For those of us in the post-grad phase, this is a damn big relief. Socialization is being built into our schedules, a call for celebration in itself! Like baking and foreplay, being a party guest is something that you can either do well or horribly. Besides the obvious tips, like don’t vomit on a fellow guest or eat all the spinach dip, here are four ways to take your guesting to the next level!
Rule of thumb: Nobody bites the hand that feeds them or gives them alcohol, unless the hand wants to be bitten, and then those bodies are more likely to bite the hand than they would be otherwise! If you bring the ingredients for a super cool cocktail and mix up a few for your fellow partygoers, you will achieve instant popularity. Like the kind of popularity you hungered for in middle school, but now know that you should be glad you never got because instead you became an interesting individual who blazes their own trail and doesn’t rely on the empty affirmations of others to make them happy! No matter, the affirmations still are nice, so at your next holiday party share the joy of cocktails. Might I suggest the Sunrise? (Linked you to my recipe!) Just bring OJ and Grenadine and you’re ready to mix with any liquor under the moon!
A Showstopping Number
Few things are more entrancing and garner more cool-and-mysterious points than an impromptu performance in the middle of a gathering. Who wasn’t hypnotised by that dance number in Romy and Michele’s High School Reunion? However, no one likes an attention seeker, so you have to be sure to perform your number as if you couldn’t care less if anyone was watching. No stopping the music. No shouts to clear the floor. In other words, don’t be a self-obsessed twat. Instead, ready a friend or three with some kickin’ moves, practice tirelessly (it’ll be a nice way to help digest all of your holiday season eatin’), and when the time feels right, bust out your moves! Just remember, never give evidence of all the painstaking work you put into this. Don’t ruin the illusion. Be mysterious. Be Beyoncé, if only for an hour or two.
The “Host’s Gift”
The norms of host gifting weird me out. Not because I think you shouldn’t get the host a gift, I think that’s nice. They went through the trouble of cleaning their damn house for you and your dirty friends to make it worse than it was before, and possibly for you to regale them with a slew of regrettable statements under the influence of a Christmas Cocktail. Really, this is as much of an apology gift as it is anything else. No, the thing that I find bizarre about host gifts is that the norm is to buy them as if the only things you know about this person can be found on the invitation. They like to have food, so they would like a cheese plate! They have a house, and candles go in a house! They aren’t opposed to libations, so ALL THE WINE IN THE WORLD. If they are even a friendly acquaintance, why? Why can’t you think of something minorly more interesting? I think that you can. Try to get out of the box with literally anything that says, “I know more about you than the fact that you have a spacious living room!”
And finally, and most importantly:
Don’t Make an ASS out of U & ME
We assume a lot of things when we attend parties. What I’ve learned is that it is best to not assume any of these things, instead it is better to ask. Don’t assume that it’s fine if you bring guests. Don’t assume there will be food and skip your dinner. Don’t assume libations are provided, they may have forgotten to add BYOB to their event invite. You think that you will be a bother if you go so far as to ask the host a question. In reality, you will not. Asking is always better. Get that “I’m perfect at everything and questions are for weaker people” mindset out of your system, it’s not a good look. And especially be sure to ask on the night of if there’s anything you can do to help. It will take you five minutes to open and distribute and bottle of wine, fifteen to take a turn holding a mutual friend’s hair back, and mere seconds to reach a shelf that the host is struggling to reach, since you’ve got all that awesome height on you (Right?). The host may look cheery and full of ease, but anyone who has thrown a party knows that they can be HELLA STRESSFUL. Don’t hover or over-insert yourself, just try to do one or two nice things to make the host’s night easier.
Enjoy this holiday party season. Enjoy the free food and booze. Enjoy the great company. And enjoy being a way more kickass party guest than all those other carbon-based life-forms.