The Anxiety of Hosting

19 07 2010

This is not me.

Hosting a party is masochistic.  It’s like jumping out of a plane, crying and vomiting and peeing your pants the whole way down to the ground, and then brushing yourself off, saying, “OMG that was so fun!” and doing it again.

It only takes about a week to forget how much you hated hosting that last party, and then you’re ready to get up and do it again.  Hey roommates, you guys mind if I invite a couple people over on Thursday?  Just a laid-back barbeque type thing. Next thing you know, you’re at the grocery store buying a hundred bucks worth of beer and meat and chips and paper plates.  Then you’re at home, trying to frantically clean the house before people get there, and you look up at the clock and it’s 7:15.  You told people to be there at 7:30, so you have to choose between leaving the house a little messy to take a shower or hosting the party with day-old hair and smelly pits.   You obviously choose the shower.

By 7:45, you’re finally looking decent enough to greet people, but nobody has shown up yet except for that one weird dude you only invited because you were worried not enough people would come.  You laugh nervously and say, “No one ever shows up at the time you tell them to.  I’m sure they’ll be here soon. Can I get you a beer?”

An hour of excruciating small talk later, a couple people start trickling in, but none of them know each other so you go overboard trying to make up for the gaps in conversation.

“HAHA DID I EVER TELL YOU GUYS ABOUT THAT TIME I WENT TO A STRIP CLUB?! WHAT DO YOU THINK IS THE BEST STRIPPER SONG EVER?”

And everyone’s like, uh, we came to your house because you used to be cool. But I think we should get going now.

You inevitably either run out of food or beer or realize that you bought $50 too much of it, and you can’t even enjoy yourself because you’re so busy making sure that there’s toilet paper in the bathroom, that your iPod doesn’t randomly start playing Boyz II Men, and that your roommate’s coworker who doesn’t know anyone at the party has someone to talk to at all times.

Your friends get to show up, have a burger and a couple beers and head out to bars when they get bored.  But you have to stick it out to the end because it’s your party.  “Oh, you guys are headed out?  Cool.  Maybe I’ll come meet you at that really cool bar down the street after every single person here has left and I’ve cleaned up after them.”

But by the time everyone leaves, your personality has been on overdrive for so long that you just want to flop down on your bed and stare at the ceiling for 12 hours, but you can’t because your deck is covered in beer bottles and condiments and remnants of your dignity.

You look wearily at your roommate and say, “That got out of hand,” and she agrees. You say, “Let’s let someone else have the barbeque next time,” and she agrees.  But both of you know deep down inside that the emotional memory of this hosting anxiety is going to wash away sooner than the bar stamp on your hand, and that sure as the Pope poops in the woods, you will be changing your wet pants and jumping off that plane again next week.

Long live the laid-back, BYOB summer barbeque!, You’ll think, as you hand your debit card over to the evil grocery store man.

BYOB my ass.

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5 responses

19 07 2010
Alex

It has been 2 years since I lived in the US so maybe I am a little out of the loop of the party cultural. Do people actually cry, vomit, and pee themselves when they throw parties now? In my time, only the a diamond in the rough party all-star could pull off all three but that was almost always a guest. I don’t understand this metaphore at all.

What is the big deal about throwing a party? It is not hosting that makes people freak out, it is actually in the host’s personality. I agree that it takes some preparation and planning ahead. Big whoop. That is just project management.

First, tell a few guests that instead of bringing beer you need them to bring toilet paper. They will laugh at and not worry about buying the bigass package of TP that they would normally be embarrassed to carry out of the store. It is a bizarre phenomenon of human nature that when the intimate product isn’t for your own crazy bowel movements then you get liberated from all guilt during its purchase even though nobody else in the store knows this information nor cares.

Second, incorporate some other guests in the preparation if you need more time to take a shower. It is nothing to ask somebody to come by 30 minutes before the symbolic start of the party to move some couches and vacuum. Plus, if you choose these friends appropriately then they will be there for your whole party and you might feel like you are not alone.

Third, ideally, pick an obscure theme for your party and tell a bunch of people 3 weeks beforehand. Then talk about how awesome and excited you are about your wierd themed party for 3 weeks and try to get your closer friends to do it too. You will get a better turnout in the party participation that way. The other benefit is that your friends are dressed in moronic costumes. My suggestion to you is to try to engineer the theme such that the girls look slutty and the guys look like perverts. They won’t be dipping out to go to the bar if you do this correctly.

Forth, suck it up and build a kegerator. This is incidently the part of my party advice that backfired on me. I never got laid at any of my parties. In my defense, the idea that “girls like to dress up as sluts from various times and places as much as guys like kegerators” hadn’t settled in my brain yet.

Even if you follow my simple suggestions, you will still have to keep people from getting the cops called on you. That is the American way. The only sure fire way of getting out of this one is to leave the US or throw parties in rural areas.

I hope you don’t hate me for saying it like it is.

19 07 2010
districtramblings

1) This comment contains some of the worst spelling I’ve ever seen
and 2) I’m really surprised that you, of all people, don’t understand a peeing and vomiting metaphor. You should be ashamed of yourself.

19 07 2010
Sara

what’s wrong with your iPod playing Boyz II Men? I don’t get it.

19 07 2010
swirlz

so long as you ain’t callin’ the female cop a hussie, all is well that ends well–even if it hurts the next day, and it always does…

20 07 2010
Wing-it

I think you wrote this one, DR, for the reaction, not because you really have the flutters when having a party. When I have had parties, I tried to always have people who knew each other and a few others who I knew would fit in. Yes, run the vacuum, get in the shower but above all, greet your guests with a glass of wine in your hand, music going, and lots of dips and things to keep people happy while you heat up the barbque. You are the one to set the stage. And if you put some rolls in the oven, the baking smell will always keep the crowd anticipating good food to come. Have you ever noticed that Walmart tends to put their bakery at the entrance to the store ?? It’s that baking aroma that gets people thinking food. Anyway, have fun at your own parties, DR and all your guests will too.

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