Roughly once or twice a year, the same thought occurs to me: “why don’t I have people over more often?”
And every time that thought takes over my brain, I resolve to remedy it immediately! And I start making plans for a party.
It’s usually doesn’t take too long into the planning process before I get the jarring answer to my question: I HATE planning parties.
At this point you’re probably thinking to yourself: “Jenn, if you hate it that much, why can’t you remember that for more than 6 months to a year at a time?”
Well, know-it-all reader, that is because the thought of parties always offer false promises of greatness. The potential for an amazing night is like a siren’s call, and I just need somebody to tie me to the damn mast already!
If you move to a new place or just make new friends, there’s a tendency to think that this, this is the group that’ll make it perfect and totally easy to plan.
But I don’t care if your list includes The Pope, Mother Teresa, and Gandhi himself, planning a party always sucks. The LEAST of your problems will be that two thirds of your invite list is deceased.
People are busy, people forget, and things out of your control inevitably go wrong.
Maybe I’m the only one who is this pessimistic about it, but if not, let’s commiserate!
You’re Herding Cats
You’ve got your plans all laid out. Easy right? All you have to do is start inviting your friends and you’re pretty much golden.
No one actually answers the invite you sent out on Facebook. No matter, you’ll just have to do this the old fashioned way.
The problem is…
Not one person you invite can make that day. Worse yet, they’ve all given you alternate dates, and none of them coincide.
How the hell did this go from almost all wrapped up with a neat little bow to some Good Will Hunting-level unsolvable problem?
Maybe it’s better to just give up. I mean, you gave it the good old college try. Why not just spend that night eating hot Cheetos in your underwear and watching Netflix?
Too easy! Because you started something damn it!
And while we’re referencing Matt Damon movies, you’re not just going to leave your idea behind enemy lines OR, like, abandon it on mars or whatever. You’re going to follow through!
There is No Such Thing As The Right Amount of Food
Eventually, you find the best date for the most amount of people. See? You can totally make this work!
Now, you just have to figure out how much food you’re gonna need to feed them. You specified that you’d be making snacks…but what are people gonna expect? What if everyone is super hungry?
Well, last time you hosted a party, all the food was gone in like 5 minutes. But, the time before that your fridge and freezer were stuffed with hor d’oeuvres for weeks.
I guess having more is better than not enough…except for your wallet…and your waistline after you pig out on all of this stuff alone for the next two weeks.
Ok, now you’re back to that Good Will Hunting BS. Why is no one offering a Master’s Degree in buying the correct ratio of food to party guests?
…One day you’ll figure it out!*
*Spoiler alert: no you won’t
The party is tomorrow. You write down your to-do list, and the sight of an entire page coated in ink makes you feel like you’re swallowing marbles.
Why did you do this again?
For absolutely no reason.
You just elected to create yourself an insane list of chores. Going out to a restaurant does not involve scrubbing every inch of your apartment. Restaurants are also places where people can order the amount of food the want. AND you don’t pay for all of it.
If you wanted to organize something, why the hell did you decide to have it at your place?
And thus, the long, slow process of cooking and cleaning like an indentured servant for the day begins.
Did I mention You’re Herding Cats?
Finally! Party day!
Who cares about the food situation? Who cares if there are still specs of dust floating around? It’s all about having a good time with some good friends.
Until your phone buzzes…
“Oh man, someone can’t make it. That sucks, but it’ll still be a good time.”
It buzzes again…
“Seriously? Someone else can’t make it? There is definitely too much food now!”
“Ok, do I actually have any friends here?”
You start to sweat. Is this some kind of conspiracy, or just flu season? Should you just cancel the party at this point?
NO! You made food, you cleaned for HOURS. Nothing in the world is gonna stop you now, even if you have to start dragging in strangers off of the street!
You call the rest of your guest list to confirm. Yes, all coming.
You soldier on.
No One Knows When to Leave
The party has been great! You’ve shared some laughs, a few drinks, and swapped some fantastic stories. It’s been a wonderful bonding experience.
Was it worth all the stressing and cleaning? We’ll call this one a wash.
But now, after working to put it all together, you’re exhausted. At this point, you just want people to get the actual hell out of your house.
How do you say that nicely? You drop a few subtle hints, but they don’t land.
UGHHH. When is this going to be over?
The Clean Up
You finally convince people to go back to their own homes. It’s time for some well deserved sleep!
But as you lock the door behind the last guest, you turn around and notice the crumbs on the floor, the drink spilled on the table, the chips scattered across your countertop.
What was the point of all that cleaning before people came again? This was clearly going to be the result. You really shouldn’t be surprised. But part of you still is.
You make a promise to yourself to never host another party again.
…at least not until the next time you wonder why you never have people over…
So, am I bang on? Way too extra? I want to hear your worst party planning disasters in the comments below!
Title photo credit: Pineapple Supply Co.