We have been talking a big game about hosting parties at the Sneer Headquarters throughout this year. Like nerds, we have set a smart, achievable goal of just six, with the first one occurring at the end of this month of April.
We enjoy the art of party-making, despite being your average run of the mill misanthropic internet grubs. Three hundred days of the year, we are cocooned in the planning and brainstorming stages of shindigs, so that we may emerge at the appointed times as the antisocial butterflies that we are. But enough about us.
Throwing a party is a serious business. It requires a lot of planning and skill to host a party where no one thinks about how much planning and skill was put into it. People filtering in and out at whenever o’ clock, having good times, making good memories — in order for this to happen, you have had to secretly micromanage every single thing that goes down, or could go down in a hundred thousand possible renditions of the future.
Consider: the Theme
If you are just inviting friends over to sit around a small bonfire and have beers or something, that is not a “party.” That is a get together, or as some people say, a “gettagather.” They certainly have their place! Those are for when you most definitely want an easygoing evening with your closest chums. But those require next to no planning and you don’t need my help for that.
In our opinion, the best parties have themes. You know how to do Halloween Parties, and birthday parties, of course, but parties for other times of year deserve a theme so that it doesn’t just seem like an excuse for a gathering of drunks. A theme, and it could be anything from the Kentucky Derby to Cults to Unicorns to Ancient Rome, is the skeleton on which you slap on the muscles of guests and skin of decor and play god, creating a party animal. It looks like a ferret. And I’ve become distracted by my own poor metaphor.
Decide these things right now:
- Mood: happy? sad? frightening?
- Costumes: Yes, of course, but always with the option to not participate for the shy in your group
- Budget: do you have the funds to redecorate your entire downstairs to fit a theme for a few months? How much time do you have to DIY?
- Activities: unnecessary if you invite a bunch of talkative people, but you might want some on hand, just in case
- Your Interests: whatever you choose, reflect your own interests because you will probably be living with the thoughts and feelings associated with this thing for a significant portion of your time
Consider: the Attendees
Based on the theme you have chosen, you now have to draw up charts of your social sphere, and friends of friends, to decide who among them would enjoy themselves at this thing you want to happen. Most of us have a healthy range of different personalities that we are friends with, although I guess if you stick with one friend type, then everything else I’m talking about is pretty easy because there is nothing to juggle (except for juggling pins at your Circus Party or Medieval Times Party where you are a jester).
Friends mismatched to a party will not enjoy themselves, and that is devastating for all. If you have decided on a pleasant afternoon garden party, you may want to invite your friends who have children, or who are introverted or overworked, and by golly they would just like to have a nice day. If on the other hand, you are having a Studio 54 Party, don’t invite them — or if you do, explain your expectations of the evening and convey your understanding if they don’t want to attend. Your feelings will never ever be hurt, but the feelings of your friends could be. Never forget that.
We are all the age now where we know that it is okay to be discerning about who you invite into your home. Gone are the days of the parties filled with people who become destructive when they are inebriated. Most of us have gotten it together enough for that, at least. So if you have friends who still dabble in that lifestyle, take them aside and remind them that they must not, and if they do, then clearly state consequences. It’s a fun talk to have!!
Select the Music
Soundtracks make the film, and they also make the sound setting of your life. The best thing about music is that there are so many different kinds of it! We love making playlists, so you can just use the ones we have provided for your Horse Party, Bee Party, or even Sneer Campaign Party!
Generally speaking, upbeat music is the way to go. If you know people who have “fun” dancing, then include music to dance to. Hire a band for some excitement. If you’re being fancy, get some foxtrot music, or tango is good, I hear. If you are inviting a bunch of people who are like our dear friend Kevin, then ambient YouTubes of malfunctioning industrial equipment or MyNoise should supply all of the ear sounds you need for a good time.
Build the Decorations
No doubt you have decided you need to set the stage for perfection. That is where time and ability come into the picture! Everyone knows that you should be planning and inviting people at least three months in advance. This is basically entirely so that you can still only start decorating one week before the party, scrambling and panicking, just like you knew you would.
You can always buy streamers in the colors you want, and obtain decorations from any party aisle of a store, or go to an arts and crafts store and gather things there. You don’t HAVE to create papier mache structures and figures. You don’t HAVE to make polymer clay totems. You don’t NECESSARILY NEED to buy colored light bulbs, prismatic poster boards, and a small fog machine — but it’s fun to do. Go on a shopping spree! Go ahead!
We have found that the nicest part of having parties where I go too far in decorating is that we can re-use them later, for other things, and leave some of the more outlandish things out for common decor, like this polymer small Satanic cult rams skull that I made. It’s good for all occasions now.
Oh Yeah, Food & Drink
At the very last minute, we remember that we are expected to feed people, usually because invited friends offer to help with the snack element. How nice of them! I have no idea what people like to eat, so I usually take them up on that offer. We live near an outrageously large liquor store, so Dollissa usually buys four thousand kinds of booze that then lasts for years — or should.
Who knows though. Get a caterer. Order pizzas. Make something. Just remember to make foods that aren’t sloppy or crumbly. And remember to offer vegetarian and vegan options. If you are kind, be sure to ask your guests to alert you to any outstanding food allergies.
Don’t be lazy! But on your invitations, you can say “BYOB*” but put the footnote that says *if your tastes are so rare and refined that you doubt your favorites will be on offer. Also note that B stands for “beverages” but also it stands for “bites of food.” Hot cumbersome party tips from yours truly.
It’s the evening of the big event. Everything is in place and now you just have to wait for your guests to arrive. While you float around, engaging in dozens of conversations at once, you can also notice how all of the people you thought would meet and like each other have met and do indeed like each other, how the snacks are depleting at the rate you predicted, and how your wild card friend’s +1 is ruining everyone’s time just enough that everyone will be able to bond later about this person none of you will ever have to see again.
I think that the most important part of giving a party, and enjoying it, is to schedule in the fact that you will be pleased with the results no matter how it turns out. Maybe someone will throw up in the sink, maybe two friends will be having a bad day, then a fight, then the subsequent fact that you can never invite them to the same thing at the same time ever again, maybe someone you don’t even know will get shoved through a glass coffee table right in front of you. It doesn’t matter! It’s great!
After the dust has settled you can nod to the world at large and feel satisfied that all went according to plan, with some bonus memories on top. These happy feelings will keep you lifted up high even throughout the painful clean up of the next day. Delicious.