Wednesday, 30 June 2010

Aims and objectives of a party

I don’t often do parties. They remind me of the scientific reports we had to write at school. You know the sort of thing; aim, materials, observations, results, conclusion. I know that a party is meant to be fun, especially when it’s to celebrate my big-zero birthday, but they don’t just happen. They require careful planning and hard work and I’m not sure that I was up to the job but here is my report anyway:

Aim: To ensure that all guests have a lovely time

Materials: (The planning, preparation, panic bit.)

  • Invitations sent (Will anyone turn up?)
  • Shopping lists made, food bought and prepared (with a lot of help from my best friend)
  • House cleaned and cleared, garden preened and pruned (Mr A regrets the lupins have gone over – This isn’t Chelsea! I remind him)
  • Waitress hired (Well I’m not getting any younger... apparently!)

Observations: (This is the actual party where I, as hostess, must keep a constant lookout.)

  • Are all guests happy?
  • Is anyone sitting on their own?
  • Has everyone got food and drink?
  • Is baby too hot?
  • Is Josh-the-dog hassling anybody and will he escape through an open door?

Josh not so cool

Results: (This is the bit straight after everyone has left.)

  • Most of the food has been eaten (but not all of it – this is crucial)
  • There are paper serviettes wrapped round Mr A’s prize fascias, a pair of discarded sunglasses on the grass and Josh-the-dog (who didn’t escape through an open door) is clearing away assorted food items. (With his delicate digestion too! We’ll suffer later!)
  • The kitchen sink has disappeared beneath assorted serving dishes, bowls, glasses, mugs, plates and a large vase that someone mistook for a water jug. (The waitress was paid off hours ago.)
  • Most of the photos seem to be of feet, grass and sky. (Who gave the camera to the kids?)
  • I need my bed but know I must clear away first and besides, there’s the rest of my scientific report to complete.

Conclusion: (This continues in my head for most of the night.)

Never again! It was too much work, too much worry, nobody enjoyed it, I didn’t get to speak to enough people, I allowed my best friend to over-work, there wasn’t enough of the right sort of food and I forgot to put the music on even though we’d gone out and bought a new CD player especially for the occasion...

...but then the phone rings. It’s Mum. She’s been sitting thinking about the day and had to tell me that she’s had a wonderful time. She’ll never forget it and thank you, she says, for bringing all those family and friends together, for having such a lovely gathering with excellent food and amazing weather. And at last I see the party through someone else’s eyes and decide that it was a good one after all so maybe there will be another party, another time... maybe!


  1. What did the dog drink? He looks exhausted.
    I get so stressed when I have people round for a meal. I admire you. I wonder if this is like having children, you say never again, but then do it again.

  2. Hi Sarah, please be assured that no dog was hurt in the taking of that picture. He was hot but happy. And I suppose you could be right about the 'never again' bit... one day... maybe!

  3. Ohh the dog is so cuuute! Sorry to hear the party didn't delight you, but sounds like everyone had fun :)

  4. Thanks Merrilee, he is cute isn't he and the party was fun. It's all just a bit of a responsibility trying to ensure that everyone else has fun too.

  5. Aw, I'm glad your mum had fun! I hear you, though. Having people round is SO stressful. Next time sit back and relax! :)

  6. I am a total party-organisation-phobe. So glad everything went well despite appearances. My daughter is the party-planner around these parts so I leave it to her - it's my big something-0 next year *wibble*

  7. Hi Ros,
    Missed the last post to wish you a big mazal tov on your birthday ( don't worry if you're not telling I won't!)
    One of the problems of being female is you get to plan / run your own parties but I know you're being hard on yourself and I'm sure everyone had a wonderful time, just like your Mum.

  8. Hi Talli. I tried but unfortunately the 'sit back and relax' command is incompatible with my brain function.

  9. Thanks Sarah. Glad to hear from a like-minded party-organisation-phobe.

    Hi Ann and thanks. I think you've made a good point there. Sorry if this sounds sexist but it's not easy being a woman at ones own party.

  10. Well done for organising the party in the first place! I'm ashamed to say that I completely avoid hosting parties, it's just too stressful. And the dog looks pretty happy too:)

  11. What party did you go to? The party I was at was great, every one enjoyed themselves, there was plenty of food, everyone mixed with everyone, you had a smile on your face everytime I looked at you. and I wasn't overworked - honest - it was a pleasure.

  12. Thanks Olive. It's good to know I'm not the only one who panics.

  13. Bless you, Judy. I couldn't have done it without you :-)

  14. How lovely. Sounds like it was all worth it though. I worry about parties too. I put it down to having a great imagination and thinking up all sorts of horrors before hand. Summer birthdays? Lucky you! ;)

  15. Thanks Rachel. Mr A has a summer birthday too (just a few days before mine!) It's great.

  16. Hi Ros, sorry we missed your party but it sounds like it was lovely and that everyone had a good time. Shame about the worrying but I am the same. Hope you still managed to enjoy your special day. Love Karan X

  17. Hi Karan. I'm sorry you missed the party too. It would have been lovely to see you, and yes, the day was very special, in spite of the worrying!!