Let’s party

Create some fun in 2020

The party couple: Keitha and Brian Corbit

The party couple: Keitha and Brian Corbit

Partying = a simple word describing the physical expression of a state mind in which you’re deeply aware of how incredible it is to exist—Andrew W.K.

We need more parties in the USA—Jonathan Richman, “Parties in the USA”

If you follow up the worst year of your life by creating the best year ever, does everything balance out?

Brian and Keitha Corbit lost their home and most of their Paradise community to the Camp Fire, and like thousands of other Butte County residents, the year that followed was marked by pain and trauma from the devastation. In short: 2019 sucked.

The couple are determined to make 2020 just as memorable, but for the opposite reason. The components of the grand plan include an RV, road-trip itineraries, spontaneous side trips, party pads with old friends, and plane tickets to exotic locales—a good half of the year spent on the adventure of a lifetime.

I like this plan. I’ve worked with Brian, a sales rep for the CN&R, for more than a dozen years, and it was at a recent holiday party—where co-workers toasted our good friend on his imminent retirement—that Keitha told me about their vision for 2020. And that beautiful intention to try and flip the script inspired me to devote this regular year-end wrap-up to the notion that, even after bad times, the good stuff is still there waiting for us when we are ready. And my greatest wish for the new year is that everyone can get a break—from the pain of trauma, or the pain of Trump—and have more fun in 2020, even if it’s just a taste.

Of course, I realize that not everyone has the means to go on an extended holiday (and I also know that the Corbits would trade every cent of any insurance settlement to have their home and town back), but there are many ways, big and small, to join the party in 2020.

The shortest path to fun is to join a small party. If you have friends who invite you to dinners, barbecues, movies, walks and rock shows, realize how lucky you are and say “no” to Netflix for one night and commune with those who dig you. When it’s over, it’s your turn to invite them.

Go to a public function—something new, weird or wild to get you way out of your head—and party with strangers. As I was writing this I came across Link Link Circus, a “theatricalized lecture” created by and starring Isabella Rossellini, who, along with her little dog Pan, takes a “comedic and scientifically informed look at the links between humans and animals.” It shows six nights in early February at The Chapel in San Francisco, and I think that would do nicely.

If you have it in you, put on an actual party. Invite people, tell them to bring food and drinks, and most important: Take time to connect with every single face before you worry even one second about the trash and the dishes.

Or just be like the Corbits have always been, and be down for having fun with the community and celebrating the fact that we’re all here as much as humanly possible. If you asked Butte County residents, “Who is the most fun-loving couple you know?” those who know them would answer, “the Corbits.” They’re the first to put on wild costumes, the first to raise a glass, the first (and last) on the dance floor, the first to buy their music-festival passes and community theater season tickets, and the first fans in the stands at the Giants game. They are two of my favorite people in the world—a sentiment echoed by many—and part of the reason is that they consistently show up to partake in whatever weird fun life has to offer.

Even if one great year doesn’t completely balance everything out, I’m not too worried about the Corbits. They still exist, they know it, and they will damn sure continue to celebrate it. In 2020, we should all be so bold and join the party as well.