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What Was It Like?
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Bad hair and Glasses
Why have a virtual reunion, or The World's Stupidest DJ
For our 25th reunion, the hard-working and well-meaning committee mistakenly hired a DJ with a room temperature IQ. The man was thick as a plank and many bricks shy of a load. Saying his elevator didn't go all the way to the top would be too kind. His elevator stayed on the first floor, making grinding noises. Before dinner we were all talking. He played so loud that everyone had to shout over the noise. No one danced. He kept turning up the volume, wondering, no doubt, why people were not dancing. Hmmmm. What would people who hadn't seen each other for 10, 15 or even 25 years want to do? Sit and talk, or dance? We voted with our feet, but he didn't notice.
After dinner, another pattern emerged. Mr. "Bright as a Night Light" would play one slow tune and 10 - 15 couples would dance. Then he'd play 9 fast ones in a row and no one would dance. Duhhh, as my kids would say. Here were 200 people, average age 43, who had just eaten a big meal, and they didn't want to bounce all over the dance floor. The man would have had trouble finding a pattern on a checker board. We stayed at the tables and shouted at each other over the music, again.
I left with a sore throat and ringing ears, determined that it would be the last reunion I went to in person. Thus this virtual reunion page. No loud music, pick who you want to talk to, and fire off a "catching up" letter.
Update: the 35th and 40th reunions were great! Great food (tri-tip and chicken), no DJ, great location (Cowel Park), no DJ, great time (One-ish to dark), great friends, and -- no DJ!
I hear "It was a nice reunion, but the DJ ruined it" a dozen times a year from friends and family. If you are planning a reunion . . .
There is a compromise. Talk to the DJ beforehand. The people who never left town and see each other every week at PTA, soccer practice and poker night are going to want to dance. The ones who did leave town and flew 1,500 miles to attend are going to want to catch up, and they are not going to want to shout over the music.
The ideal solution, if you can afford it, is to hire two rooms, separated by a thick, soundproofed wall. Most classes won't be able to do that. Having the music "on" for 30 minutes, then off for 30 would be a reasonable compromise. It should be off while you are eating dinner, too. Promise the DJ the same amount of money as if he played all night. Impress upon him the desire of half the audience to talk. Reunions are not the same as dances. People don't go to dances to talk. They do go to reunions to talk. Keep hammering that home to the DJ. If necessary, tattoo it on his forehead backwards and give him a mirror. Appoint a "Quiet time" monitor.
Tell people at the start of the affair what you are doing, so they know. Tell them that you know half of them will be unhappy during the music and half will be unhappy during the quiet time, and you can't please everyone. If you like, you can tell the joke about the mathematician who had one foot in a bucket of ice water and the other in a bucket of boiling water. He said "On average, I'm comfortable".