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5 Common Party Hosting Pet Peeves

Keep these tips in mind to stay on future guest lists, or risk being blackballed from future soirees.

It’s time to start the party! Whether you’re attending an intimate dinner party or a casual birthday gathering, there are a few things you can do to make life easier for your host or hostess. Keep these tips in mind to stay on future guest lists, or risk being blackballed from future soirees.

Look, but don’t touch. Do your hosts have a gorgeous baby grand? Don’t tickle the ivories without asking first. (And, even then, maybe you should think twice.) That goes for whatever’s at hand, including the TV and stereo. Do we even have to mention snooping in cabinets or behind closed doors?

Watch your drinks. Keep track of your beverage, whether it’s in a glass or a plastic cup, and always use a coaster. If there aren’t any available, ask! Even if your host is more casual than coaster-cognizant, it makes you look extra thoughtful. Plus, make sure what you’re putting your drink down on is actually a table, and not that aforementioned piano.

Follow their cues. If your host answers the door wearing slippers and there’s a row of shoes lined up near the door, ask if you should take off your shoes before you enter. Are you a smoker? Take it outside unless you see someone else light up.

Bring a thoughtful gift – and if you’re not sure what to bring, ask. If the invitation mentioned bringing your own adult beverages, feel free to pick up a bottle of your favorite wine or liquor. However, even the most well-meaning gift can be a social minefield; after all, what if flowers make them break out in hives?

Turn off your phone, or take it outside. Unless you’re a doctor on call, put your smart phone in your purse and leave it there. If you sneak a peek now and then, we won’t tell, but leave the texting and Tweeting and everything else-ing in the bag.

These are just a few ideas to begin with for the modern guest. The best way to be invited back is to live by the Golden Rule, and treat your host’s home as well as you’d want your own to be treated next time you throw a shindig.