Friday 2 March 2012


Some people are so good at planning a party they make it look like a higher art form. A bit like cooking or gardening, on the surface it seems like a simple thing (well, not to me as I’m not a natural at either), but then when you see a real master at work, you realize it is nothing to scoff at. Just drive through Beverly Hills and you will see some gardens that will boggle the mind (in this case, it is NOT the inhabitants of those houses turning out those gardens, I assure you. Thank you Mexico). 

My little sister is one of these people. She clearly graduated from the Oxford school of party planning – not literally, but she may as well have. She’s one of those that starts planning a party at least eight months ahead and leaves no detail by the wayside. In fact, it is all about the details apparently (trust me, I follow her around with a notepad hoping some of this will rub off on me). Everything is color coordinated, there is a running theme strictly observed, the food served is always imaginative and fun, and the decorations go from the majestic to the enviable. Not to mention the party favors are always adorably unique - [if you know her, tell her to tell you the story about the chocolate party favors at her wedding. It is legendarily hilarious]. 

She is also one of those people that knows just about everyone – and apparently these people each have a skill set that is highly coveted. This is the second thing to note about party planning. If you don’t know a network of people with skills, hit the streets and find one. She’ll have a friend that cooks, one that bakes, makes invites, jewelry, juggles large objects, and makes balloon animals. Hell, I wouldn’t be surprised if she introduced me to a friend that could eat fire while jumping through hoops suspended from the ceiling. In fact, I’m sure that will be going on at the next birthday party for one of her children.

Then you have someone like me, and planning a party is clearly not my forte. Not that I’m not a woman of detail, because I am, but I am starting to realize that if you possess the frugality gene in any way (I proudly fly the flag of frugality) it means that every decision you make when planning a party is second guessed, based on this very gene. “Food…yeah, okay, let’s have food. How much???! Wait, okay, maybe we should have a liquid dinner instead. Food is so overrated and everyone likes to lose a bit of weight.” You get the idea. I find myself start to do this when it comes to every single detail of planning a party. When most are fawning over decorations, tea lights and peonies, I’m trying to figure out if I can learn how to cook, grow flowers, and string lights by Monday just to save a few pennies.

Coupled with this, I am clearly missing the female gene that enjoys the very act of throwing a party. Don’t get me wrong, I love the creativity aspect of them, and of course like attending them, and I don’t mind playing host if someone else puts the whole shindig together, but as soon as you start asking me to make a thousand decisions about guest lists, chocolate fountains, and color schemes, my eyes start to cross and a migraine sets in. That’s of course when I start wishing my little sister was living in the next room with her little black book of contacts by her side. In fact, I wonder if she could fed ex me a cake by next month, cause I'm thinking a chocolate fountain will never make it through customs.
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