It was Rabi-ul-Awwal last month and that's an important month for Muslims; everyone is eager to celebrate the birth of the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), whom Muslims believe is the final messenger sent by God. My mom has a Milad (an event to honor the occasion) every year and after this year's party.
Now, my family doesn't really do parties and this event has convinced me of why my mom is usually wary even going near the p-word. Also, tired college students don't really make the most willing helpers as my mom realized with my sister and I. While I know, she's probably going to be thinking twice about any decisions she makes now, I'm definitely taking away some pearls of wisdom. Here are 11 things I plan on keeping in mind the next time we have a 'small gathering.'
1. Choose an outfit and stick with it.Giphy
When you host an annual bash at your place, it's like the one day where you should obviously be worried about the whole dress-to-impress business since most of these people are actually people you know and care about.
I bought an awesome dress just for the event and had everything been laid out a week in advance. The night before my mom decides to mention that she think's it's too nice for the occasion, of course.
I spent a pretty sleepless night worrying about looking like an overdressed chicken and spent a hasty ten minutes the next morning scouring my closet for something passable. Next time, maybe I should give my clothes prep a good two weeks.
2. Assume people are going to bring food.Giphy
We were so worried about meeting our quota with the food we catered that we completely didn't factor in the possibility that others might like to bring something too. We got three giant cakes, trays of cookies and tarts, a tray of sandwiches and a giant bowl of chickpea salad.
What actually did come as a surprise was that most of it was gone by the end of the day!
3. Be prepared for some serious cleaning the night before.Giphy
The good thing about having an annual bash as big as this one is that it reminds my dad we actually need to get some people in to spruce up our place. Goodbye dust motes and stray hairs, hello shiny floors and mirrors I can actually see my reflection on.
Best of all, we didn't have to worry about a lot of the cleaning (except for our personal messes and rearranging some furniture).
4. Make sure the guest list is accurate.Giphy
Till the last moment, my mother kept going on about how the list had capped at about 70 people and having 80 was almost impossible. Well, when I surveyed the 100+ ladies trying to squeeze themselves into the open spaces of our home, I wondered if my mother's math was off or if people like showing up without any sort of RSVP.
5. There will be photobombing. Get over it.Giphy
You think, at your own event, you would be able to take a few pictures in relative peace. I tried to get a video of the food for my story and had about six old ladies calling something at the top of their lungs in the midst.
Forget trying to take a selfie because it was going to turn into something looking more like a family reunion pic.
6. Make sure you have backups for paper products.Giphy
So, since our guest list was rather messed up, we ended up running out of the 120 paper plates we had. We also had to deal with kids who thought it would be fun to take three plates each and put almost nothing in each of them. We ended up having to pull out our own set of dishes, and since our dishwasher has been feeling out of sorts, you can just imagine how delighted we were.
7. Get some child-proof locks.Giphy
Before taking their kids to someone's place, I think parents ought to teach some basic manners. Something along the lines of "do not go where you have no business" would be greatly appreciated. I mean, I didn't clean my room just to have a gaggle of toddlers decide it was their own personal playground. Then there was a group of girls who decided to have a tea party on the staircase.
8. Make sure you brush up on names.Giphy
I've always had a hard time with remembering things, and people's names tend to top that list. I met a bunch of people who warmly hugged me and exclaimed over me, but the whole time I was thinking, "What in the world was their name again?"
I also ended up calling for the wrong people because I couldn't differentiate between the ten different people whose names all sounded the same to me.
9. Never skimp on dessert.Giphy
It doesn't matter what diet these ladies might be on; even if they eat nothing but salad or air for dinner, no one is going to want to skip dessert. As for the ladies who are old enough to have shed off all concerns with their metabolism, you had better be sure they get seconds and thirds because otherwise, it's a personal insult to them.
You don't want to go down as the stingy girl who only gave out a single scoop of ice cream.
10. It's OK to take a break.Giphy
Being the introverted person I am, after a couple of hours I felt like I was going to lose my mind and have to have my family pick up what was left of it after the party. I excused myself, went to the sanctity of my room and spent several minutes just cooling off with a book. Then, I was ready to rejoin the battle ranks and feeling much more composed.
11. The real party starts when the party ends.Giphy
So it was mostly a success, and you had a bunch of happy guests and a house full of presents (most of which is Pyrex glassware). You think the fun is over? Nope. The next two hours, the whole house is going to be in an uproar trying to restore the world to rights and make your house look less like it was trashed at a teenage party. Believe me, by the end of it, you will resent plastic water bottles.