See the woman in this photo? She’s having a party and she’s waiting for her guests to turn up.
But what if they don’t? WHAT. IF. NOBODY. COMES. TO. HER. PARTY.
This is my worst nightmare.
In my imagination hosting a party seems like a brilliant idea. Just a few friends (enough to look popular without looking like rent-a-crowd), some drinks and plenty of laughs. Not so fast.
Somewhere between finding a date and sending out invites, I start to worry about the “what ifs”. Climb aboard, party people, as we ride that bumpy road to party central.
1. No one will turn up
The streamers are strung, the punchbowl is full and the chips and dips are plated. The invites said 7pm and it’s now exactly five minutes till show time. I hear a loud knocking sound which I assume is the door. No, that’s my heart pounding. Oh, looks like my first guest has arrived. Her name’s Paranoia and she’s making herself at home.
At least one person should be here by now. Pete said he’d definitely show up before seven. Steph was ordering a taxi half an hour ago so where is she? What if no one comes? I’m going to look like a freak show. Just call me Nigel-No-Friends.
2. The mingle jingle
Sing it with me: I don’t have to get everyone to like each other. I am not responsible for all conversations. I must resist the temptation to rescue any individual found standing alone for more than 30 seconds.
Just because you throw together a bunch of mixed leaves, you’re not guaranteed a yummy salad. Clare from work may not like Suzie from up the street. There’s a fair chance your vegan yoga buddy isn’t going to hit it off with your boozy mate from uni. In this petri dish of partygoers some folk will attract and others will repel. So don’t be compelled to go the hard sell. “Dave, didn’t you go see some comedy last week? You’ve got to meet Alex, this guy’s hilarious.” Forget it. They’ll either attract or repel. You can’t magically get them to gel.
3. Minimize the damage
Put away the champagne flutes from your 21st. Nan’s glass fruit bowl needs to be wrapped and packed. That deco dish is going in the linen cupboard.
Think of your home as a combat zone. No party is without carnage. You need to stock up on disposables. Think cups, plates, napkins and couch protectors. Heck, if they’re likely to comply, fit your guests with bibs.