Hosting parties at your home always seems like a great idea in theory — you have home field advantage, you don’t have to feel uncomfortable using an unfamiliar bathroom, and you know exactly where all the utensils are – but as you prepare for the party and guests start arriving (and never leaving), it becomes pretty clear that the benefits of control and comfort are complete deceptions, and you should have just gone out instead of opening your humble abode to the vagabonds you call friends.
1. It will be more three times more expensive than you imagined.
In the beginning you thought hosting a shindig at home instead of a restaurant or bar would be cheaper, but that was before you realized you didn’t have any large serving spoons! And what would your party be without a $30 veggie tray!? What happened to all the paper plates and disposable cups? You were sure you had a full bottle of vodka… A two-layer cake hosts HOW much?
2. Someone will fail to bring something he or she was specifically instructed to bring.
If you were specifically relying on one individual to bring Cool Ranch Doritos, that person will inevitably show up with Fritos, because in the grocery store aisle they unilaterally decided that “Fritos are just as good,” thereby thwarting the fragile snack potential of the whole party in the process and giving the Dorito-expecting guests no other choice but to rely on the quickly diminishing Chex Mix bowl, whose entire supply was based on Cool Ranch Doritos being in the snack line-up.
3. Someone will bring something you specifically instructed him or her not to bring.
Even if the invite explicitly states, “BYOB and an appetite! We have plenty of food!” someone will show up with hummus or some store-bought dessert that will be presented as his or her own secret family recipe. Paradoxically, that same person will be terribly inconvenienced when you don’t have his or her favorite obscure draft beer in the cooler.
And take it from me, don’t waste your time politely telling parents that this is an adult party; once you’ve procreated, all the world’s a Chuck-E-Cheese, and all the men and women merely babysitters.
4. The party will split into conversation factions, and you’ll need to make appearances at each (even though there will be one you like best).
Once the drinks start flowing and people are actually conversing (or “conversating” as it’s called in some circles) with one another instead of making general declarative statements about their lives, the party goers will start splintering off into two or more smaller, intimate groups. When you’re hosting the party, the polite thing to do is spend a little time with each of these crowds, but the truth is, you’d really just like to huddle in the corner with the people you like best and let someone else deal with the people you only invited out of obligation.
5. Someone will become the runt of the party.
You’ll be laughing and mingling, but in your peripheral vision you’ll take notice of the shy little party runt staring at their phone and clutching their drink for dear life. The runt of the party is usually the person who knows you much better than they know any of your other friends, so for the entire party they’re really relying on you to help them assimilate into the group of guests. In between taking people’s coats and offering drinks, you’ll have to go over and visit with the runt every once in a while, or have the spider in your kitchen spin a web that reads “SOME FRIEND” à la Charlotte’s Web to give he or she a little confidence boost.
6. After each guest leaves, everyone else in attendance will convene to dissect the statements that person made/how he or she looked/what he or she brought to the party.
When the first person announces that they’re leaving, everyone at the get-together feigns surprise and disappointment, but really, everyone’s eager to overanalyze that person’s performance at the party. “Why did he bring crackers and cheese? He knows I can’t eat gluten or dairy.” “Was that a sarong she was wearing?” “Did you hear what he said about Joey?” “Do you think she regrets that tribal butterfly tattoo yet? I regret it for her.”
7. Someone will go all Karl Lagerfeld on the concept of “fashionably late.”
After hours of laughter and raucous conversations, the party will finally have started to wind down, and guests will have begun making their exit. Just as you’re saying goodbye to one of the last groups of remaining guests, you’ll hear a knock on the door and discover someone you invited has arrived with too much energy and a bottle of wine approximately four hours later than they were told. What follows is a hesitant invitation for them to come in followed by the same conversation about how he or she “didn’t realize” being on time was important, all while the late-comer fixes him or herself a drink and picks at whatever food scraps are left.
8. Someone will make a giant hole in his or her welcome.
It’ll be getting late (or early), and after camouflaging a few yawns, you’ll begin every sentence with “Well…” and finishing every statement you make with that wistful, trailing off tone that quietly suggests, “Get out of my house now.” Unfortunately, one or more of your oblivious guests will just keep on drinking and regaling you with stories, even when you start cleaning up and cease all attempts to react or to supply meaningful commentary to anything that they’re saying.
What makes you regret hosting parties? Am I the only who starts hating everyone she knows when they’re at her place for too long?