This post is about the Perle Mesta’s of the world, those men and women that know how to throw a fete without sweat. Lois DeSocio, my friend and co-collaborator on The Write Side of 50, is an extreme maven in the field of party-giving. Her menu is never less than inventive: French bread slathered in Nutella and topped with hot sausage, sardines with avocado, swiss cheese, olives and mayo, and meatballs made with grape jelly grace the table. Odd as the concoctions may be, they are always displayed invitingly and usually work as conversation starters. The bar is set up and user-friendly. What looks like thousands of glasses are at the ready for wine and beer, water and soft drinks, distilled liquors and fruit mixers. Olives. The guest list is varied. The combination of every “thing” never fails to make for a great party.
From observing her over the years, I have deduced Lo’s tricks for converting hostess “responsibilities” into a really fun time:
She starts working on her guest list.
About 45 days ahead of the party day, she sends out Save the Dates.
Menu contemplation commences. Different ideas percolate, like whether she’ll have it catered, self-prepared, or a combo of each.
Then there’s the issue of space and place. She’s always thinking of the comfort factor — where people will sit, stand, talk and eat and not feel crowded and overwhelmed.
For herself, she starts the party the day before when she puts on Dean Martin, pours a glass of celebratory wine, and sprinkles the finishing touches on the food. This allows her to act as if she’s going to a party, not giving the party.
And the last most crucial ingredient to being a hostess with the mostest:
She always has a fabulous time at her party. She’s not worrying. She knows she has given her love.
So here’s to those that know how to throw a party. May we learn from the best of them.