Post-party blues. I had more than twenty people over last night, and all I’ve got to show for it is a kitchen floor covered in beery footprints — someone brought a keg?! — and a pantry full of tortilla fragments and mostly-empties.

It was fun, which frankly sort of surprised me. For someone who used to be scared of going to parties at all — or really even just talking to people in general — hosting one is kind of an achievement. I spent a good part of the day cleaning up, buying supplies, and just generally fretting.

But! Everyone had a good time, nobody got drunk enough to be sick, and nobody seemed to be skulking around in the shadows and feeling left out. I got to play the good host, going from group to group, making sure everyone had a drink, providing blankets and couches for the unfit-to-drive. I was proud of myself.

I wasn’t quite prepared for the letdown afterwards, though, and I admit that I spent a good part of today being lazy and watching too many episodes of Angel, just trying to adjust to the place being empty again.

So, things learned from my first hosting experience: (1) If every time someone asks what they can bring you say “beer”, that will probably be too much beer. (2) Guests are not always adept enough in body language to pick up on the universal symbol for “I’m enjoying your company tremendously but I would enjoy falling asleep before dawn EVEN MORE.” (3) Just because it’s a party full of nice Catholic people doesn’t mean nobody’s beard will get set on fire.1

I think I might be too tired to have a point.

1 Not mine.

12 Comments on “Hosting”

  1. Kevin says:

    Great post, especially because I’m in the exact same boat today. Helped host a party at my house with my roommates, and today was one of the laziest, bluesiest days of my summer.

    And honestly, if you had a point for every single post you’re going to make, and still post every few days, you might be in the wrong field.

  2. Ron says:

    Enjoyed this post. Regarding lesson #2 about people not picking up signals about when to leave, maybe you could try what a hostess of a party I attended once did. She disappeared into her bedroom and emerged a few minutes later winding an alarm clock. The party broke up soon afterwards.

  3. Murb says:

    Precisely because it was a party full of nice Catholic people means that somebody’s beard will get set on fire.

    1. I’m sure Chesterton would have approved of the whole incident.

  4. I’m one of those people that never get’s the hint. Goodbye usually takes about a 3 hour process (Latino roots). So, it is good to identify all of us extroverts as soon as possible and start the process of winding things down sooner rather than latter.

  5. Jamie says:

    My favorite getting-people-out-of-the-house tactic that I’ve tried is the incredibly blunt approach: after my roommate tried to go around to each group and subtly hint that it might be about time to leave, I stood on a chair and yelled: “I love you all, but you really need to get going! Thank you!” No hinting necessary. And they still stuck around long enough to say goodbye, so it was perfect. This probably wouldn’t work in every situation, however, so use cautiously. 🙂

    1. Awesome! Yes, depends on the people. I’m sure my friends wouldn’t have minded.

  6. R says:

    Hi SG!

    Great blog you have here. I have a question, how do you deal with the temptations? It’s often so hard to keep it all straight together. Blessings always and keep up the good work!

    1. Thanks for writing, R. I don’t have a quick answer…wait, yes I do, sort of, something I’ve just (re-)discovered. Here it is:

      I tend to go to confession only when I’ve really screwed up. I recently made a resolution to go every two weeks, whether I need it or not (haw haw). I’ve found so far that this seems to be keeping me on a more even keel — that way confession turns into something more like a checkup and less like the ER.

      Anyway, that’s something.

  7. Lacy says:

    Amazing. Phyllis from the Office has a funny quote about this: “Party planning’s a real high. Like a runner’s high.”

    When people offer to bring things, I’ve found it’s best to say things like “paper plates”, “napkins”, “chips”, or things that are not necessarily …… necessary….. in case they decide not to show or just get what they want to get anyway. Congratulations on what sounds like a successful party!!

  8. Claudia says:

    i ask the person who is always the last to leave to help me close up the party at xx o’clock and it has worked. now as to the beard part – no personal experience – have only beardless friends. 🙂

    good job at overcoming party anxiety!

  9. Laura says:

    Someday, maybe, I’ll host a party myself.. I’m glad you had fun!

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