My 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?