When Super Bowl talk starts happening in early January, my husband fixes me with his “please oh please, can we have a party for the Super Bowl” look and I quickly try to distract him. Because though I like throwing parties, the shopping and the prepping and the details are my thing, and I’d rather spend the energy on any kind of party other than a football one.
I might start a diatribe on how I don’t “get” Jersey Shore, or muse for hours about how long it might take us to finance a new Lamborghini or an island in the Pacific. Sometimes the topic interests my husband and he’s distracted long enough to forget about having a football party until one of the other families in our circle of friends decides that this is their year to host the Super Bowl party. Then, when the subject comes up again I can say, “Oh honey, the Smiths are having it. Maybe we can do it next year.”
This year, my subject matter must not have been compelling enough, because we had the Super Bowl party at our house.
When we have parties, we do them family-style. We are not X-rated partiers – there’s not much we do that is inappropriate for children. We have gone to plenty of adult-only parties that I return home from – early, because it costs an arm and a leg to hire a babysitter these days – thinking “Why couldn’t my kids have come? They know how to behave” and decided long ago that if we are having parties, we are having family parties. I had kids so I could have fun with them, not so I could pay someone else to watch them when I want to have fun. Plus, it’s important to me that my kids know the people who I am friends with, and that my kids learn how to behave at parties.
With that in mind, I realize that when we have a family-friendly party, there will be a mess.
Everyone pitches in to help clean up, which is amazing. I have great friends. But the day after reveals more than what we see the night before. It always cracks me up what I find after a party. I have found other children’s shoes mixed in with my kids’ toys, weeks later. This means that someone took a barefoot child home. There is always a stray sock or sweatshirt left. This time, I found all those things PLUS a pair of eyeglasses that no one is missing yet.
I have learned from experience not to serve my favorite boxed-brownies-with-a-can-of-frosting at family parties. Or cupcakes. No soda in cans and no water in bottles. There’s a Sharpie next to every stack of cups. No artificial red or orange foods or drinks.
This particular party, for its size, was pretty minimal on the after-the-party mess scale. But one thing was new, and I have one more thing to add to my “never again” list. Feel free to add it to yours.
If you serve oniony or garlicky food, keep the chewing gum away from the kids.
Otherwise, I have a few tips on how to get gum off of your furniture.