One of my fondest memories from childhood is the pre-parties that my parents convened in our formal living room. It was mind-blowing that my mother actually allowed us in this forbidden part of the house. But that we got to do something in the formal living room, without fear of getting an arm-pinch as punishment, well it seemed a little too good to be true. The pre-parties were my mother’s invention. She loves music and dancing. And when my parents went to a “dancing party,” she wanted my father to warm up a little so that he was mentally prepared for a long, long, long night of boogie-woogie. For my sister and I, the pre-parties were the closest we’d get to an adult party for at least a decade.