Friday, January 1, 2010

Part Four: Guests

Part four in my seven part series: “Things I’ve Learned About Hosting a Holiday Get Together”.


Guests lie.

They are unreliable, sneaky, suddenly need to leave town for reasons unknown, or worse, have family/friends/religious recruiters in town that they would like to bring along. A definite RSVP is still a shaky maybe at best. Guests who don’t RSVP at all are as likely to show as those that do.

At least half of your guests will ask to bring someone else; a sister, a cousin, their ex (seriously), several friends that you don’t know visiting from out of town (Every. Damn. Year. And you think I would learn not to invite this person), your ex, a priest and a rabbi, your boss, their boss, their boss’ dog, and your mom. I don’t know how to get around this one yet. Beyond people I know and their significant others I think it is weird to invite your family or friends to someone else’s party. Yet it happens, always, every time. Is there a way to be both holiday festive and inclusive while at the same time telling people that their deadbeat friends who didn’t even bring a snack size bag of chips between them are not invited? Do my friends not think that the guests that will already be there are enough? I’ve signed up to open my home to guests that I know, which is hard enough already, now you are making me entertain strangers and weirdoes? Thanks. Note to self: Your invite gets lost in mail next year as I drink champagne in front of my Christmas tree alone and suddenly I’m richer and happier…which fewer carpet stains.


Sallyacious said...

Again, I am unfamiliar with this kind of thing. Though I have on occasion been THRILLED when I had to turn down an invite due to a prior commitment because, "I just don't want to go to your wedding, I think the two of you getting married is a really bad idea and that's why I'm not coming," isn't quite the thing. Being able to truthfully say, "Dammit, I have to work/have another obligation/will be out of the country" is a huge relief sometimes.

And I can't even BEGIN to comprehend the "it's okay to take other people to someone else's party" attitude. I mean, I can see replying to a host, "I would love to attend, but I have company that weekend." That then allows the host to either say, "Well bring them along!" or, "I hope you enjoy their visit, we'll miss you, maybe next time?" In either case, the key is assuming that your guests/friends/children are your responsibilites/loved ones, and that no one else is obligated to entertain/like them. And then not getting your knickers in a twist if it someone doesn't want them there. Hosts get to say who comes into their homes and who doesn't.

Really, the whole secret of being a good guest at these things is recognizing that there are other people in the world who might have different needs/interests/preferences from yours, and that your host gets your full consideration.

HollowSquirrel said...