How To: Be a good party guest

Be a good party guest

A good party guest should live by this motto: Ask not what the party can do for you, but what can you do for the party!
You Will Need:
* An invitation
* And a gift for the host
* A liberal, though not necessarily higher, education

Step 1: Arrive at appropriate time
Arrive at an appropriate time. For a dinner party, that's within 15 minutes of the invited time. With an all-night bash, you have more leeway. If you're running late, call to let your host know.

Step 2: Bring a gift
Never come empty-handed. Unless you know the host's taste well, consumables make the best gifts. A jar of artisanal preserves is a better choice than, say, a porcelain tchotchke.

Step 3: Mingle
Don't cleave to your date and mingle. Talk to someone you don't know or even don't like. It helps to be knowledgeable about a wide range of subjects and to have read a newspaper that morning to be up on current events.

Step 4: Ask questions
Ask questions. If you're stymied by someone who's shy or doesn't seem interested in the same topics as you, fall back on questions that aren't overly personal, such as, "How do you know the host?"

Step 5: Drink in moderation
If the party is even close to formal, drink in moderation. A single lampshade on the head will follow you for the rest of your life.

Step 6: Take pictures
Take pictures! If you've thought ahead to bring a camera, you'll do the host a great favor by recording the evening so they don't have to, and then sharing them soon after the party.

Step 7: Don't overstay your welcome
Leave before the host starts wishing you'd go. If you're not sure, err on the early side.

Step 8: Thank the host
Thank the host the next day. A note in the mail is always appreciated and particularly appropriate for a formal affair but, despite what your grandmother told you, a call or email is often just fine.

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