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The holiday party
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Christmas is upon us and with it the holiday party scene. A few of us guys were sitting around the other day talking about having a little get-together to celebrate the season.

It wasn’t that long ago that the fellows in my golf group decided to have a party for one of our members who was celebrating a special occasion. We’d make it a small affair, we decided -- low-key and informal.

That was a good decision.

What wasn’t a good decision was letting our wives know about it in advance of the event. Tell a woman there’s going to be a party, and she can’t resist beginning to make elaborate plans, thinking perhaps Buckingham Palace might be an appropriate venue: “You think it might be available that night, girls?”

For most fellows, planning a party is no big deal. It goes something like this:

Man Number One: Why don’t we have a dinner party? That will be nice.

Man Number Two: Great idea. Are you going to cook?

Man Number One: Heck, no. I’m not going to cook. Let’s go to a ritzy restaurant.

Man Number Two. Another great idea. McDonald’s or Pizza Hut?

Throw a few men together and mention a party, and you’re likely to get the same suggestions: plenty of cold beer, for starters. Chicken wings. Popcorn. Paper plates. Hey, what’s complicated about that?

Gather their wives, though, and you’ll not get very far with the beer-and-Cheetos idea. You’ll end up with champagne and caviar if they have anything to do with it.

What we golfers should have done is just march in on the afternoon of this event and tell our wives that we were due at a party in an hour. That would have been simple. That would have made sense.

That would have shown that we know women are women, and men are men, and never the twain shall meet.

Instead, I went home two weeks in advance of the party and told Wife Nancy what I was organizing. “It’s all done,” said I, proudly. “You won’t have a thing to worry about. I’ve arranged everything at the restaurant. All you need to do is call the wives and tell them when to come.”

She looked at me as if I had just allowed Rover to go pooh-pooh in her best punch bowl.

“Call them? That won’t do. We’ll have to have printed invitations.”

Things went downhill from there. In less than 10 minutes she had zeroed in on centerpieces and party favors, flowers and linen doilies, silver napkin rings and heartfelt toasts.

But men of the world, hear this: I stood firm. I manned up in the best spirit of the term.

“I have organized this and you don’t have anything to do with it,” I asserted. “There will be no centerpieces. There will be no flowers. There will be no party favors.”

She mumbled something that ended with the word “tacky.”

But you know what? Everything turned out great. We all got together and socialized. The food was wonderful. Everything was informal. People had a good time. There was no muss and fuss. Even Wife Nancy admitted -- through clenched teeth -- that it couldn’t have been better.

So that’s my story. Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to return Martha Stewart’s call. Something about getting her Cheetos bowl back to her.