party angst

i’ve had a few parties lately (new year’s, birthday, chinese new year), and have noticed a few themes that seem to play out consistently, mostly along the lines of angst…as a result, i’ve come up with a short list of things i need to keep in mind when throwing parties.

rule 1: there will always be a moment, however brief, when you think no one is coming
call me insecure, but it always happens. the internal dialog for me goes something like, "maybe they forgot. maybe that evite didn’t go out (see rule 4). did i say 7 or 11? (they rhyme, after all)."
corollary to rule 1: people always show up late, unless you expect them to
two hours late seems to be a pretty good rule of thumb, for my friends at least. if it’s a dinner party, 30-45 minutes is more like it…if you’re running late, people will almost always wind up waiting for you and then give you grief for showing up late to your own damn party.
rule 2: you will always buy too much food
whatever you buy, make sure it’s something you’re going to enjoy eating for a few days, because that’s exactly what’s going to happen.
rule 3: you will usually buy too much booze
i remember the college days, when it seemed there wasn’t enough alcohol in the world to satisfy the unquenchable thirst of my guests. those days are gone. worried about that well-stocked bar? i’d venture that almost any party can get away with beer, wine, vodka, and coke (and maybe a mixer, lemons, and limes). forget about kamikazes for jane or wine coolers for your friend ralph. they can make do…
rule 4: technology is great, but it’s no substitute for a phone call
thanks to the wonders of modern technology (i.e., evite), you can now avoid making those irritating phone calls and confronting people about a social event! just send an evite!!! bzzzzt. despite implicit promises to the contrary, there is simply no substitute for talking with someone, and even then, there’s no guarantee that they will come, even if they say they wouldn’t miss it for the world (see rule 6)…
rule 5: you will always, always, forget to invite someone
maybe i’m just absent-minded. i don’t have that many friends. and yet, every time i have an event, i always forget someone and feel guilty about it for weeks. people are usually pretty understanding about this…
rule 6: shit happens
this can be applied to just about any circumstance that doesn’t go your way. your best friend doesn’t show up to your party? hey, it’s ok! shit happens. it’s really, really, true. when experiencing feelings such as those found in rule 1, one should always remember rule 6.
got any rules to add? let me know…

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One thought on “party angst

  1. Andrew Lynch

    rule 7: return to paper products
    Evite is cute and all, in the way that Google used to be cute, or the internet used to be cute, but nothing is as elegant and personal as receiving a printed invitation in the mail. Postal mail now has a weird, pre-obsolescent glow to it, kind of like Beta or Microfiche, back in the day. Now, when you get an invite in the mail, it’s precious and special, when only a few years ago it was nothing but the norm.


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