Three women and three men dressed in evening attire. The women are mostly wearing pastels, and one of the men is in a pepto bismol pink suit.

Fun is Fun

I don’t know how the least few years have been for you, but the last, oh, two decades have felt like an ever accelerating roller coaster ride … after you ate the chili dog and large soda. The last three years, in particular, have been grim ones for me and my family. This is a large part of the reason this blog has lain dormant. My mind was more than full of things that are not appropriate to be delved into in public forums, and there was little authentic left over to be broadly discussed (except for cats. Cats are great. Hero and Leander became best friends and are a joy, delight and constant source of mischief.)

But if we were going to survive this all and still like each other at the end, we needed to bolster what was good. And my husband and I realized … we needed to have fun together, or nothing would seem worthwhile.

You remember fun, right? It’s that thing you do where you feel happy, and have good memories and enjoy yourself? You know, like laughing and light-hearted? Yeah. We’d kind of forgotten too.

But in the moment where society started carefully emerging from pandemic isolation – like a groundhogs sensing the coming spring, Adam got us tickets to an Event. The tickets said “Cocktail attire required”. And so we got dressed up and drove into Boston and sashayed around the common in the cold and went to this Beacon Hill mansion and got overpriced cocktails in a glamorous library with other well-dressed patrons and watched a magic show and re-creation seance.

And guys, it was SO MUCH FUN. And as we drove home, glowing with pleasure, we decided that we should do a Fun Thing every month. A thing we wouldn’t otherwise do. Dressing up preferred. I began the hunt for fun things, and here’s how it went.

March – Four Handed Illusion
This is the event that started it all. It’s held in this glorious setting (Although the books in the library are clearly for show and not for reading, which makes me sad). I actually super appreciated the formal nature of the attire – something about having to put on your finest and make an effort makes being a participant in the audience even more fun. Adam and I have both read rather extensively on the Spiritualism movement (for a fun time, ask me about the Mechanical Jesus next time you’re at a cocktail party with me), and the second half séance was a tour de force of just how the Fox sisters did it. I was grinning from ear to ear under my mask the whole time.

Happy people at a magic show

April – Tea at the Boston Public Library
No sooner had I heard that tea at the Boston Public Library was a thing than I knew I had to go. We’ve enjoyed teas across the world (ok, Victoria and London) and there’s something about crustless sandwiches that just makes you put out your pinkie finger while you drink your beverage. Good times are often better when shared with good friends, and we thoroughly enjoyed dragged our camping companions and gaming buddies along with us to a fancy dress occasion. Who knew they looked so good cleaned up? The only regret about this adventure is we had to get back to town in time for the soccer game (Adam coaches) and couldn’t linger in the library.

Two women in the middle of a fancy table with their hands resting on two men, nicely dressed to either side. Fanceeee

A number of very fancy small cakes and confections Don’t ask how old I was when I figured out how you actually pronounce petit-fours

May – Sculler’s Jazz Club
What I was going for: speakeasy vibe with dinner. What I got: awkward dinner in a nearly empty restaurant where the only other diners were the band and _extremely_ experimental jazz. This was fun, but probably the biggest mismatch between price and enjoyment we’ve had so far. We went in cold to the ensemble and, uh, they would have benefited from some of our prior knowledge. And the dinner was fine at prices that were exceptional. As I told Adam, if all of our adventures are huge hits, we aren’t being adventurous enough. We were adventurous here, at least!

Two women wearing dresses standing back to back
We took so many pictures while we were all dressed up.
A jazz trumpeter and a drummer under creative lighting with the word "Scullers" in the backdrop.
The band.

June – Belle and Sebastian
This group is a favorite of our pandemic podmates, and when I found out they were heading to Boston, it was a no brainer that we’d be there to greet them. We’d seen the Mountain Goats together in the fall, and it had felt really weird in the masking and “are we supposed to be distancing” space of fall 2021. But Belle and Sebastian was just a fantastic concert in a brand new venue – Roadrunner – in Boston. The floor wasn’t even sticky yet. We danced and sang and had a fantastic time under the black lights.

Partygoers who look blue in a blacklight, with a few pops of neon color
Smurfs or partygoers?
A band playing under about 16 spotlights with the words "Belle and Sebastian" in lights behind them
So cool.

