- 9 years ago
- Wedding: July 2010
I wasn’t really sure which board to put this in; sorry if it’s misplaced.
My husband and I have had a few parties at our house and I feel like they haven’t gone well. I think most of the problems have to do with my expectations for a party and how the type of parties our friends expect and the kind I’m used to having from my family of origin are pretty different. I’m just trying to figure out what I’m doing wrong. Sorry if this gets long as I try to think through this issue.
My mom is a great host for our family. She usually cooks a lot for the parties, and they’re well attended by our humungous family (my dad has 16 siblings, 14 of whom live in town, most married with 4+ kids and grandkids of their own, most of whom attend). There’s a buffet and parties last through the afternoon into the evening but wrap up by 11. Mom provides the staples, and others bring contributions, but nothing the party NEEDS. We have a huge house and it’s pretty full for a good 2-3 hours of the party, while people come and go for the rest of it, leaving early or late. Most of these parties do have a “reason,” like an annual family event, a holiday, a graduation or big birthday, etc.
When I try to throw this kind of party, it seems like it’s not appropriate for my friends or my age group, or something. I don’t want to throw a college-type party either, but I don’t know what the kind of party I want to have should even look like, or if it would go over well. I’m not even sure what should happen at a party anymore. I know that I don’t like parties with beer pong or flip cup, but that some people my age (26) do. (I just find it gross and juvenile, and I suck at it.) Sometimes we watch a game or movie on TV. Some of my friends like to play guitar and sing together, but I don’t like that personally because then we can’t converse, and I feel left out because I don’t play or sing so I can’t participate. (I don’t try to stop these singalongs of course!) My favorite thing to do at parties is play board games (or drinking games) of some kind, especially the kind where you actually get to know the people you’re playing with. What do you all do at parties?
This weekend, I invited basically everyone I know in our town on facebook. I didn’t grow up here, so it’s not a bazillion people, just coworkers, people I know from church, people we went to school with, and close friends. The facebook invite had 90 people on it, sent 3 weeks ahead. 12 people said yes on the facebook invite, but 2 of them didn’t show. 10 people said maybe, and 1 of them came. 21 said no and 50 did not respond either way. 21 people ended up coming, 6 of whom were guests of other guests and not on the facebook invite but welcome. We did talk the party up with the people we saw in the weeks before as well. Would you all consider these numbers to indicate a problem, or am I over-reacting?
I’m particularly hurt because there’s a group of people–for lack of a better word I’ll call them coworkers–I’ve seen them twice a week for almost 2 years. This is the second party I’ve had where none of them showed up. Should I be hurt by that? Or am I just being sensitive?
Should I find a different way to notify people about parties besides facebook?
Should I stop worrying about the awkwardness that sometimes happens when disparate groups come together, or when I’m the only person that a guest knows? Or should I make a point of only inviting people of a single group at a time?
Should I be offended if people leave a party early as a group to go to a bar? This has also happened like twice. It wasn’t like we didn’t have any alcohol–we had lots. We do live in a different part of town from where they live and where they like to go for fun in general, but it’s only a 15 minute drive.
I got really anxious about food for this party and bought way too much. I was afraid this would happen and tried to manage my anxiety by buying things that I could fix at the spur of the moment if they were needed, but that would keep if they weren’t. The last 2 parties I went to had these amazing spreads and I was ambitious to wow my guests too. One big reason I got so much food was that I had no clue how many people were coming because of facebook and non-responders. Since I didn’t know who was coming, I didn’t know if they’d bring anything or what. I know potluck is the best way to keep costs of hosting down and still have a great variety of food, but I guess I was shy about asking for help and asking if people were coming. Any ideas how to avoid this? Keep party costs down without pressuring people about bringing things or whether they’ll come? How can I be sure I’ll have enough food when I don’t know how many people are coming?
I think deep down this whole thing comes from my anxiety about being liked and having friends. I wasn’t popular in high school, and 99.9% of the time that doesn’t bother me anymore, but not having people come to a party brings back some of that hurt I guess. Maybe I only do this to impress people so they’ll be my friends. Maybe the desperation shows.