Saturday, November 17, 2012

Feed your guests!

Hello Polite Readers!

Ok, I try not to play favorites around here, but today's column is the funniest request I've ever gotten. Please enjoy my friend Carapace's tale of Halloween Party Woe:

Y'all, the friend throwing it? He had no food for it. NONE. Not even sodas. One tiny eggtray of 12 mini-cupcakes. That was IT. When we and the other people attending called to ask if we should bring anything, he said "Bring whatever you want!" which, you know, normal humans hear as "Bring anything you'd especially like, maybe some soda or chips or something".
His whole food plan was to cook up some bacon later in the night and share it out. Oh, and that package of cupcakes. *headdesk*

And did I mention this party was running from 6 pm or so until midnight? Yyyyep. This guy, I swear, I ever meet the parents who raised him I'm gonna shake 'em til their teeth rattle.

But! Because of this, I and the other two women at the party wound up going to a nearby Vietnamese restaurant, and they had a whole zombie dinner theme going! Like three different specials written up all Hammer-movie style (I had the Crawling Horror Basil Shrimp, with Witch's Brew Soup (something like a thick, sesame-heavy sweet and sour) and Shredded Heads Salad (cabbage salad, with some sort of sweet read sauce). It was fantastic! And when we got back the guys had eaten the bacon and cupcakes and were satisfied with that. *eyeroll*

But, AJ, I think I need a Politely Worded Letter explaining to my friend that throwing a party with NO provisions is Not Okay.:P

I feel okay about laughing at this, because Cara and her gal pals were not only saved from starvation, but they had possibly the Most Awesome Dinner Ever! Zombie-themed Vietnamese food? I know what I want for lunch.

Now don't get me wrong. Bacon and cupcakes are two things that I do love, but not really together, and they're certainly not enough for a 6 hour party which happens to start during prime dinner time. Also, no drinks? Bacon is salty, you need something to wash it down with! Your friend clearly has no idea how to throw a party, and I'm not sure why he would even want to host one. Does he have a new home and he wanted to show off? Is his place centrally located? Does he have the largest place? Did he have an awesome theme for a Halloween party but forgot that people like to eat?

I also get that it's expensive to throw a party. That's why it's OK to have a potluck, or why you either throw your party in the middle of the afternoon (after lunch, before dinner), or late at night (well after dinner) so that there's no expectation of a meal.

So how can you explain to your friend that he should have fed you? You can't just say "Dude, seriously, order a pizza next time!" but you can approach him in a friendly, slightly teasing, helpful manner. Write something like this:

Hey friend, we had a great time at your party on Halloween! <insert something you especially enjoyed> The only problem was that since the party started at 6, we didn't have time to eat dinner before we came and we were expecting to be able to munch on snacks. That's why a few of us had to leave in the middle, we were starving. You know, next time you can totally make it a potluck and I'm sure we'd all be happy to bring something. I could have whipped up some meringues! Don't feel bad asking people to contribute, we all know how it goes. Anyway, thanks again for hosting, loved your costume!

Keep it casual. Minimize the complaint about NO FOOD (which is seriously horrible, I would have started eating guests. Hungry AJ makes irrational decisions) and focus on the fact that next time his friends could bring LOTS OF FOOD. I also suggested mentioning a good thing or two, because that way he doesn't feel like he's horrible at hosting parties and a lousy friend. Although if you can't think of anything good to say, it's probably a good sign that you should decline his next invitation.

Do you have a party horror story to tell, and a related question to ask? Please send it to so we can all share in your misery and figure out how to make it better next time.

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