Ask Professor Classypants: Party Planning Edition

Greetings, advice-seekers!  Didja miss me last week? *crickets chirp*

What’s that you say [so quietly that I can’t hear you]?  You want to know where I was last week [when you looked for my weekly column but were distracted by that banner ad for auto insurance for drifters]?  Well, I’m not one to divulge details of my personal life.  I’d much rather spend that energy judging your personal life.

Now that I’m back to slinging advice, I’d like to focus on the avalanche of correspondence I’ve received of late about planning and hosting parties.  Next week I will focus on the etymology of the word “avalanche” to prove to you that is, indeed, Latin for “four whole letters.”

Congratulations! Being trapped under 10 tons of ice and snow is less fun than reading your letters.


Dear Professor Classypants,

I am planning an End of the World party for December 21st, complete with “last meal” foods and probably a the-world-is-ending-so-what-the-hell game of strip-karaoke-trivial-apples-to-apples (or something like that).

Since my house will only comfortably fit about 15 people, what is the etiquette on sorting out the invite list? I know you won’t steer me wrong.


Dear J Toodles:

First, kudos to you for signing your name to make it easier for me to file away your note.  Next, I want to applaud you for planning ahead.  I mean, you want to buy up all the “Your Place or Mayan” invitations at Party Tree before the December 2012 rush.

Your house “only” fits 15 people, eh?  Are you writing because you want my advice on culling the invitee list or because you won’t the whole world to know that you have sooooooooooooo many friends that it is simply too hard to cut the list and you need to outsource it?  I mean, if you need more space, why not just claim your neighbor’s house?  Plant a flag with your name on it, slowly start moving the bushes closer and closer to their door until — POW! — they’re annexed and you can double your capacity.  Who cares about burning bridges when the world is about to end?  Pizza rolls may also help sweeten the deal.  Your average American would act as a surrogate mother in exchange for pizza rolls so, clearly, said average American would gladly exchange you a little real estate for a pizza roll or nine.

But, again, you would have figured all of this out on your own.  You’re just showing off that there are more than 15 people in the world who would rather spend their final moments eating pizza rolls at your house than spending it, say, holding their loved ones.  My only advice is stop being such a show-off or no one will want to spend the end of the world with you. – P.C.

Your party sounds like maya idea of a good time.


Dear P.C.,

What should I serve at my cousin’s engagement party?  A full meal seems excessive but I don’t want to just serve pizza rolls or something.  Help!



Dear Mary:

What’s wrong with pizza rolls?  And let me ask you another question:  what if I told you that, as I type, I am eating a frosted cherry Pop Tart out of my desk drawer?  Would your cousin still want to get married? – P.C.


Pop Tart Semaphore Distress Signal


Dear Professor:

I am getting married next year and want to save a little cash.  Is it socially acceptable to ask people to eat dinner before they arrive and then simply serve snacks at the reception?  I don’t want to be rude but I want to include as many friends and family in the event as possible and we just don’t have the funds to put on a huge dinner party.



Dear S:
Wow.  You really should have written to a real advice columnist.  But you didn’t and [since you won’t foot the bill for dinner] now you must pay.

A real advice columnist would likely suggest that you don’t explicitly tell people on the invitation that you aren’t serving dinner but you set the reception start time late-ish and note on the agenda that you’ll have wine and hors d’oeuvres or some such.  But I can tell from your quaint turn of phrase (Really?  “Snacks at the reception?”  You mean, after, the “marriage-y part in the church?”) that you would likely misspell hors d’oeuvres on the invitation.  I would prefer guests being hungry than guests thinking your spouse just married someone who can’t spell.

So congratulations on having a room simply bursting with people.  Hungry, thirsty, annoyed people.  After your wedding, can I direct you to a little end of the world party at J Toodles’ house? – P.C.

I hear they have pizza rolls.


Dear Professor:
Would you like to attend the party in my pants?

A Friend

Dear Friend:
But of course!  I’ll plan to arrive at 6:30 because I know you’re always early. – P.C.

Happy writing! Thanks for stopping by to live, love, and learn. Be sure to join us next week. And remember: Act Classy and you will be classy. Ish.

Leave a Reply