A Party with Adult Themes

Sarah Contreras

I am always the hostess.

I don’t know why exactly, but some inherent need to entertain lays deep within me. I jump at any chance to invite people over.

Recently, I moved out of my shoebox apartment on one side of town and into a bigger, much more grown-up kind of place. To celebrate the occasion, my roommate and I are having people over for a housewarming party. It’s going to be fabulous, in a we’re-still-young-but-we-aren’t-children sort of way.

How do I plan on doing this? There are a few simple rules I like to follow for every kind of get-together. Here they are, in all of their simplicity, ready to be deployed by those of you who are tired of keggers and are ready to step up into the realm of young adult class.

Clean:

I’ve sat on filthy floors and washed my hands in dirty bathrooms. While this is common for college parties, it doesn’t mean it’s acceptable. Show your guests you take pride in your home, whatever kind of home it may be. Dust the surfaces, vacuum the rugs and empty the trash can. Putting everything in its place makes a huge difference in any sort of space and gives you more freedom to move around. Plus, if you’re throwing a housewarming party like I am, don’t you want your friends to be the tiniest bit envious?

Decorate:

This does not mean streamers/balloons/centerpieces (though, I’ve definitely thrown those kinds of shindigs). However, it does mean letting your guests know you’re excited for them to be in your home, and you’d like to show it off. Spare vases, wine bottles and mason jars can be filled with cheap grocery store bouquets, and the lights can be turned down just so.

Music:

It’s easy to plug in an iPod and hit shuffle. In fact, it’s too easy. Put a little thought into the kind of mood you want to set for your party, and make a playlist that fits. Whether upbeat or mellow, ensure your music goes with the flow.

Food:

No, you don’t have to feed everyone a full meal, but it’s just good manners to have a little something available for your friends to snack on. You can get as elaborate as tapas and sangria, or stick with cold soda and potato chips. A veggie tray is easy and relatively cheap, as are appetizers from the frozen food section of the supermarket. It’s perfectly okay to say BYOB because, after all, you’re a young adult—serving 20 people alcohol is too pricey. But have some frozen lemonade and frozen pizzas on hand, and your guests will be more grateful than you know.

Embrace your friend group:

Chances are you know a lot of different people. There are friends from your hometown, friends from work, friends from your major. Resist the temptation to invite only the people you think have a lot in common. Not only is it mean to exclude people, but you are depriving your guests of meeting new friends from whom they can learn.

Prepare:

Do you have enough cups? Is there a place for coats and bags? Water in the Brita filter and ice in the freezer? Do you have bottle openers? An extra pillow for any crashers? Ask yourself these sorts of simple questions and spare yourself any surprises and anxiety throughout your night. After all, this is your party, and you deserve to enjoy it. Put the stain remover and Advil on standby, and party like the classy young adult you are.