If you're the kind of introvert who thinks parties are the work of the devil, skip this post. Just move along, there's nothing for you here.
I am more agnostic about parties. Sometimes I enjoy them, especially if they're smallish (25 people, more or less) and attended mostly by people I already know. I don’t attend parties to meet new people; I attend them to have fun and good cheer with people I already know and (ideally) like.
And, believe it or not, I genuinely enjoy throwing parties myself. Little dinner parties, sure. But occasionally I'll even throw a big party. A honkin’ big party. I actually find it a lot easier and more fun to host a bash than to attend one as a guest.
Here are a few reasons why you might, too:
Sparkling clean house: One of the surest motivations to getting the house spit-shine clean is to throw a party. Yes, the party (if all goes according to plan) will trash it out, but that will be a superficial glazing of mess. After the party, you’ll scrape up the potato chip crumbs and wipe off the wine-glass rings and voila! A clean house!
Show your style: Setting a pretty table, designing the lighting, stocking the rest room with useful items—these are all a sort of artistic exercise that can be very satisfying. You can show people what's in your head by the way you welcome them to your home.
Your party, your friends: As I said, I like going to parties to see friends, so having my own party ensures that I get to see a lot of friends in the most efficient way possible. Gather all your friends in one place, air kisses all ‘round, and let them know you love them even though you never call. Plus, it’s just nice to see everyone, dolled up and happy. A party is a gift to people. (People who enjoy parties, that is. The others aren’t there, anyway.)
No time for chitchat!: Of course (or maybe not) you want to exchange a few friendly words with all your guests, but when you’re the host, there’s almost always something you need to run off and do. So happy words and off you go to refill the punch bowl or put out fresh hors-d'oeuvres or welcome newcomers or something. Nobody feels slighted by a busy host.
You have the easiest job in the place: My dad, who taught me everything I know about entertaining, had a rule: The host is responsible for providing abundant food and drink and a comfortable environment, and guests are responsible for their own good time. Sure, if you happen to find yourself in a situation where it’s easy and natural to introduce one guest to another, that’s great. But personally, I loathe being dragged over to someone my host thinks I “have to meet,” so I don’t do that to my guests.
Make sure the food table doesn’t look picked over for latecomers and that nobody is parched, but you are not obligated to babysit your guests and can just be an observer of the action in that introvert way we love—a flaneur at your own party.
The after-party quiet party: If you have a significant other or a close friend who will stay after the rest have left, this is by far the best part of the party: Gossiping and giggling and swapping party anecdotes while you clean. And then, when it’s all done, you’re back where we started: Sparkling clean house!
It's actually been a long time since I threw a big bash; it might be time to plan something. How about you? Do you like throwing parties?
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