to complete a questionnaire which reads more like an application to attend arnon grunberg's birthday party. there is a date but no address. it doesn't even tell you which city it's in except that it will be somewhere in europe and that there will be overnight accommodation.

the thing is this : some people might think that arnon grunberg being so fabulously famous and successful and all could not possibly be 'a nice person' but he is! or he is a person trying to be nice which is also fine with me and i am sure he would not invite anyone who is a dick or an arsehole (or trying to be a dick or an arsehole) to his birthday party.

so the invite consists of a list of questions with multiple choice answers but it's quite possible that some of these could be trick questions. for example i was thrilled to find that one of the possible answers to question G : Do you have certain desires for the festivities? is 'talking about Heidegger’s Sein und Zeit with likeminded people' but what if i am the only person who ticks 'talking about Heidegger’s Sein und Zeit with likeminded people'? who wants a guy at their birthday party who is looking for someone with whom to talk about heidegger? so i'll also tick the box that says 'i'd like to cuddle with animals'.

another option is 'looking for a significant other'. in principle i am open to any and all possibilities becoming unconcealed (even if i do now say no more often than yes) but i am not 'looking for' and i'd delete 'All other things are secondary.' that would be a tragic. who wants someone at their birthday party for whom everything other than looking for a significant other is secondary?

it is also possible that arnon has assembled a team of sociologists, anthropologists and psychologists to analyse the answers as they come in. it's always possible that someone else has also ticked cuddling animals, discussing Heidegger's Sein und Zeit and who is open to the possibility of a significant other becoming unconcealed.

yes. this is what can happen when you send an email to someone about a typo on their website.

the butterfly effect is real. just sayin'. so yep. ok. i'll come. what else do you need to know? if i am prepared to share a room? sure — with someone who likes to cuddle with animals and discuss Sein und Zeit possibly at the same time ... why not?