The last 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’ve been to so many parties where people just sit around with plates in their laps. How do I avoid hosting one of those?
My mother, a fantastic hostess with a gift for facilitating merriment, had a rule: Fewer chairs than guests. If you have six chairs in your living room, get rid of two of them. If you’ve invited 20 people, don’t fret about having 12 chairs. Your goal is for people to circulate. I can’t tell you how many hostesses have killed a good time by offering too many chairs. The result is a coffee klatch, not a party.
Serving food buffet-style will also encourage your guests to mingle. Let them use your kitchen counter and the top of your bookcase for tables. Trust me, they won’t complain about it.
If you notice a cluster of boredom brewing, break it up immediately. For example, if you overhear some married couple droning on about their children’s accomplishments, call the husband away and enlist him to lift something heavy. Or get his wife to lift something heavy. Just shut them up.
After all the preparation for this party, I’m going to be wiped out. How can I look and feel my best?
Keep things simple, and you'll look rested and gorgeous. Think quick food, clutter-free house, festive drinks, and music (or football). That’s it. If your house isn’t beautiful, trust me, nobody worthwhile is going to give a damn. They’re just looking for a day out of the house, and you’ve given it to them. So take the pressure off. Now.
A week before the party, start reading food labels. If a package lists MSG, drop it. MSG makes you look old and puffy. Rev up your water intake. If you can't take it straight, squeeze a little lemon into it. Nobody likes going to the bathroom 90 times a day, but when you wake up on party day looking younger than springtime, you'll be glad you did.
That morning, apply cool green tea bags to your face and eyes for 20 minutes. Please lie down first. Green tea’s anti-inflammatory properties eliminate puffiness and clarify pores. Try it after you wash your face and before you slide on the moisturizer .
I dread the morning-after cleanup. I’m not sure this is all worth it.
It is worth it. Ask my husband’s friend (the guy who’s now happily married to the woman he met at his own party), and he’ll tell you. Look, I hate cleaning up, too, so wait until morning. Ask a good friend to help you. Let happy memories of the night before get you through it, as well as the knowledge that you’ve established yourself as a fun, welcoming person other people would do well to get to know.
The bonus? At least one of your guests is bound to reciprocate, opening the way for you to meet even more people—and even more men.
You met a great guy. Should you call him?.