Wednesday, October 27, 2004

Absolutely Full Moon

For someone who doesn't really have much experience throwing parties, it's the details that get you a little nuts. I'm having a big Halloween party this year, really big, catering and all, and I'm getting a little screwy about the decorating, how many utensils to buy, and do I really need that many dead bodies lying around as decoration? Halloween entertaining is completely different from other parties, because you are given license to be weird and creepy, which is both liberating and mind-boggling. Mind-boggling (I originally typed "mind-boogling", which sounds so much more appropriate for Halloween), because I tend to get a little excessive about details, and worry if I have enough spiders, or if there is enough food, or what kind of beer will people want, etc.

Anyway, that is what I have been obsessing about for the past, oh, months, but especially now, as the date creeps closer and closer. There have been so many lessons learned from this experience already, which I decided to pass on, as a public service.

  • I have been completely reformed, regarding the need to RSVP promptly. Before this experience, I have been lax about prompt (or any) response to some invitations. Shameful, I know, but true. But never again. Not knowing who or how many bodies are coming to your party is a MAJOR pain in the ass. When I added together the list of people who said they would come (some of whom still could not say if they would be alone or with a guest) and the list of non-responses, I came up with a potential list of 76 people! (Did I really invite this many people? Holy CRAP.) But the list of non-responses was 26 people, so of the possible 76 people, a full third was up in the air. Do you have any idea how much leftover stuffed shells and sausage & peppers that could mean? Not to even talk about the waste of money on food for people who don't show. So, I had to make embarrassing phone calls to people last night to nag them and see if they were coming or not, which felt SO much like begging. So, for the good of all, I put out this public plea: When someone is nice enough to invite you to something, please answer them dammit, even if the answer is 'I'm not sure yet', and don't make them chase after you for it. Thank you.

  • However many batteries and extension cords you thought you'd need for your Halloween decorations, get a whole bunch more. Some damnable monster was probably TRY ME!'d to death in the store, and by the time you get it home, it has about 2 and 1/2 moans left in it, and it needs new batteries already.

  • If you try to take into account everyone's food preferences and allergies, you will end up with one bowl of rice and a can of diet Coke. Try to get a wide variety of food, and let the guests figure out what they want to try themselves. You can make yourself nuts otherwise.

  • As my good friend and frequent hostess friend tells me, however many napkins you thought you needed, buy 4 times as many. Either she has really messy guests, or I'd better hightail it over to the store and snap up some more eyeball themed napkins, pronto.

  • If you have a musician boyfriend, and his work/musician friends are invited to the party, there will be no way to pin the young ones down as to whether or not they are really coming, unless they are an integral part of the band that is playing at the party. Therefore, depending on which way the wind is blowing or how hung over they are from the night before, or whatever other variables guide these young fellows, the place is either going to be really empty, or the fire marshall will be stopping by. No way of telling until the riot gear is visible which way the party might go, despite J's best efforts to nail them down to an answer.

  • If you have a friend who is currently in? out? of a relationship with someone who has recently been hospitalized several times for psychotic episodes, and only recently began taking his medication faithfully and doesn't fight with imaginary people at the moment, asking said friend to NOT bring the Potential Liability along is one of the most painful and awful conversations you will have in recent memory. Just for the record, Potential Liability is coming along, because I saw for myself that the medication seems to be holding, but will NOT be allowed, under any circumstances, to jam with the band. That would just be a big, big NO.

  • If you buy nice envelopes to send your wacky invitations out in, and you happen to have been seeing your boyfriend for three years +, several of your friends are going to jump to the conclusion that you have sent them an engagement party invitation, or GAG, a wedding invitation. Oh my dear lord, doesn't anyone take their time any more? Is it unheard of to date this long without a DATE looming in the future? I must admit, the number of people who told me that they wondered if I was getting married on Halloween really freaked me out. Although, it would be a fabulous idea. (Tucking away idea for future - DISTANT future.)

  • I have the best friends in the world, from the offers of making dirt pudding, to helping decorate, to tolerating my emailed missives about needing extension cords. So many people are coming, more than I thought would, and it makes me so happy that some are even traveling pretty decent distances to come to this. On one hand, it makes me want very badly to have the BEST... PARTY...EVER, but it also makes me feel so blessed that I even have this many people to invite!

Wish me luck, and I'll post about how it all goes. In the meantime, get out there for the lunar eclipse tonite! Just be careful driving, because if this morning was any indication, the "lunatics" will outnumber the careful drivers 10 to 1.

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