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.