As host or hostess:
- It may not be advisable to use paper tablecloths for your outdoor party if it is a breezy day. This is especially true if you are using candles as centerpieces. It is also not advisable to assume your friends are joking when they yell "Fire!" at said party.
- If you will be serving dinner to 15 people, it is best to make more than 12 pieces of chicken. It is a good idea to count the pieces of chicken in each package instead of just assuming. No amount of side dishes will disguise this oversight.
- It is not a good idea to drink an entire glass of wine with each toast at the 50th anniversary party you are hosting for your parents. While you may be able to retain your balance and keep word slurring to a minimum, your hosting duties may suffer.
- No matter how lovely it looks on your coffee table, it is probably not wise to leave your antique footed candy dish out when entertaining friends and their two year old son. You could very well suffer heart palpitations when he sprints down the hall with it held above his head like an Olympic torch (although who could blame the little guy, it was filled with peanut butter cups).
- When your guests tell you ahead of time that they will be bringing a special imported liquor that is to be drunk from shot glasses, make sure your shot glasses are handy. If you are forced to improvise with your espresso cups, they will likely be laughing about it and accusing you of using your daughter's tea set for years to come.
- If the bathroom cannot be seen from the main party area, it is wise to give guests unfamiliar with your home a quick tour. This will avoid the embarrassment of finding guests wandering into the closet you piled all of the children's' toys into.
As a guest:
- It is best, when asked to bring a dessert, that you plan to make something you've made successfully in the past. Finding out that your flourless chocolate torte tastes like unbaked brownie batter with a crunchy crust is a discovery better made at home.
- If you are attending a party with a baby, it is prudent to ask if you may dispose of any soiled diapers in their outdoor trash can. If you, out of politeness to your host, put the soiled diaper in the back seat of your car for the duration of the evening, you will end up driving home with your head out the window.
- When attending a potluck dinner party, it may be in your best interest to casually ask who brought each dish. You will then be better informed when deciding whether to try the meat dish provided by "Road Kill" Phil's wife.
- If your hosts are serving beer, wine and assorted liquors, you would be smart to choose only one and resist the temptation to have some of each. Mixing different alcoholic beverages may increase your desire to sing Randy Travis tunes loudly in your host's living room.
- It may be wise to discreetly eavesdrop on the conversation before choosing to sit with strangers at a party. You may be able to avoid the "mom" table where women discuss with unending fascination which foods their children will and won't eat for hours at a time.
- While you may have good intentions, it is inadvisable to voluteer to hold the groom's car keys during a pre-wedding photo session. There is the distict possibility that you will forget that you have them and leave the groom, who may be your brother, stranded at the photo location.