Does entertaining in the suburbs base itself upon children's birthday parties, graduation parties, and weddings?
I don't think so, in out area we have round robin's, and summer neighborhood parties too with the people on our street.
We live in a semi-rural area but get invited to parties in the suburbs that are adult parties. There is a big concentration of families with children in suburban developments so naturallly, there are a lot of children's events, just by the sheer volume of kids.
We go to two or three cookouts each summer. We also meet at twilight at the community pool for drinks and socialization.
We also go to our share of children's birthday parties, and I enjoy the time to really get to know the other parents.
Don't go to too many graduation parties (can't think of even one), and haven't been to a wedding in ages.
Suburbanites have dinner parties/cocktail parties/brunches and luncheons that do not necessarily involve a child's birthday party or other "event" mentioned. I have been to wine dinners, formal dinners, high teas and lavish cocktail parties and some pretty cool costume parties. And I have also been to many many birthday parties, graduation parties and anniversary parties too. And been to LOTS of BBQ's too.
I don't like kids, so no, I don't go to children-oriented activities. Since I don't have kids, it's easy for me to avoid those kinds of gatherings. I'm kind of an abberation in my neighborhood and don't associate much with any one around here any more. We used to have neighbors with very similar interests and no kids and we did stuff together a lot- cook out, jump in their hot tub, sit around the chimnea and just chat. But they moved. So now we hang around people I work with, who are also suburbanites but in a different town. Most of them are also childless or can leave the kids behind. DH and I are known well enough that we don't get invited to children's BD parties. And none of our friends have any kids old enough to graduate anything but kindergarten yet. So, I guess the answer depends upon the lifestyle of who you ask.
Entertaining in the suburbs is no different then entertaining in the city. The type of entertaining you do depends on what you like and the people that you associate with. I have lived downtown in major cities as well as out in the suburbs and the way that I like to entertain was the same regardless of the location.
I would imagine that because more people in the suburbs have kids than city people, suburban get-togethers would almost always involve kids. One can assume that even at events like cocktail parties or dinner parties where kids don't belong, you'd find them there anyway. That's why I try to stay in the city since I don't care too much for children either.
I think it's a function of age. For younger families with small children, there may be more of an emphasis on the children and entertaining around them.
For couples like DH and I, who have no children living at home, we tend to socialize with folks around our age who have teens, young adult, or grown children, simply because those are the folks we tend to meet and with whom we have more in common with.
For those friends that have small children, we usually socialize without the children, although there are times that we plan a dinner, cookout, or evening out with the kids.