Sunday, October 25, 2009

Take It From Me

I've done a good amount of hosting and attending parties, get togethers, and soirees. Because I love to share my vast knowledge of party etiquette with all of you, I have compiled the following list of suggestions that you may wish to consult before your next party.

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.
I hope I have provided you with some useful tips for the next party you host or attend. Please feel free to share your own etiquette party tips in my comments.



5thsister said...

LOL! Priceless. And knowing that this has happened to you at one point or another makes it a priceless post! Singing Randy Travis tunes in the living room...LOL! That'd be me. Drinking an entire glass of wine with each toast? Me too. I've also had a dinner party where I served a dish I had never made before...fortunately it turned out great but the priest we were having for dinner ended up needing to give me grilling lessons. LOL!

Lissaloo said...

Great tips :) It great having a friend with lots of inside tips :)

Matty said...

Of course NONE of these things ever happened to YOU......DID THEY?

LOL....I love how someone can find humor in their misfortunes. I know that a few of these have happened around here. This is a good reminder.

Purple Flowers said...

Obviously, you know how to be an excellent Hostess and Guest. You are full of suggestions. Where is that book; I'm waiting.... :)

Raoulysgirl said...

LOL! I am still giggling! This was a great post! I needed it today!

Charisse and Holly said...

Tell me all of these things are not from experience. Oh my! Love the chicken bit. We have one set of friends that when they invite us for dinner we eat before we get there. Come on by for a visit. Holly at

BashfulToast said...

Cruncy uncooked brownie batter sounds good though! Haha, very cute!

kys said...

Good one! Where did you learn these tips - from Martha Stewart?

Holly said...

Very nice tips.I am amazed at what hostesses/hosts and guest do at parties! A good refresher!

Holly @ 504 Main

Holly said...

There is something for you on my blog.

Liz in Virginia said...

Hilarious! Miss Manners has nothing on you.

I set my dining room table on fire at a dinner party once . . . .

Christine Forest, M.D. said...

You are such a wonderful hostess, on line, and I am sure, for real at home.

Martinis or Diaper Genies? said...

I'm a terrible hostess. That is all.

The girl with the flour in her hair said...

Hee hee... this is so funny! Especially since I can relate. Although instead of said guests wandering into closet, my guest ended up in the laundry room where there was cat litter and dirty clothes all over the floor.

Smooth. :)