Don’t Blow the Entrance

Editor’s Note: Jody Melto, who has previously brought ES news of lemon cupcakes and Chinese balls, returns to share some very Simmer-y tips about how to survive summer party season.

Summer time is party time. Whether you’re going to a backyard cookout, lazy porch fest or rooftop soiree, don’t just show up and eat chips. Anyone can do that. Be special. Make an Entrance. Arrive.

Following these six tips will secure a place for you in the happy collective party memory, as well as guarantee future invitations tovother great parties.

Tip #1  Get invited to a great party. This is key. If you weren’t invited, bring it up to the host in such a way that he has no choice bbut to invite you. Make it really uncomfortable. Shaming someone into an invitation is only risky if you embarrass yourself later at the party. Like getting drunk and singing with the mariachi band.

Tip #2  Invite an entourage. Nothing says “I matter” like a group trailing behind you. And to really pollute your work-life environment,make one an intern at your new job and the other her roommate who is a complete stranger to you. That unpredictable X Factor.  Also, bringing some party crashers says to the host, “Look! I’m so comfortable inviting myself, I brought others!” Confidence is attractive.

Tip #3  If you bring party crashers, make them unique. In my case, my entourage/unsuspecting party crashers are two lovely Chinese women who have only been in the States for a year. To add a layer of cultural awkwardness. Luckily  “party crasher” doesn’t translate well. In Chinese it literally means, “confuse the water with ink and fish.”  Which, I think, speaks for itself.

Tip #4  Bring something visually memorable. People will forget a bottle of wine. Carry a pineapple. People remember showy, tropical fruit.

Tip #5  Simply walk into the host’s house. Nothing ruins an entrance like knocking or buzzing. Throw open the door to the private residence wide and yell, “We’re here!”

Tip #6  Show up an hour before the party starts. This is bold. Unconventional. Memorable. And if you’re lucky, as I was, you’ll surprise the host as he sits alone in his living room having a private glass of pre-party wine, thrusting him into premature host mode and forcing him to remember two complicated Chinese names. Trust me. You’ll not soon be forgotten. And while he’s giving instructions to the caterer and bartender before rushing off to change into his party best, you may be asked to show your entourage his basement art studio, which turns out to be the perfect place to hide before the party actually starts.

Nothing says, “I belong” like leading a group tour.

Note: The only part of the above article that I didn’t do recently at a friend’s annual summer extravaganza is get drunk and sing with the mariachi band. I have that going for me.

In addition to writing at HuffingtonPost DC and Curlicue Chronicles, Jody also produces and hosts American Snapshot, a program introducing English and American culture to the People’s Republic of China where she gets to say things like “grunge music still has its place” in Chinese. Bonus. 

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