July – New England Revolution
Mixing it up from our concerts and 19th century entertainments, we went to Foxboro (my first time for not a vaccination) in July to catch the New England Revolution home opener. We do really love watching football, and while men’s football isn’t my first choice, we actually were at the very last professional women’s soccer game in Boston and will have to wait a while for it to return. I went to three professional sports events this year: 3 of us for soccer, 2 of us for Mariner’s baseball and 1 ticket for Patriot’s football. I paid the same for all three events.

Three people in a full stadium, wearing masks, watching soccer.
Of the three events, we had the best seats for soccer

August – Roaring 20s Lawn Party at the Crane Estates
On one of the hottest days of a roasting summer, we dressed in our finest and drove up Cape Ann to Ipswitch to the beach… wearing our finest duds and preparing to drink squash and jitterbug to our heart’s content (although I had the foresite to pack swimming suits). And we had a blast, in the pounding heat. Adam did a ton of dancing. We enjoyed the very on point outfits and setups. And when the heat finally overwhelmed us, Nathan and I went down to the water and cooled our hot selves while finding horseshoe crabs and throwing rocks into the water.

Three people dressed in formal attire underneath an umbrella
The “parasol” was critical
A woman, a boy and a man standing next to each other wearing 20s attire
Ah, the old days when I was still taller than Nathan

September – Essex Dinner Train
I admittedly was starting to feel the heat of having to find a cool new thing to do every month. I mean, how do you find cool things to do? Some of the above was serendipity. Much of the rest was Googling. I keep looking for public murder mystery dinners, but to no avail. But I found a ball (tragically sold out) on a dinner train, and figured we could at least do the dinner train. So Adam and I drove down to Essex and then took this dinner train ride. Which was … fine. Perfectly fine. Much better if you were perhaps over 60. Nothing wrong with it, but not on my list of most memorable meals ever.

Two people holding hands at a dinner table, with a train behind them.
It was sitting. With dinner. And moving scenery.

October – Fancy Dress gaming dinner with Paul of Wandering DMs
OK, so this probably doesn’t _actually_ count since I would have done this without the challenge. But October is the busiest month in the Flynniverse. For Adam’s birthday we asked our college friend Paul, who is as close to a professional role player as you get, to run a game for us. Ideally where all of us were formally dressed. I’m happy to report that Tobin brought the evening to a rousing and successful conclusion with a bit of murder and pumpkin-spelunking. Those villagers will never know what hit them.

Three women and three men dressed in evening attire. The women are mostly wearing pastels, and one of the men is in a pepto bismol pink suit.
The pastels were pure, but happy, coincidence.
A table full of papers and  drinks, with six people around it. The people are playing an RPG, and a man in a pink suit is standing at the end of the table.
A formal gaming table.

November … requires a writeup all its own.

But folks, I have a problem. I’m running out of ideas. So please … what should we do? What depths of cultural experience have gone unplumbed? What opportunities to dress up have we missed? How can we be fancy and fun and make memories we’ll never forget? Let me know – no idea too crazy to be considered! Also, what have you done lately? Are you having fun? What’s between you and that epic funness? What amazingly fun things have you done lately that we should put on our agenda?

Published by

bflynn

Brenda currently lives in Stoneham MA, but grew up in Mineral WA. She is surrounded by men, with two sons, one husband and two boy cats. She plays trumpet at church, cans farmshare produce and works in software.

4 thoughts on “Fun is Fun”

  1. Fun is an important part of my life! My moment in your blog has arrived. I lean more toward physical-experience playing, so this may not be all your cup of tea, but here are some things I’ve done this year:

    Smashing glass for an hour at a smash room (look up smashit2.com), trying out indoor skydiving and indoor surfing, going apple picking, going to a tattoo convention just to look at all the art, going to someone’s Backyard Burning Man party where people dressed up more raver-style, going to see Florence and the Machine in concert, going to a student show put on by a local pole dancing school, going to a student show put on by a local circus school, going to Mardi Gras World in New Orleans to see the floats (and old statues not on floats anymore), doing a food history tour in New Orleans, going on a street art tour to see murals and stickers, going to Six Flags for ROLLER COASTERS ALL DAY.

    How about a dinner cruise out in the harbor? Or whale watching? Or an escape room? Or a photo shoot with Adam, perhaps even of the boudoir or slightly spicy variety?

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  2. That is an excellent and extremely fun list. A dinner cruise could be fun (although perhaps similar to a dinner train?) Whale watching is definitely on the list. Also, roller coasters are fun.

    Honestly, I love hearing what people think is fun! Some of these are things that would never occur to me, like a photoshoot. Although I’m reminded of the time in Istanbul they had huge boxes of costumes and we did pictures in the basilica cistern!

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