Liz Marsh
Liz Marsh

When my sister, best friend and I used to live together, we somehow became the party house. I'm not sure exactly how it happened, but it probably had something to do with geography. Our house was walking distance to downtown Denver, and perfectly triangulated between the store I worked at and the campaign office where my sister worked.

Our friends would regularly stop by without calling. We never locked the door, so everyone just walked right in, sometimes carrying beer, but more often than not, they'd just head straight for the fridge.

Our backyard was basically a campground. Most mild weekend evenings, our patio would be filled with friends sitting around the fire drinking beer. Most Sunday mornings, I would wake up and wander the yard, collecting beer bottles and wondering who all the people were.

Bearded Dave, a friend of my sister's ex-boyfriend, was a regular on our couch. I would often come downstairs from my bed and wave hi to Dave on my way to get coffee. Al, a Harvard law grad, literally pitched a tent in our backyard. And most musicians from the 2009 Denver music scene slept on our living room floor at one time or another.

In our 20s, we would stop midway through clean up, go to brunch, drink bottomless mimosas, and then inevitably the party would start all over again. As is the party house routine.


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Last night, I threw a huge party at my house to celebrate my birthday and wish my best friend goodbye before she moves to Portland for grad school. We had 50 guests traipse through my 780-square-foot home for 10 hours straight. After the final guests left around 1 a.m., I crawled into bed. The next morning, we started wandering the yard to clean up the strewn-about beer bottles, cake plates and temporary tattoos that inexplicably littered the yard.

It was just like being 20 again, except I was more tired. On one hand, it was a nice throwback to see the yard littered with the remnants of a great party, but I was grateful that there were notable grown-up differences. We didn't find any party guests sleeping in my yard. Bearded Dave was not on my couch in the morning. We paused midway through clean up, not to drink mimosas and get the party started again, but to eat a sensible breakfast.

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