Fran’s Party Etiquette Rules – For Guests (Part I)

Guests at a party - party on!

6 Guest rules to keep you from becoming the party joke.

I love good parties, both throwing them and coming as a guest.  They can be great fun (at least for me)!  The most amazing thing is that with all of them that I’ve attended and many I have thrown, there’s always someone who ends up being “that guy.”  You know, the one that everyone talks about the next day either because of something they did or didn’t do.  They’ll make some faux pas by loudly making an inappropriate remark and then repeating it all night, or showing up with their “posse” when the invite clearly was for just them – it could be any number of bad moves and will be memorable depending on just how spectacular the fool decides to be about whatever he (or she) has done.

As carefree as we want to be at parties, there are some cultural rules – etiquette – for both Guest and Host. I’ve collected a few over the years. Call them “Fran’s Party Etiquette Rules” (catchy, don’t you think?). The list has gotten rather long, so I broke them down a bit over several posts (stay tuned!).

Let’s start with the rules that I hope will keep you from becoming the long-remembered party joke:

  1. Never show up to a party empty handed – it’s kinda rude, so don’t do it. Some  cultures have a very strong tradition about this – the Japanese even have a special name for such a gift – they call it “Omiyage.” The host has gone to a whole lot of effort to throw this thing – show some appreciation.  Having said this there are a few guidelines about gifting that I’ll go through in a later post. Read it!
  2. DON’T bring your own playlist of music unless the host has specifically dubbed you the party DJ. You don’t know what the host has planned and unless you want to wind up being disappointed (or embarrassed) by being asked NOT to mess with the music, just don’t do it.
  3. If you spill something – tell the host/hostess IMMEDIATELY. Don’t run and make pretend you didn’t do it.  The sooner it can be cleaned the better the outcome.
  4. If your babysitter bales on you – DON’T bring the kids. Call with your apologies.  Your kids don’t want to come to the party and the other adults there won’t be that comfortable either.  Even if your host insists you bring them (unless it’s a BBQ in the afternoon) don’t do it.  You will need to watch them all night – not great for you either.  Just don’t.
  5. Unless you’re are intending to help with the clean-up, and I mean really help not just follow the host around while they’re doing it, then leave before the party is over. My rule of thumb is that if there’s only about 20% of the guests left – it’s time to go.
  6. Don’t look in the cabinets or closets – stuff is put away in there for a reason and it’s not for you to know.
  7. DO NOT GET DRUNK! I know that one seems obvious but, as we all know, there’s always one.  Don’t be the one.

Maybe you have a few of your own set of rules? Wanna share? Let me know! Remember, though, it’s not about the rules. To me, a party is just another table to gather around– maybe bigger than your average get-together but it’s always about “around the table” – coming together and showing appreciation to one another that counts most.

 

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