Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Cocktail Highlander: How To Survive


Cocktail season has descended in all of its awkward and rewarding glory: work gatherings, family dinners and holiday parties. The pressure of hosting a fete is one thing, but having to steel your nerves to attend this ritual is another.

The list of social hurdles can be daunting: Your uncouth uncle, the notoriously drunk weeping co-worker, or the anxiety of being on an alien planet with strangers. Fret not, honey bunnies--Cream City Dreamsicle is here for you with Cocktail Survival Skills.

 Anti-Shoe Propaganda. I've never understood this phenomena. This classic "oh shit" incident often happens mere seconds after entering a party: your hostess tells you to take off your shoes. As an adult who spent time making herself presentable, being asked to relinquish my shoes is infuriating.

"Why yes, I would love to walk around on your cold floor half dressed." If I had known I'd be humiliated in this way, I would have skipped the lipstick and shown up in footie pajamas.

 Be prepared! Survive this trap with new stockings or a pair of cheeky socks. Ninja Level: Bring your own marabou trimmed Fredricks of Hollywood slippers.

Bring a gift, not a project. Now that you're walking around barefoot in your in-laws kitchen, it's time to offer a Host or Hostess gift. Bringing flowers that need to be cut and put in a vase or treats that require more prep are thoughtful, but not helpful to your hosts. Keep it simple: a bottle of bubbly, a box of chocolates, fun stir sticks, a stinky candle or a carton of cigarettes. 

Talk the talk. You've handled the hostess gift like a boss and now it's time to work the room. What do I say? Before you barf on your shirt, warm up with an open ended question: How do you know so-and-so? 

Don't ask where they work, what they do or where they live, blah, blah blah. No one cares and neither do you. Kick it up a notch: Are you having a good time? Do you have any nick names? If you had to kill, eat or marry someone in the room, who would it be?

Your Phone is not a friend. Resist the urge to futz with it. If boredom is eating you alive and you can't resist the burning urge to text or check your Instagram feed, offer to take pictures of other guests. 

Wear it out. It's okay to be fancy. Bust out that bright blazer and bow tie. That Liberace cocktail ring you've had hiding in your sock drawer? Wear it. A statement piece does just that: it makes a statement. I'm here. I'm fun dammit and I'm willing to do anything to survive. THERE CAN ONLY BE ONE!

Put it in your mouth. Even if the invitation says dinner, have a nosh before the party to avoid getting tipsy too soon. More importantly, a pre-game snack will spare you from being "that guy" frothing at the mouth and hoovering shrimp like an animal.

Friends don't let friends be 'Shrimp Guy'.


Coming soon: How to Host Like a Boss!





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