Last night I crashed a party: a St. Patrick’s Day potluck at the Senior Center. This is not the first time. Over the past few years I amused myself many times by showing up at their shindigs. This is not a serious crime since they encourage me to attend even though I am not yet 60. Tonight I will crash the Catholic Mass and their St. Patrick’s Day dinner, which follows. This is not much of a crime either since the priest personally invited me.
I started thinking about those days of crashing parties as a young person. I do not remember many of the details, but I know that on several occasions I attended parties where I didn’t know the host and was never invited. This is not difficult in cities, with dense housing. Imagine being in an apartment building and a rambunctious party is rocking across the courtyard in another apartment. Easy crash.
I also remember sneaking into a concert by going through hallways and climbing around backstage. It was a big band, but of course their name escapes me.
There is more! I worked several jobs many years ago that required travel and hotel stays. Private parties, receptions, and other events are always going on in the bigger hotels that have conference rooms. Imagine me now strolling to the vending machines for a bag of peanut M&Ms for dinner after traveling all day and noticing a luscious buffet in the first conference room. On more than one occasion I crashed hotel parties; they are easy too.
My biggest coup was only 12 years ago. A friend and I were in Washington D.C, visiting the Library of Congress. The upstairs was closed off for a private party, which started around 5:30 PM. About the same time we were passing through the downstairs lobby and saw the guests walking up the elegant, curved stairway and mingling on the mezzanine. We noticed butlers serving hors d”oeuvres and champagne. Those little devils on our shoulders made us walk up those same stairs and blend in with the mingling crowd. We were graciously served and started to giggle about our little ruse. That, unfortunately was a red flag for the security people, who were suddenly everywhere. They had microphones in their ears and could speak to each other. They were intense but decent as they asked us to leave. We did get down 1 glass of champagne and a few delicate canapes before we got the boot. Downstairs we lingered against the glass case which houses a priceless Gutenberg Bible, laughing hysterically. This time the guys surrounded us and escorted us to the door
All true stories, and I am not the world’s only bold party crasher. Remember in 2009 when Michaele and Tareq Salahi crashed a state dinner and shook hands with President Obama as they passed through the receiving line? The following photograph was widely distributed, and I laughed as I remembered my Library of Congress Escapade. In theory, I am capable of such a major crash, but I don’t have the right wardrobe. No problem dressing for the local senior center events, though!