Thursday, November 15, 2007

Party of One

The traumatic thing about the holidays is that people are always expecting you to come to some sort of gathering where you will be forced to mingle with unknown company for extended periods of time.

They lure you in with promises of tasty desserts and the creation of fond memories, but the truth is that you will find yourself seated uncomforably on an over-stuffed couch, sipping punch, while you desperately try not to invade the personal space of the complete stranger next to you.

Even if you should happen to know a few people, the conversation you are going to have with them will last two minutes and goes like this,

"How are you?"
"Oh, good, you?"
"Mmm, yes."
"Anything interesting?
"Oh no, the same."
"Well, it was good talking to you."
"Yes, glad to see you."

No number of desserts, be they ever so tasty, can make up for an evening spent in this way. I don't care how alone you would at your own empty house. Anything is better than being alone in a room full of people with whom you must pretend to be ready to converse with, despite the fact that your only knowledge of each other is that you have no commonalities between you.

On the other hand, if you do stay home you must be prepared to hear of you pitiable state from others. Everyone was lovely, the funniest thing happened, they missed you terribly. With a knowledge of what these events really entail I can only assume that 1. It was such a disaster that their mind creating a more acceptable reality for them to live with, or 2. They had rather more wine than was good for them.

So if you insist on throwing a party this holiday season, allow me to layout some guidelines for you:

1. Plan an activity. No one ever got to know anyone because they were sitting on the same couch. Whether you plan a game, cooking, dancing or just watching an intereting show it will give people a shared experience to discuss and that's honestly all you need.

Note: Eating does not count as an activity unless you're such a bad chef that your guests will be forever bonded by the trauma, and possible illness, caused by your food.

2. When you invite someone invite at least two other people that they will know enough to talk about more than the weather with. That way, when your planned activity flops, they can have discussion during the awkward pause.

Note: Your relatives do not count. Either a) everyone loves you relatives and they will be in demand by all the guests, b) no one can stand your relatives and the lonely guest will be forced to slit his or her wrists to escape them, or c) your relatives will be helping with the party and be too busy to entertain properly.

I'd like to add a third rule, because three is a good number. But I can't think of anything. Seriously, all you need to stop torturing your guests instead of entertaining them is a planned activity and a few of their friends.


template by flower brushes by