I’m going to go ahead and assume that my readers grew up in the same kind of household that I did, but please bear with me if you had a family that wasn’t so dysfunctional it could be featured on Desperate Housewives. When I was a little girl, I saw my mother as something between Barbie and Aphrodite. I think this idolization happened because I was actually raised by a nanny, and my view of life as a stay at home mom was, shall we say, skewed. In my mind, the greatest honor that could be bestowed upon the lady of the house was hosting a three hundred person benefit dinner for an art gallery that you’ll never visit. Thus, I feel I’m qualified to provide you with a guide for utilizing your years in college to their fullest when it comes to the art (and it is an art) of entertaining guests.
The House Guest
This is the only situation in which you must be the perfect hostess against your will. Inevitably, some friend from home will want to come stay with you for the weekend because he or she attends some college in bumfuck nowhere with no social scene. Provided that the thought of spending an extended amount of time with this person does not make you want to vomit, I can not recommend hosting them highly enough. There is no greater test than having a guest in your home/apartment for multiple days. I am not going to lie and say that you won’t spend the weekend alternating between loathing the guest for imposing on your life and contemplating the least messy method of suicide, but it’s great practice for visiting in-laws, who inspire the same set of emotions. Take the back cushions off the sofa and put some sheets on it so that it looks like a bed, wash the shower curtain (seriously, that shit is nasty), and plan out the weekend’s activities. Make sure you have clean towels and at least three hours a day that the person is occupied with something that gives you some free time, and be prepared to be the best hostess ever. Trust me, it’s very rewarding to hear that you do a better job planning a weekend of someone’s life than they do. This is especially valid the weekend after, say, you had to be driven home by the manager of your favorite bar one night and MOed that guy from your discussion section the next.
Pregames are an essential part of the social life at any college, and by any college I mean mine and therefore I assume yours. It’s the only point of the night that you have had enough to drink that you can mingle with everyone in a charming and witty fashion, but not so much that you worry about whether you will be mentioned on a fraternity listserv the next day. It’s, therefore, a no-brainer that you will host one at some point in time. Why wouldn’t you? It would be soooooo much fun to have everyone come over to your place to drink and leave for bars/fraternities together. Like most other thoughts you have that involve alcohol, this is not going to work out as planned, but don’t let that stop you. It will still be a whole lot of fun to be with a huge group of people so long as you’ve taken the proper precautions to alleviate stress. My advice: Have some kind of drink that is served out of a cooler, or buy a keg. Hide your good liquor/food/drugs. Don’t plan on actually leaving at a reasonable hour. Most importantly, know ahead of time that you are going to wake up the next morning and smell bourbon slushees/orange crushes/pink panty droppers, and it is probably going to make you throw up if you have done everything right.
The Dinner Party
This event is a rarity amongst college students, but I am a huge proponent. Not only is it excellent practice for future dinners with your husband’s business associates, but it is also the perfect opportunity to let the love interest of the week know that you can cook better than his current slampieces. (Note: If you can’t actually cook, leave it to a professional. Once you put it in a pretty serving dish and heat it up, no one will notice.) The issue with this gathering is that you are going to need some kind of excuse or reason to host the dinner, but they are shockingly easy to come up with if you are genuinely interested, or a crazy bitch who is sure her signature dish will make him fall in love with you (me). Find some sides which can be prepared ahead of time, and have whatever dish is going to make your kitchen smell the best simmering when the guests arrive. I also suggest switching your real apron out for a cute girly one that ties at the waist. I am yet to meet a man who prefers Agent Provocateur to the sight of a lady in a frilly apron. Finally, find some really delicious wine to go with the dinner so that the guests won’t remember that you yelled obscenities when you burned your hand pulling the pie out of the oven and completely forgot to serve appetizers.
So, ladies, I hope you’ll put my tips and tricks to good use. Happy Entertaining!