I’m not a novice at throwing parties. I’ve put one on every summer so friends can gather and have a good time. I was involved in throwing some parties back in my college days too. A party was simpler back then. Beer and chips were all that was needed. And nobody really cared about the chips.

One of the constants of throwing a party is worrying about who is going to show up. Narrowed down more specifically the worry is, “will anyone show up?”. It’s an irrational worry because the kind of person who wouldn’t draw a single guest to their party is the kind of person who would never throw a party. So if you are wondering if anyone is going to show up to your party that just means you’re normal. Still it’s a constant theme in the mind of any host.

A host has to send out invitations to the party so people know about it. Whether by mail, e-mail, or word of mouth you have to spread the word. After that it’s a crap shoot. You’ll be able to figure out about two thirds of the people who will show up if you keep up with RSVPs and general chatter among friends but that last third is a guessing game. I’ve had people swear they were going to be there. They’d tell me they were looking forward to going every time they saw me for weeks on end (without any prompting from me) and then just not show. I find it odd and mysterious how many times this has happened because quite often the explanation is unsatisfactory; adding to the mystery.

Then there are the people who show up out of the blue. That’s always fun. It’s usually someone who I haven’t seen in a while who heard about the gathering through the grapevine. Always good to see an old friend and the more the merrier.

One party lesson that should be learned is to pay attention to those who have showed up and not to those who haven’t. Making a big deal about someone who hasn’t shown up is bad form. Make a big deal out of those who have shown up. They’ll want to come to the next party then.

This brings us to the age of the internet. I use e-mail to send out invites and have no problem getting other invites that way. But sites like Evite annoy me. Not in a pain in the ass, “gum on my shoe” kind of way. But in a general, “I can’t quite get down with it” kind of way.

I see the benefits of Evite: It’s easy for the host to keep track of who is coming and who is not (the same phenomenon as above apply though). It also allows a central site for an invited guest to check back with for time, place, and directions. Guests can also check and see if other friends have indicated they are going or not. I’m not saying that Evite isn’t useful. It just annoys me. Maybe it’s because it puts more pressure on me as a guest.

Evite is broken down into four section for the guests: yes, no, maybe, and hasn’t responded. Party hosts can even give those four sections nicknames thus putting more pressure on the invitees with their cleverness of category. But maybe I don’t want to be classified in one of those sections. I don’t want to be stuck in a box. A lot of time I don’t know if I will make it to said event weeks in advance so I’m unsure of what to check.

Plus it’s more work for me. After you click on the link in an e-mail you have to navigate through some ads and decipher whatever horridly busy layout the information is in. Then as you respond there is a place to leave a little personal message for the world to see.

Now, I’m all about being clever and pithy but my penchant for being a troublemaker is omnipresent. That little message box is a great temptation to my childish sense of humor. Yet I can’t indulge myself because I know at least half the people on the list won’t share my giggles and I take the chance that the host is one of them. I’m already in an awkward social situation where I have to be restrained for fear of offending and I’m only at the invitation stage. Too much pressure. At least with a normal RSVP by voice, mail, or e-mail I’m responding only to the host and not the public and advertisers. Less chance for me to inadvertently get into trouble.

There is just another little glimpse into being me.