When was the last time you were invited to a party? Were you all giddy with excitement looking forward to it? If you’re anything like me, you’ll be fretting about what to wear; will it fit? Will it be too dressy? Will I look fat in it? What shoes will go with which dress? What should I do with my hair?!
Being invited to a party is an honour I do not take for granted, mainly because I love to have a good time. Birthday parties are the epitome of a good time – good music to dance to, food to eat and drinks to guzzle (lol!), but more importantly, rich company to mix in. And then there’s the birthday cake, my personal favourite. I will do everything within my reach to have a piece of the birthday cake, or I’ll feel ‘incomplete’. The highlight of the birthday party, for me, is enjoying a piece of the celebrant’s cake – it is a symbolic gesture.
When I am planning to attend the party, another thing I am intentional about is, having fun. What is the point of going to a (birthday) party and sitting through it, people-watching? Or gazing at my phone and going through messages and photos? Really? I should rather have stayed home then, won’t you agree? Here are a few things I’d like to share about how I plan for birthday parties I’m invited to:
- Get the celebrant/ host a gift – this is one thing many people overlook, much to my surprise. Look at it this way; your friend is inviting you to a celebration of life and if you have ever had a party thrown for you, you can appreciate the amount of work, thought and expenses that goes into it. Your friend has a tall list of friends to invite and decided you’re one of the few they want to mark the day with; you need to return the thoughtful gesture. Bring along a gift you know they’ll appreciate – it doesn’t need to be pricey, just thoughtful. Just don’t turn up emptyhanded; that just smacks of being selfish
- Be fashionably late – it’s an expression which suggests that you can’t be the first to arrive but definitely not the last to arrive either, lol! So if it’s a small and intimate party then throw this expression out of the window and get there on time. And if it’s a big do, then get there about 30-45mins after the start time – and in this city of Accra, traffic will ensure you are late anyway!
- Don’t go to a party on an empty belly – have a meal at home before you go to a party. A party is not where you go to have your meal. The point of a party is not necessarily about the food – it’s not as though you couldn’t afford any of the food on offer. The party offers you a chance to have fun, celebrate your host, make new friends and just let your hair down. Don’t go to a party hungry and looking forward to stuffing your face- that is so not on.
- Mingle – promise yourself you will strike new acquaintances at every party you attend. We tend to get to a party, look for people you know and hang with them from the beginning to the end of the party. The question is, why? Shouldn’t you want to make new friends? You need to broaden your network of friends as you’re growing – you learn new things from new people and add to your knowledge bank.
- Dance -for the love of God, please dance when you go to a party! Look at it this way; your host has paid a lot of money to get one of the best DJs in the city, and the DJ is churning out the hits one after the other and the whole mood is just lit!! And you’re just sat there, chair-dancing and taking videos of others dancing?! The party is passing you by – get on the dance floor and do your thang!!
These pointers have ensured that whenever I go to a party, I get the most out of it and the feeling lasts me till the next party, which could take a whole age to arrive.