The Party that Wouldn't End...Is there any help for me
Ok. I know it's all my fault. I give them what they want and they never leave. Mostly that is fine...until it's not. Suggestions, ideas? Or is there any help for me?
Here is a recent open house event experience that I wanted to share. We just moved into a new place and wanted to do the open house thing to meet the neighbors and have friends and family over. We are involved in a lot of different social groups and entertain regularly and thought we were so smart by now on how to throw a bash without killing ourselves. Ha! The invite list was well over seventy five people, and we wanted to do the "in shifts thing" so we actually set up three versions of the invitation. My husband and I also were also celebrating our 35 birthday's that month so we had a Housewarming "Open House" from 2 - 5 and a Birthday Shin Dig from 8 to midnight. The plan was to have the church folks, older family, kids and neighbors out to the first event (in shifts) and then a smaller handful of close friends, party people etc. out to the second. A handful of folks got an invite to both. We specifically detailed the type of refreshments to expect & if children were invited on each. We were confident in our decision and expected an "easy" party because we wouldn't have to serve a full meal and we'd get to rest between events for nearly 3 hours, to give us time to clean up, shuffle the kiddo off to the sitter, change etc. etc. YEAH RIGHT!
So, on the big day, a dozen neighbors showed up to the "Open House" at precisely 2 pm on the dot. ????? That threw me big time. I didn't even have all of the food out yet! Almost everyone else showed up between 3:30 and 4:30 (the event was supposed to end at 5:30!). ALMOST NO ONE LEFT, EXCEPT A FEW NEIGHBORS. At 6 pm people began to get hungry again and I heard rumblings that all the chips and dips were gone so I started dipping into the munchies for the evening party. People were still eating when the evening crew began to arrive. The people that came for the early event with their kids started feeling uneasy when the drinks were broken out because they were unable to find sitters (even though we forewarned them about it). But they didn't want to leave, so I hired a sitter to come to our place and keep everyone's kids upstairs while we visited downstairs ($$$$$). Everyone stayed until the wee hours of the morning, some people didn't arrive until 10 pm and almost NO ONE RSVP'd. We had something like 60 guests all total. I spent 10 hours on my feet cooking and preparing drinks most of the night while my hubby mixed, mingled and served the guests. We have a great open kitchen, so I didn't miss out on any visiting but I did miss out on the relaxing party!
We had a good time, but not the laid back kind of thing we'd hoped for. I think perhaps the great plan is to just be prepared to wing it or hire someone to do it for you. Planning is great fun, but people never cooperate, no matter how much instruction you provide!!!