Friday, January 8, 2010

The Good Guy as Guest

I'm attending the birthday party of a friend tonight (Happy Birthday Chyra!), so I thought I'd run over a few quick party guest guidelines.

1. RSVP.
Your host has a reason for asking you to RSVP, so do so in the time frame requested. If you missed the RSVP deadline, simply contact your host to be sure they can (and will) still accommodate you. If you RSVP for two (or more) be sure you bring that person or find a replacement. If you RSVP as a single, and decide you'd like to bring a guest, be sure and clear it with your host in advance.

2. Theme or Attire.
Your host has a vision of what their event will be, and if that doesn’t work for you, simply decline the invitation. In other words, a costume party means wear a costume, cocktail attire means wear a suit, and black tie means black tie. (FYI - “black tie optional” also means “black tie” - more on that later.)

3. Arrive On Time
Fashionably late is fine, but that means 30 minutes to an hour after the designated start time, depending on how long the event will last. For a party slated to last from 8pm until midnight, I’d arrive no later than 9pm. Again, your host has a reason for setting the time frame. And, if you've ever hosted a party, you hated the feeling early in the evening when you wondered if anyone was going to show.

4. Arrive Bearing Gifts
My grandmother told me to never show up at someone's home empty handed, and I believe the same applies to any event to which you’ve been invited. Obviously a birthday party invitation calls for a gift (“no gifts please” means simple gift or card) and flowers, wine or liquor, a simple token or card are always appropriate.

5. Participate and Enjoy
Mingle, meet new people, introduce your guests, dance, buy a round... no one likes a wallflower.

6. Don’t Enjoy Too Much
I’m pretty sure you know what that means. You are not intended to be the center of attention at this event, so make sure you aren’t. Remember, you want to leave an impression, but always a positive impression.

6. Don’t Overstay Your Welcome
Just as you don’t want to be the first to arrive, you never want to be among the last to leave (unless you’ve been specifically invited by your host to linger). Be sure to seek out and thank your host before making your timely exit.

Certainly there are many finer points to being the perfect guest, but these few reminders should ensure that you always leave your host and their other guests with the impression that “He’s a good guy.”

Disclaimer - Anyone who knows me knows that I have been guilty of breaking any and all of the above rules from time to time. This blog is intended to serve as a reminder and positive influence on me as much (or more so) than anyone else out there.

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