So you appear well-raised

Category: Uncategorized

Party Up: Part 2 – Setting the Tone

After you’ve decided to have a party and figured out the major logistics like guest list and date, you need to set the tone. So how is that done? There are several different components to the tone.

  1. Music – You know how certain songs hype you up and others calm you down? Well, consider that when picking a playlist. I would say to steer clear of using an artist more than twice. This way it’s not repetitive. Also, don’t use any songs over 4 minutes. If there is a song you like, and it’s longer, see if there is a shorter version. Also, make sure to have enough music. If your party is supposed to be 4 hours, have 6 hours of music. This way, even if folks linger, you’re all set. Lastly, the volume. If you want to keep voices down, keep the volume down. Though, with more people, you’ll have to raise the volume. You don’t want to cause folks to have to yell over the music. It’s a delicate balance.
  2. Lighting – Fluorescent lighting is ugly. Fluorescent lighting is ugly. Fluorescent lighting is ugly. It’s harsh and really doesn’t make anyone look good. Opt for yellowish or pinkish lights. They soften everyone and the pictures come out better. Also, candles are great for a nice glow. Just be sure to put them put of people’s way.
  3. Scent – Most parties have food. No, all parties have food (if it doesn’t, it’s a meeting and those are reserved for work). Food has scents. But I still like my home to smell nice. Go for earthy, warm, inviting smells. I’d say to avoid food smells like cinnamon. Unless, of course, you’re actually having a dessert party – and then it just works. You can use candles or the scented oil plug-ins; whatever is safest for your guests.

These three components help to set the tone for a party. They help to indicate the vibe, so to speak. Of course, those are three very broad factors. There’s a lot of room to get it right (and also, to get it wrong). The best thing I can tell you is to set your house up for your guests early and then go outside for 5 minutes. Come back in. What do you see? What do you smell? What do you hear? Those things will be what your guests experience. If it’s pleasing to you, awesome. If not, tweak things for a more delightful guest experience.

Next, we’ll talk about food!

Just Say No: Don’t Do What Displeases You

Have you ever been asked to take someone to the airport at an ungodly hour (or just in the middle of rush hour), agreed to do it, and loathed everything about it and them? 

Buddy, you should have said no. You can do that, you know. Often, people forget that they have this magical power; the ability to refuse. They run around gleefully accepting tasks and then walk away fuming. WHY?!?! 

Look, I know you can’t reject everything that comes your way, but you can skip the stuff that puts you out or otherwise causes you misery. You have enough obligatory stuff that you can’t do anything about. What I want you to stop doing is accepting tasks that you hate and then talking shit later. I don’t want you doing me any favors while cussing me out under your breath. 

A lot of you think you need a special reason to say “No”. You don’t. I love to tell people, “‘No’ is a complete sentence.” Meaning, you don’t owe anyone an explanation. Of course, if you want to keep things friendly, you can offer up an explanation. It can be as simple as, “I’m busy at that time,” or “I just don’t have the bandwidth to get that done.” That’s it. Don’t make up elaborate stories; you’ll just have to recall the details later and then you’ll look like a schmuck when you get them wrong. 

People who ask favors of others should be aware that the ask is just that: an ASK. The person could say yes or no. Be prepared for either one and deal with it. 

I think the world would be a much happier place if we stopped agreeing to things we didn’t want to. If you want to sprinkle a little Biblical flavor into this, God loves a cheerful giver. If you can’t be happy about it, simply leave it alone. Life’s too short for muttering obscenities under your breath whenever you’re asked to do something. 

The Right to Refuse: Saying “No Thank You”

You won’t like everything presented to you. I get that. No one does. But how you refuse something says a lot about you.

The most obvious refusal is food. Let’s say you’ve been invited to someone’s home for a dinner party. They’ve served up a bevvy of delectable food and drink and everyone is set to have an amazing time. Dishes are being presented course after course. The broccoli gets passed to you. You HATE broccoli. Well, you have a choice here. You can quietly pass it on to the next person and not have to deal with it. Or, you can choose the less manner-able option of refusing and sharing with everyone that you don’t like broccoli. Look, no one cares about your special diet or your likes and dislikes. Unless the host is prompting you and saying things like, “You have to taste that! It’s the best broccoli in the world!” you don’t need to say anything. Quite frankly, it’s an overshare.

Society has people tricked into thinking someone gives a damn about their preferences. No one does, I promise. Just kindly refuse and move on. I can’t tell you the number of times it caused an awkward pause in a conversation when someone was offered something and they went into all the reasons they didn’t want it. Less is more. “No thank you” goes a long way and it’s a great response.

Powered by WordPress & Theme by Anders Norén