Party Pooper Prevention

elephant_wineMy circle of friends adores gatherings. Game nights, cook offs, birthdays, Tuesdays – anything is an excuse to throw a shindig. Sometimes we go big with over-the-top themes, Pinterest-inspired décor, and elaborate menus; but even our simple weekly Bachelor nights have a better RSVP rate than most weddings.

Yet this year, a friend of mine is skipping the Superbowl party circuit to attend a “sprinkle.” I assumed this was some kind of cupcake convention, but apparently it’s a baby shower for when you’ve already had a baby shower but your friends still want to throw you a baby shower. Calling it a “sprinkle” not only takes it outside of Emily Post’s realm, but also gives the party the needed allure to make you consider passing on the chance of wings and seven layer dip to coo over yellow onesies. It’s a brilliant tactic, but when a good friend is missing it throws a little party poop on the Superbowl shindigs.

In a time of evites and meetups and over-purchased wine-tasting Groupons, grown up social calendars now rival those of over-achieving grade-schoolers, and it’s becoming more difficult to secure that coveted “yes” on an RSVP. And if you do manage to make it to party day with a full house, there are still dozens of tiny details to attend to that ensure your party isn’t a bust.

I’ll leave it to you to remember to put the potato salad in the fridge until serving time, but what I can assist with is how to manage the extensive cast of party pooper personalities that may cross your threshold:

Flakers: They’ve been chatting about your party for weeks, they’ve bought the cutest new top, and they even offered to make the cheesecake. Yet low and behold, on party night the no-show-baby-sitter-doctor’s-appointment-family-in-town-no-sleep-last-night excuses rear their ugly heads and your party must go on sans cheesecake. People are flakes. Buy your own cheesecake.

Double-Bookers: Assuming you’re the final festivity of their night, you win. But if your guests haven’t even handed over your new bottle of wine before making sure it’s clear they must leave at 8:30 at the latest then you have a Double-Booker on your hands. But don’t lose hope – depending on your party planning skills and the temperature of that potato salad, your Double Booker could turn into somebody else’s Flaker.

Calorie Counters: They’ve been dieting all week to fit into that party dress and there is no chance your panko-crusted macaroni and cheese balls are making mouth contact. These days, it isn’t a successful party without a licked-clean hummus platter and a painfully full cupcake stand. To get the Calorie Counters salivating properly, gesture at the food table whilst mumbling words like “free range” and “gluten free.”

Party Snobs: The last holiday party they went to had a violinist. The last birthday party they hosted had a bouncy house. The last dinner party they went to was fully catered. Make this the last party of yours they go to.

Theme Slackers: These guests exercised their selective observation skills on the “costume required” section of your Halloween party invite or the “potluck” part of your potluck request. Be ready with extra white elephant gifts, a few quickly defrosted apps, and your high school prom dress. Theme Slackers beware.

Whether it’s the guy who wore green to your white party or the girl who keeps opening your good wine or the kid who pinned the tail on your dog, every party has a pooper. With a few great friends and a fantastic sense of humor, you can get through it unscathed.

What kind of party poopers have you encountered?

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About WhiteElephantInTheRoom

I'm an 80s music lover, traveling junkie, mac & cheese connoisseur, amateur wine snob, party-planning priestess and Chicago transplant living in Southern California. I find adventure in the everyday and have a unending compulsion to write about it. Hope you enjoy reading my mind!
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18 Responses to Party Pooper Prevention

  1. andraehenry says:

    Great post, I’d say I’ve met the “over complimenters”
    Who try to hard compliment things in such a way you feel disappointed in yourself at your own handy work, since you and them both know they could have done a WAY better job. -_-
    Sent from my BlackBerry® device from Digicel

  2. The Narcoleptic Partner – my wife does a disappearing act at all the gatherings at our house. Around 11:30 people notice she’s gone but by that time she’s been in bed for 2 hours. OK, she also does it at other people’s houses. It all falls on me to be the life of the party. #dutycalls

  3. vintageabbie says:

    I love the idea of preparing extra costumes for the theme slackers – genius! mwahaha!

  4. Chris says:

    In my older days now that involve families, there is always the bad parent with the kid that causes trouble and a whole bunch of tales of weird family drama they go on about all night. I guess you could call them the Jerry Springers. They make all of your normal guests feel uncomfortable, but if youre sick like me, you keep inviting them for sheer entertainment value.

  5. I think I would fall under the “Grumpy Over-worked” party pooper. By the time I get to an event I’d been already working 10 hours that day, haven’t had time to change or freshen up, and am just talking about the crap-load of work I have to do because it’s the only thing going on in my life. BUT! When I’ve had my rest, I’m the life of the party 🙂

  6. I abhor the person at the party who never takes their ear off the cell phone – just rude! Happy Thursday:)

  7. Joshua Johnson says:

    The Heavy Boozer – I feel like this may be one of the most common ones. I’ve seen these folks in every type of social gathering. The heavy boozer doesn’t discriminate. In their defense, they always seem to be equal opportunity party poopers. It’s 2013, discrimination is not real hot right now. He/She doesn’t care what type of function their attending. Charity event, frat party, company sponsored event, bar mitzvah, best friend’s wedding, small gathering of friends at a home, etc. To the heavy boozer, the word party roughly translates to “get hammered, make bad decisions, embarrass friends/family, and possibly pass out in your own puke” in Estonian.

    Disclaimer – I’m not certain if Estonians actually speak Estonian. And if Estonians were offended, I sincerely apologize.

    Happy one day until black history month day

  8. Catty O'C says:

    I always bring ny own cheescake. It’s my life motto.

  9. Oh crap. I’m such a flaker that it’s not even funny. I even KNOW that I’m destined to be a flaker at each event I agree to go to – and yet still do it. Help me.

  10. Tamsyn says:

    What irritates me most is the ‘Facebook Obsessive’ Pooper. It’s kind of like ‘cravesadventure’ said with the cell phone. The ‘Facebook obsessive’ barely engages in any real life face to face interaction at the party because they’re too busy updating their status. What’s most ironic is that they make updates such as “wow, what an amazing party I’m at!”, “This party is the BEST”, “I’m loving how great this cheesecake at this party I’ve been invited to is” etc…thereby making it apparent on Facebook what a great time they’re (supposedly) having despite being glued to the tiny glimmering magical Facebook app on their cell phone.

    Often these people are stony faced and miserable until that familiar beep of a Facebook update. Next time it’ll be me commenting their status – “Yes, I know it’s an amazing party, I invited you, I’m actually stood next to you and I’ve been trying to talk to you for the past fifteen minutes!!”

  11. Haha! This is awesome. It’s funny – there’s the exact same kind of people at my college like this. Guess some people never change?

  12. argylesaint says:

    The flip side of this is the overly ambitious party hosts who do their best to ensure that everyone follows strict party protocol and never has the time to have a good time themselves.

  13. Love it! I hate flakers and double bookers, well, unless I’m the last stop! I actually hide my chicken wing dip so I’ll have some the next day. Eat the celery with cheese dip you calorie counters!

  14. And don’t forget the joker! Tells jokes everyone has already heard or doesn’t want to hear ever. Thinks he is the life of the party and doesn’t seem to worry that he has to follow the crowd around…lol

  15. safire97 says:

    The Attention Hog- the one who will constantly interrupt conversations and act melodramatic just for the attention.
    The Akwd. one- the one who always sits quietly to the side, doesn’t talk much, or just gives negative vibes.

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