Thursday, January 11, 2007

Meet Men Without Leaving Home

If you're looking to meet new men, you can do it without ever leaving your home. How? By throwing a party. You don't have to be Martha Stewart to do an event people will talk about for months; hey, you don't even have to be Rachael Ray. You just have to be you.

In this 3-part series, I'll answer a few of your questions about why you should entertain. I’ll also show you how easy it can be.

How the heck can I meet guys by throwing a party? Am I supposed to hand out invitations on a street corner?

Please don't. Instead, invite people you know and like and ask them to bring along somebody they know and like (the bring-along doesn't need to be single or male, but he or she may introduce you later to somebody else who is).

My husband's good friend, B., met both a long-term girlfriend and, later, his wife at his own parties. And then there's L., a habitual hostess, who once opened her door in Queens and found actor Matt Dillon standing on her doorstep. He showed up at one of her soirees after being invited by another guest. While I can't guarantee that Matt Dillon will make an appearance at your party, I can't guarantee he won't, either.

I can't cook.

Well, you do eat, don't you? If you like to take out, check out the restaurant's catering menu. Whether you want Chinese, Indian, Italian, or a Bloomin' Onion from The Outback, you can get it for your party. Pick up the phone, order, and set out some colorful paper plates and flatware. You're good to go.

I'm freakishly shy.

Hey, I've been there. Sometimes I'm still there. If you're terrified being forced to carry a conversation, arrange the party around an event like a football game. Turn on the TV. The background noise will fill in gaps in the conversation, and you can always talk about the game.

Here's a bonus: Football games call for casual food and drink. Pop a few trays of frozen potato skins in the oven, cut up a 6-foot sub, and pour some beers into a cooler full of ice. You’re set.

I hate football. In fact, I detest sports.

Then put together a holiday event. It's easy. Think Thanksgiving, Christmas, St. Patrick's Day, and The Fourth of July. Hit the party store and buy a few appropriate decorations.

Music is key. At Christmas, alternate traditional favorites with tunes from your guests' high school and college years. Nothing gets a party off the ground faster. If most of your crowd graduated around 1993, spin Nirvana, 10,000 Maniacs, and Pearl Jam. For the 1985 generation, try Simple Minds, early U2, and Jefferson Starship (particularly their ultra-cheesy, "We Built this City"). You get the idea.

For other holidays, return Bing Crosby to his CD case and change decorations accordingly. But, by all means, keep the music turned up.

Before you pick up the phone to talk to a guy, read this.

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