The time has arrived for my second big party of the year (the first being on my birthday). Always these events start out the same way. About a month before the big day, I send out email invitations to anyone in my circle of friends and family that are local. Then I wait.
Generally, nothing happens. Oh, maybe one or three respond, but mostly silence ensues.
About a week before the big day, I send out my one and only reminder. Then I wait.
Generally, not much more happens. Maybe now close to a dozen respondees. Still, this usually gives me a fair idea of who and/or how many are coming (and thus, how much food to prepare). And that idea usually ends up being wrong.
This time is no exception. Early indications on the Halloween party this year was a light turnout. Cool by me, as it would mean less cooking and more talking. I rarely get that opportunity as busy host, since bustling around serving, barbecuing, baking and generally making sure everyone is happy takes up all the time (you know well, if you’ve hosted).
However…as the time draws closer, I am getting “I’m going to be coming” responses from surprising sources, people who don’t normally attend my soirees. This is wonderful and terrible (see my opening sentence).
Now, I’ve gone from the hope of a relaxed evening gabbing about stuff with friends and family to the expectation of yet another exhausting day of extra food preparation and clean-up. But, if I want everyone to be happy (and I do), that’s what a good host must do.
It’s also why I never buy my food ingredients until 2 days before the party. I’m never certain just how much I’ll need and I would be loath to run out due to an unexpected late rush of attendees.
Big crowd or small, your guess is as good as mine. Trying to figure out how big these parties will be is like…well, you know.