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Yay! The weather has cooled and party season is heating up. I love a sensational soiree!

Unfortunately, some misguided souls have poor standards when it comes to entertaining. I can’t tell y’all how many times I’ve showed up at a “party”, only to discover no food, no drinks, and no entertainment. Foul, foul, and foul! Inviting your nearest and dearest into your home for a few hours of merriment is a serious responsibility. You don’t have to be Martha Stewart, but if you follow my tried-and-true party hosting rules, you’ll be well on your way to acclaim, not shame.

These four rules cover just the basics, but they will put you way ahead of the game. There are other things to consider if you decide to host a blowout that will be fondly remembered through the fog of time. An excellent party requires a magical mix of creativity, imagination, good vibes, and money. That’s right, you get what you pay for, so save up or raid that piggy bank.

Rule Number 1.) You must have enough provisions!

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This is the most important rule and it is non-negotiable. If you can’t afford beer, liquor, mixers, snacks, and sundries, you can’t afford to host a party. If you run out of anything, you must immediately get some more. If that means you have to leave the party for a bit, or send your sober friend to the convenience store with your roommate’s debit card, so be it.

Also, expecting your guests to BYOB is UNACCEPTABLE! If I wanted to pay for my own drinks, I’d just as soon go to a bar with better music and comfy furniture. Most attendees will bring something to share, but you should never plan on it. Make a shopping list and check it twice, lest your guests complain that you are naughty, not nice.

Rule Number 2.) You must clean and straighten your space!

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Nobody likes wallowing in filth unless it’s their own. Suck it up and bust out the broom, wash the dishes, scrub the toilet, and make sure to eradicate any funky smells. If you’ve got lots of crap cluttering up the place, get rid of it, or at least stash it out of sight. 

Rule Number 3.) You must have basic supplies!

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Toilet paper, towels, soap, etc. There is nothing worse than needing to release half a six-pack, or half a dozen tamales, only to discover there is no toilet paper. Gross! If you want your guests (especially the ladies) to stick around, there had better be a tower of TP near the commode, and a fresh towel near the sink.

Unless you run a clandestine home distillery, your biggest expense will be booze. But if you’re savvy, you can mitigate some of the other costs. Food can be free or cheap to obtain, especially if you work in the service industry or know people who do. You can always borrow things like chairs, games, serving dishes, or whatever else you’ll need. Don’t be afraid to ask around, but don’t expect your guests to supply everything.

Rule Number 4.) You must have entertainment!

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The designated driver also deserves to have a good time! At a minimum, play some good party music. Games are great to have on hand. Fun movies and TV shows are always crowd pleasers. If you know anyone who can spin fire, invite them. They may feel compelled to show off, to everyone’s benefit.

Throwing a kick-ass party is one of the more satisfying ways of giving back to the folks who put up with your BS, so do it right. Don’t sully your reputation by being that host. If you invite me to your shindig, you’d better show me a good time. If you don’t, I have zero qualms about ghosting and going someplace fun. With all the awesome things to do in Austin, wasting time at a terrible party is the biggest foul of all!

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Photo via Wikimedia Commons.

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