Part of the twenty-something’s rites of passage is a first adult housewarming party. Though I’m on latter half of that decade now, I only recently passed the milestone, moving into a townhouse-loft with my brother and his two cats.
We passed three months so quickly, marked by weekends away and some unfortunate sickness…I feel like we barely finished arranging the furniture. I knew it was time to have a soft breaking-in party, to christen our dual bachelors’ pad.
Some things I have learned about parties:
- always invite more than you want to come – because people always flake
- if you stress over every detail, you won’t enjoy your own event (and…)
- looking stressed at your own party unnerves your guests
Given those truths, I invited about 60 people – 40 came throughout the night – and decided to take the lead on cooking, leaving cleaning to Chris. His strong suit, not mine.
What resulted was beautiful.
I gathered some simple recipes to make: salted caramel rice krispies, ginger brownies, mushroom-green bean salad, and beet salad (latter two from Entertaining by Martha Stewart, published 1982). I commissioned Uncle Bob for some Louisiana gumbo (we had way too much leftover), and we bought some snacks from Alessi and Fresh Market.
Chris cleaned the house from top to bottom. We purchased some edison bulbs and black metal bar stools just in time, which really pulled the lengthy, raised bar together.
When the time came, blooming orchids were purchased, candles were lit, and the lighting scheme was perfected.
From what I gathered, it was an enjoyable, laid back, comfortable party. As the perpetual party pooper, I wanted to make sure it was more of a sitting and relaxing party, with good nibbles and conversational lighting, rather than a thumping, dark-cornered party.
I also made a point to have everyone dear to me invited, not just the gays. My parents came, Cassandra and Levi, and Chris’ aunt and uncle. The neighbors were invited. Like I said…an adult housewarming, not a mini circuit.
Things I learned anew in this experience:
- beer/wine only parties make for less sloshing, fewer spills, earlier exits
- you always provide more food than you need, and have tons of leftovers, no matter what
- clean-up is simple with concrete floors
This event was special to me, because I surprised myself in caring enough to cook and present well. My friends cared enough to come, and bring too much wine. And, everyone enjoyed themselves thanks to good company and new connections, not over-drinking and pop hits.
Now I know we can handle the crowds, the question I ponder is…what’s the next occasion?