Last night the finals of the Eurovision Song Festival took place. I freely admit that as an American, this is not something that I follow with the sort of dedication and enthusiasm that many people around the world do. Last weekend, Marianne invited me to a Eurovision Party at the house of Marius and Matthew, with a costume theme. The theme: dress like any one of the acts over the past 60 years. This was a tall order and yesterday I got progressively more nervous and overwhelmed by all of the people who had participated over the years, including Abba, Celine Dion and Conchita Wurst. Marianne simply told me to put on some wide black pants, a wide black top, some kind of black shawl/cape and black shoes. Those things I could handle. Turns out we were dressing as the Dutch entry Trijntje Oosterhuis who did not make it to the finals. But I really think you should see her performance for yourself so here’s a link to it.
The party was so much fun. Everyone had a form to score each entry on the following categories: song, voice, appeal, sex appeal, points for butts, breasts or navels showing, and costumes/backup dancers/special effects. Then there was also the attempt to pick the top five and a contest for the three best costumes at the party. To show how serious they take Eurovision, it was broadcast without a single commercial break. There was lots of in room commentary and hilarity! I usually have to keep busy at a party, it is one of my coping tricks for being socially awkward or onhandig (Dutch for not handy). I was busy tabulating the data and the votes while Marianne checked my math and reading ability. Sometimes it is really great to be around someone who just gets your weird quirks 🙂 So here we are having finished the data analysis
Then of course, I had to present the results and prizes. Then the dancing began because what else can you do after watching Eurovision?
Things that I notice about living here is that at a party, you introduce yourself to every person as you come in. Seriously. You shake their hand and introduce yourself. Remembering their names is something else. Then during the course of a party, you talk to people. Like everyone is equal and you don’t just talk to the people you find attactive or who can otherwise add to your network. You talk with everyone. To me it is always a little bit overwhelming because I am rather shy and because I am trying to communicate in another language. I am also trying to work off my American social training and habits.
And as I was cycling home to let the dogs out, with my Trijntje cape flying in the wind, I thought about how much I valued being able to have experiences like the Eurovision Song Party. And that around 2 in the morning, it is perfectly normal to be on your bike.
Next Saturday is our joint birthday party. Marianne’s birthday is this coming week and then we will end May with having done our fair share of celebrating. Dylan also lands this week but goes on to Eastern Europe so I still have two weeks before he’s staying with us. Hopefully that is enough time to notify the cheese producers that they need to up their manufacturing because Dylan just eats blocks of it at a time.