A beginner’s guide to throwing a party

Recently, my housemates and I undertook a big project: throwing our first party. We are not members of a fraternity, none of us are on any teams (Blog is a sport), nor do we have some greater social purpose for living together (like farming or whatever it is that co-ops do). We’re just some humans that wanted to have about 100 people we know and kinda like over to our house to drink and chat and stuff. Ambitious, I know!

I’ve been at Brown for a few years and attended many a party, but there is so much to learn by being the host yourself. After all, you’re at the same event from its commencement to its bitter end. Who even knows what happens at a party in that first techincally-its-started-but-not-actually hour?!

Read on for a gripping portrait of what happens when you invite many college students over to your home for a couple hours, having purchased a copious amount of cheap alcohol.

Before the party 

The first thing you learn when you want to throw a party is that it’s hard to decide when to throw a party. When you first move in to your house, someone will say every few hours, “We could have such a good party here!” As the days and weeks go on, once in a while people will make a comment like “When we have our party, we should have pitchers of fun drinks! Maybe homemade sangria!” or, if you get mad at someone “Well, she’s certainly not going to be invited to the Facebook event for our party.” None of these off-hand comments will prove relevant to your actual party, but they are good for keeping the ‘party concept’ on everyone’s mind.

Weeks will go by, and you will not have your party. There will be other big events on campus, midterms in your classes, and a general insecurity festering that you aren’t good enough to throw a party. But then, one Tuesday or Wednesday, you will realize: Hey! I know of nothing going on this weekend. We should have a party! This is the first step in an uphill battle of getting the attention of everyone you live with, convincing them to have a party, getting frustrated about everyone’s lack of commitment, becoming hesitant about the party, being re-convinced by your housemate who now wants to have the party, and finally, everyone agreeing that you all are going to have a party.

Deciding how to invite people is another difficult step. Are you trying to throw a “casual” party, where you text people a brief, cool invite the  morning of, hoping word of mouth will do the trick? Do you go alt and email people? If so, is everyone cc’ed or bcc’ed? A Facebook event seems most efficient, but then do you make it private or can guests’ friends see? Decisions, decisions. Whatever you decide, it will not go exactly according to plan. You don’t have all that much control over who ends up coming.

Then, it’s time to purchase alcohol, potentially buy decorations, and move some furniture around. Our layout consisted of a “dance floor room” (an empty room), a “hang out room” (the room with the couch), a “bar area” (the kitchen has a fridge), and a “smoking area” (we have a porch).

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Psych, Jokes, & Rock ‘n’ Roll: What’s a date?

George Carlin said a comedian’s job is to remind you of things you were too busy to laugh at the first time. In our daily college routines, we do things that we take for granted—stuff we hate, stuff we love, stuff that makes us downright uncomfortable. This column observes these minutia, combining observational comedy with the psychology of the people, objects, and interactions we all share.

Was that a date? At one point or another, you’ve asked yourself that question. Some nights you want to answer yes, others no. Thanks to our society’s abstract language, chances are a few of your evenings out have fallen into that weird iffy zone. When it comes to dating and relationships, we cower behind euphemisms and flat-out goofy language.

Have you been on a date?
Let’s see—I’ve gone out three times, I’ve grabbed lunch four times, twice I’ve done coffee. I guess that’s zero dates.
But weren’t you just seeing someone?
Well, I was seeing Gertrude, but then my glaucoma kicked in.

Being on a date is like belonging to a Fight Club: You don’t talk about the date (plus the boy thinks he is Brad Pitt.) So you don’t say date, you say, “Would you like to get coffee?” since there’s no better first impression than having coffee breath and jitters. You say, “I was wondering if you’d like to grab lunch or something.” If there is any WONDER involved and an OR SOMETHING, the person is interested. Also, GRAB plays the meal off as insignificant and quick—two words that hopefully don’t describe you. Continue Reading