Good God, I love me a dinner party. There’s nothing better than getting a great group of people around a dinner table and putting on a stellar spread.
But let’s be honest – they can be a bit of a mixed bag on occasion.
With big groups come big personalities. While some are the life of the party and you couldn’t imagine a night without them, not all of them are the most enjoyable to have around the table.
If you’ve ever been to, let alone hosted a dinner party, these seven common characters need no introduction:
1. The one who is always late.
No matter how well meaning their intentions (or how many hours early they set their alarm), one person is always late to the party. And by the party, I mean every social occasion ever.
While there are some situations in which being made to wait are semi-OK, hosting a dinner party is not one of them because there's only so much small talk people can engage in before they start letting hangry comments fly.
Delaying dinner on account of this one person can have disastrous consequences. Because you're not you when you're hungry.
2. The one who hogs the limelight.
Anyone who has a basic understanding of human interaction knows a good conversation is all about give and take.
But there's always one who believes what they have to give is infinitely more interesting and captivating than what anyone else could possibly offer up.
Normally a friend of a friend (because you would never hang out with this person by choice), the limelight hogger enters a room and immediately steals the attention by making LOUD NOISES.
If someone in the group tells a joke, they tell a funnier one. You thought the break-up of your decade-long relationship was devastating? Chances are they were stood up at the altar, because the limelight hogger always wins.
3. The one who is a perpetual wet mop.
Can we all just agree that this particular person is bloody hard work? The wet mop is characterised by their uncanny ability to suck every ounce of fun or excitement out of any situation.
Someone shares they've got a new job? The wet mop heard that company is corrupt. Another comments on their new haircut. They say they've never looked worse.
Aside from bringing down the mood with the damp demeanour, the wet mop also makes it the job of everyone in the room to cheer them up. Which is an impossible task, making it exhausting for all involved.
4. The one who drops a bomb... in the bathroom.
There are two types of people in this world: those who are conscious of the smells their bodies make and those who aren't.
The former understands when one offloads a certain, erm, load in the bathroom, it will probably hang around well after the flush.
The latter doesn't.
There is nothing, I repeat, NOTHING more awkward than entering the bathroom after someone has just dropped a fresh bomb. Especially if multiple people are using the one facility over the course of an entire evening.
If you happen to identify as this special individual, I implore you to take just a moment of your time to use the spray (there are pre-poo toilet sprays that actually trap the smell in the toilet now) conveniently located next to the bowl, because you are precisely the reason this product exists.
5. The one who arrives empty handed.
One of the best things about dinner parties is they're a dirt cheap night out. Rather than dropping a lump of cash on drinks and paying for food you didn't eat when splitting the bill, a good ol' fashioned night in where everyone brings a plate means more variety for everyone and less stress for the host.
But there's always one stingy bugger who ruins the fun for everyone by rocking up empty handed, despite being reminded one thousand times to bring their share... and you can bet your last penny they never feel bad at all for chowing down on everyone else's thoughtfully prepared contributions.
This can be truly horrific when said person was responsible for bringing a crucial element, like dessert when everyone else was doing savoury, the tonic water for the G&Ts or the bread for the barbecue.
6. The one who brings something... when you said not to bring a thing.
Almost worse than the empty-hander is the one who insists on bringing something when the host says not to bring a thing, and actually means it.
While their heart is generally in the right place, bringing unwelcome dinner party additions is the complete opposite of being helpful. Because when the night is over and everyone's gone home, the host is the one left with an extra Greek salad, three beetroot dips and a whole pavlova.
Where exactly is this food meant to be stored?! Bet you didn't think of that when you decided to 'pick up a little something on the way'.
7. The one who RSVP'd but cancelled at the last minute.
Last but not least, we need to talk about the one that flakes at the last moment.
In my opinion, there is no offender worse than the late canceller. Heck, I'd even prefer a whole table of gassy guests to just one who clicked attending on the Facebook event, only to text 30 minutes in to cancel because they've 'got another thing on but will meet you out later'.
They will not meet you out later, and they are not sorry they can't make it.
Not only is this person's behaviour just plain rude, it has the potential to throw off an entire evening's dynamics. Not to mention put to waste the extra food you prepared or the trestle table you hired to accommodate for their place.
If you're this person, I suggest you take a long hard look at yourself in the light of your smart phone before clicking "attending" on the next invitation you have no intention of going to.
Have you ever met one of these characters at a dinner party? Or worse, been one yourself?
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