Dear Di

Dear Di
Image: Hailey Otten/Fulcrum
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It’s just a get-together

Dear Di,

While going to parties is fun, I’ve never been the type to host them myself. Chronically an overthinker, every cost-benefit analysis I conducted rendered hosting a party to be my worst nightmare, as the potential for something to go wrong was simply too high. Next weekend, however, my roommates and I are throwing our first bash, and I’m already nervous. Di, help me out — how do I plan a party?

Party Pooper

Dear PP,

First time, huh? It’s okay to be nervous. I was you once, believe it or not. Let me tell you a little bit about my first soirée and I think you’ll see that it’s really not all as frightening as you might think.

In every friend group, there’s a host friend. Whereas I tend to be the friend you’ve known ten years and yet have been in their house a single-digit number of times, my roommate grew up as the designated hang-out house. So, when we decided to host our first party, I was a little nervous, too, not unlike yourself.

We live in an apartment building with many units, one of which includes our rotating short-term rental across-the-hall neighbours. In the past, they’ve all been pretty relaxed. However, on one occasion, we had an almost-party (think: it’s not a party, it’s just a get-together), few in numbers as we dipped our toes into hosting. Anyhow, we barely broke double digits in accordance with COVID-19 guidelines, and it was barely ten p.m. on New Year’s Eve when our then-neighbours knocked on our door complaining about the barely-there noise — have a heart, man.

PP, this is where we learned our first lesson: know thy neighbours. When we had a full-fledged party, we knew to let our neighbours know. Lucky for us, the rotating neighbours rotated just in time, and all the others we spoke to were cool about our night.

My second tip for you is to invite people you like, and then some. I think there’s a perfect balance of people to be strived for between your best friends and semi-strangers. You might ask yourself, “how does one achieve this desired equilibrium?” My roommates and I invite our respective friends and those friends bring friends (and sometimes those friends bring friends), and all of a sudden, you’ve got a party. Absolutely invite your crush, too. You might hit it off! Or, you might find out that they’re actually not who you built them up to be at all — sometimes a crush is a mere lack of information.  A party is a perfect way to have a little bit of forced proximity to figure it all out. 

My third tip is to hide the breakables — accidents happen. In my apartment, we have inadvertently acquired a trashcan dedicated to broken glass and its use, like my across-the-hall neighbours, is in constant rotation. But, overall, if you’ve got a good group of people, you probably don’t need to worry all that much.  

Remember those best friends I said to invite? Well, they’re there for more than to potentially hold your hair back and serve as buffers between semi-strangers. The best part of a night out is the next morning—except in the case of hangovers—because it means that you get to conduct the customary debrief. The morning after is for lazily assembling in the living room with your roommates and putting the pieces together from the night prior or filling in the gaps over breakfast at Father and Son’s.

Let me make it simple for you: throw the party. Have fun. Sure, there’s a potential that something could go wrong, but that just means you have at least one more funny story to tell. Isn’t that life?

Best of luck PP,