Archive for May 12th, 2008

Why Add WEATHER To Your List Of Potential Party Problems?

Monday, May 12th, 2008

My band is booked for a college reunion next Saturday which will be held at an outdoor venue – the patio of a new upscale hotel/condo complex. The site was donated, and thus will cost the alumni absolutely nothing. My concern is that the grads may get exactly what they paid for.

Anyone familiar with my almost-insanely optimistic world view might ask, what could make “Mr. Pollyanna” so cranky? (I mean – aside from the fact that nobody bothered to mention it was an outdoor reception until after the contracts were signed?)

First of all, it is – as I said – al fresco. This past weekend in Dallas, we had a hot, sticky, and ultimately stormy Saturday, followed by a night where the low dipped to 58 degrees. (Hey – it’s Texas, ya’ll.) Next week, what our weather will be is anybody’s guess. Because their event is outside, our out of town reunion-eers will have to pack party clothes for evening temperatures that could range from the low 60s to the high 80s. Humidity may also be a factor in the Misery Index. If we were indoors, both the temperature and humidity would be predictably comfortable.

Secondly, this particular patio in no way resembles a ballroom. We will be surrounded on all sides by brick, steel, and glass, with no sound-absorbing tiles, carpet, or drapes to muffle the din of 150 conversations (not to mention: the band). Even if my musicians keep a tight rein on the decibels, this promises to be one very loud party.

Finally, there are other practical considerations. Where are the potties, and how roomy are they? If they are anything like the electricity at the site (only a single receptacle at the far end of a long hallway), we will see a lot more folks dancing the “Pit-Stop Polka” than any ballroom moves.

Of course, the whole affair could turn out perfectly. (And I could win the lottery – but I’m not quitting my night job just yet.) In fact, a local meteorologist once told me that Dallas has – on average – 30 perfect evenings a year. But out of 365 days on the calendar, that puts the odds at 12 to 1 that some weather phenomenon – even if it’s just the threat of rain – will adversely affect the evening (or the party planners’ digestion.) How would you like 12 to 1 odds working against the success of your next party?

Let’s face it – even when the vagaries of Texas Weather are eliminated as a source of trepidation, indoor events can still have other worry-inducing issues. That’s why – in my opinion – adding one additional uncontrollable factor to fret over makes the idea of a free outdoor venue worth exactly what was paid for it.

Next time you see me, ask me how I really feel about it.