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Party Protocol

A Friendly Guest Guide

For The Uninformed

by Dani Stone

There was a time when I had none.  I would throw a party and throw open my doors to all who arrived.  However, that attitude changed two years ago when I opened the door of a birthday party I was hosting for a group of friends.  There stood my cousin with his girlfriend and an unexpected guest–his girlfriend’s brother.  I had never met the guy before and I didn’t like the looks of him.  My gut signaled he was trouble, but I allowed him to come in anyway because I didn’t want to be rude. 

He joined my two male cousins on a couch watching a football game in the living room.  Thirty minutes later from another room, we heard shouting and a scuffle.  When a group of us rushed into the room, one of my cousins had the stranger in a headlock, screaming to call the police.  It turned out that he caught the guy with his wallet that the guy had taken out of his back pocket. When the police left with the offender in tow, I made a vow.

From that day forth, I would never again allow a stranger to attend any party given in my home.  I give parties often and I make it a point to only invite those who have something in common.  I also adamantly never offer an invitation that I don’t wish to extend unlike my friend Geena.  Geena, who hosts parties regularly, is always concerned about leaving a name off her invite list or refusing admittance to someone she didn’t invite.  She worries about someone feeling offended by her actions.  However, I’m just the opposite.  I feel that a host is in charge of who comes into his/her “castle” and I’m not afraid to say no if the situation calls for it. 

Last year, I began sending out invitations with the attached note, which I call ‘The Friendly Guest Guide’ and it has made a noticeable difference in the attitude and behavior of my guests. . 

 The Friendly Guest Guide

Please note: As a guest, it would be considered ‘dope’ if you…

  1. respond with your intention to attend.
  2. bring a bottle or dish to share with others
  3. don’t bring an uninvited person with you unless you ask permission.
  4. don’t come expecting to be entertained, but to add to the fun.
  5. volunteer to help clean up before you leave the party.
  6. Lastly, if you have a great time, please call or text the host.

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