I went to a birthday party for a friend today from noon until six, and I had an amusing time, though there were more children there than I would have liked. It was also educational: I learned that with two more tables and some extra chairs, I could uncomfortably fit twenty people in a space the size of my living and dining room, and by the end the floor would be filthy and there would be chips and pizza ground into the carpet.
An interesting cast of characters was present, including friends Marc, Louise, Jim, Dante, Mike, Kai, Mejal, and Bob from Thursday board games, the family that I spent Christmas with (carriers of the death spores), a woman who refused to play games competitively and instead sacrificed herself to help her husband, a woman with a lovely Australian accent who brought Scrabble so she could destroy everyone in her way, the fifteen-year-old girl who desperately wanted to prove that she was a well-behaved adult, and a smattering of other oddballs. Good times. And, despite it being played twice while I was there, I was never able to get in on a game of RoboRally, a game in which you program out robots with cards to try to complete a race through a factory, a game that I've been trying to play for years now.
Parties with games are just far more amusing than parties without. A side benefit is that I met a bunch of new people without the usual stress and horrors of standard human interaction.