Wednesday, December 12, 2012

What I've Learned: Throwing a Party

I took pictures before people arrived and everything
got covered in BLT dip and sparkles


How fun was that??

This weekend we hosted our housewarming/Christmas party and I'm happy to report it was a total blast. Party hosting is one of those things for me that, like buying a house, moving in with someone, or wearing jeggings, seems a lot scarier before you actually do it. I was stressed beforehand, worrying that people wouldn't have a good time or that no one would come, or too many people would come or that something would get broken, or it would be boring, or or or or or orororororororor.

But of course, everything went swimmingly and I'm a maroon.

For the first time all these shoes in the front hall aren't mine!
I was definitely worried about the size of the place but in the end? It was perfect. Good amounts of room to move around, the beat-up couch did what it always did (forced people into the centre of the cushions, made them hug), the food was mostly devoured, the drinks flowed, and while we should have bought the plastic shot glasses I'd suggested, at least I got to be right about something which is almost as good as being prepared.

After all the work we've put into the place* it was nice to be able to have someone else admire it. And they did admire it, which was incredibly kind, and made me happy even if they were lying (don't tell me if you were).

There was this small, kind of wonderful moment in the midst of all this chaos where I looked around and saw all these people that I knew through different means - former work pals, childhood friends, current coworkers, friends-of-friends-who-are-now-friends, and I just couldn't get the stupid smile off my face. How awesome is it when you can gather a bunch of people you like a lot in one place at one time? And how double awesome is it to not have to trudge through the cold when they leave? You just take your pants off! So great!
Come, sit by the warm glow of channel 206
And while not everyone could be there due to space or timing or distance or illness, I was buoyed by how many people trudged through this bizarre sort of terrible snowrain combo just to warm our little place up. And some stayed until 4am which impressed us all.

So, things learned:

1) You can never have too many cups. Or shot glasses *casts stink eye at The Boy*

2) You can, however, have too many dips.

If you think someone didn't put LEGO men in the guacamole and then eat those
decorative balls... you obviously don't know my friends.
3) Parties with 30-year-olds are often just as drunk as parties with 17-year-olds but you don't have as much clean-up to do and it's not as important to have a second bathroom

4) Everything's funnier after 2am - save your worst jokes for then

5) Dishwashers are sent from Heaven to make us happy. So are front halls with coat hooks.

6) If you have anything in your home that invites writing (white boards, grocery lists) or has removable letters (magnets, banners) they will be played with. Offensive things will be written. Deal with it.

7) Newspaper on the ground in the front hall: do it.
That no one spilled that sucker over is the true Hanukkah miracle.

8) Thinking you've made too much sangria is a fool's way of thinking. Don't ever assume.

9) Don't use a sharp knife less than 2 hours before the party starts. Or if you do, shower first. And find fancy band-aids 

10) A teammate and a sister who will help you set up/clean up from a party? Are a godsend. Ones that will staunch the bloodflow of a sliced-up finger? Even better.

11) Sit down as much as you can beforehand - you won't get a chance later.

12) Spend at least some of your clean-up time drinking water - you'll thank yourself later.

13) Muppets, if spotted, must be played with. Fact.
Our muppets, punching rabbi, and Cthulu the next morning.
Signs of a life well lived.
14) Don't agonize over the little things - no one's really going to care about the dirt you couldn't get at in the corners of your kitchen- instead, focus on the obvious: toilet, tabletops, tschotskes. Clean 'em, cuz people are going to spot it. Otherwise, just make sure they drink 'till you're tidy.

15) However, that being said, try to tidy all the rooms - people will want to see what you got going on and it's hard to cover each room with a sarcastic "so this is where the magic happens".

and lastly...

16) Small, quirky dogs are the best thing to bring to a party. They're great conversation starters, they eat the stuff you drop on the floor and you can blame farts on them. A-1 choice.

So that's about it. We're going to do this again, probably for my birthday (barbecues! outdoor furniture! lady drinks!) but maybe before then (My poor introvert Boy is probably shaking his head as we speak).

So what about you? What makes a good party vs. a bad one? What's your favourite kind of social get-together? Telllll meeee. I crave brains like.. something scary that eats brains. A vampire? Yeah, probably a werewolf.

*I'm talking pictures hung and furniture placed, nothing more impressive than that. No "This Old House" for these screwballs.


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  2. I love reading this, especially since I missed you so much at our party. Let me know if you want to swap pics (I thought to link them, then realized that's kind of obnoxious if one DOESN'T want to see pics, hahaha-- my Sagittarius, let me show you it!)

    I would have loved to warm that gorgeous house of yours.