Part Two of a 3-part series detailing the considerable social benefits of becoming the Hostess With the Mostess. More answers about entertaining to meet men follow:
I’d really prefer not to throw a party around the holidays. I have enough to do already.
Throw a party during a dead spot on the calendar, like February. After the holiday crush, many people like to hibernate. By February, they're ready to have fun again. Unfortunately, February is difficult for people who don't like Valentine's Day, or who have no one to celebrate it with.
Come to the rescue by throwing a Winter Blues party. Invite lively singles and couples and be sure to tell 'em to bring a friend. Serve blue drinks. Stock your CD player with upbeat music and sprinkle in a couple of blues selections from Billie Holiday or B.B. King. Buy frozen mini quiches and dim sum in bulk at Costco. Heat and serve.
I’m such a slob. I’m embarrassed to invite people over.
I’m a reformed slob, so I can relate. Scour the Internet for a quick guide to de-cluttering and get cracking. It's easier than you think, and it’s absolutely worth it. An orderly home will free you in too many ways to list here, but you’ll be able invite people into your house without freaking out about it.
Even better, you can establish yourself as a hostess (banish June Cleaver from your mind; think fun, warm, party person everybody wants to know). Trust me, if you show people a good time, they’ll talk about you ---favorably. They'll want to introduce you around.
Another thing: If you want to attract a great guy, you need to make room for him. Get rid of the clutter.
How do I invite people? By phone or by email?
Neither. Email and phone invitations work well for last-minute events, but you’re better off sending a homemade or hip store-bought invitation that conveys fun and excitement three weeks before yours. The typical guest will stick it on his fridge. He’ll look forward to your party every time he gets a glass of milk.
Homemade invitations are cheap and especially effective. I had great success with one I’d put together from photos of my friends from various times, places, and events and photocopied them, along with party details. I also drew on a crude head-and-shoulders silhouette with the caption, “Picture your smiling face here.” The result? An apartment packed to the rafters.
When designing your invitation, play around with typefaces to get your message across. Certain fonts indicate a more formal event, while others tell your guests to feel free to wear a pair of jeans.
This all sounds very exciting, but I can’t afford to throw a party right now.
Organize a chic potluck. Miss Manners would disagree, but there’s absolutely wrong with it. Pick a theme and get going. If you're squeamish about asking people to bring food to a party, I assure you that most people really like to help out. They like to show off their cooking. They enjoy getting compliments. They also just want to get out of the house and have a good time. Make it your job to help them.
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