October 25, 2008

8 signs you're a terrible guest

My husband sent me this article about a week ago and I was, 1) shocked that he is reading party planning articles and, 2) impressed that he read a party planning article and sent it to me. I've spent a great deal of time in previous posts talking about how to be a good hostess/host, and I've never done a post on being a good guest. With the holidays coming up this is a very timely topic, so here it is:

At one time you felt you were the belle of the ball with party requests pouring in left and right. But suddenly there's nary an invitation in sight. If your mailbox and inbox are only filling up with bills and junk mail, it's time to take this Foxy test:

  • think a plus-1 is always a plus? Unless the invitation says "you and a guest," chances are you are the only one invited. So, don't just show up with someone on your arm, even if you're eager to show off your hot new mate.
  • have a case of the loners? The whole idea of going to a "get-together" is to get together, not sit in the other room watching TV or playing with the cat. If you're just not feeling the party mood or aren't the type of person who can "turn it on," then it might be better to skip gatherings when you're not feeling 'em.
  • go heavy on the sauce? Nobody likes an out of control, fumbling guest at their party who accidentally knocks down half the buffet table or passes out on the sofa during group conversation. So, as the saying goes, "drink responsibly," especially when you're at someone else's home.
  • inhale everything edible? While any host loves to see guests enjoying the nibblies, it's not a good look to monopolize the appetizers by devouring the entire plate of passed dumplings or spicy tuna rolls. Remember, there are other hungry guests at the party too.
  • think your bluetooth is part of your ensemble? The point of a gathering is to socialize and mingle with other guests, not blab on your mobile phone or text on your Blackberry. That's just plain rude.
  • use the word "me" in every sentence? While you may be the cat's meow, letting everyone else know about it all night can be overbearing. The key is to be comfortable talking about yourself when someone asks, but be sure to pepper the conversation with plenty of questions about other guests. Other topics to avoid overdosing on if you want to be invited back include: your health, your therapist, and oh yeah, your sex life.
  • overhear people asking about a smell? Are you dousing yourself with an overpowering scent that other guests could be allergic to? Remember, one spritz is almost always enough. But it could be worse...you could be dousing guests with dragon breath or B.O. Good hygiene is crucial. Nothing's worse than trying to get through a sit-down dinner while seated next to someone who reeks.
  • enter empty-handed? It's always a good idea to bring a little something-something for the host of the soireĆ©. Something simple yet budget-friendly like bath salts, chocolates, a box of stationery, or a candle will do the trick. (Target and CostPlus are two favorite places to pick up affordable and stylish goodies). Bringing a gift is the classy way of saying "thanks for having me over."

Sadly, I can think of people who consistently do 1 or more of the above. So just remember if you are invited to a get together be on your best behavior, or you may not be invited back.