Wednesday, January 14, 2009

The Awkward Party (Revised)

In talking with my roommate one night, we happened upon the idea of hosting the most awkward party possible. Now that I'm sitting in my office waiting for my class to begin, the conversation has been revived.

Class time! Be back later!!!

Okay...about 18 hours later, I'm back and ready to continue the Awkward Party conversation. The Empress has hit on an entirely new level of awkward that my crowd did not even touch. While inviting people who don't get along certainly creates an awkward atmosphere, I feel like that awkwardness happens far too often at parties anyway. So here are a few of our ideas for the Awkward Party. And yes, it deserves capitalization. This party is totally a proper noun.

Without further ado, our plans.

The Awkward Party invitees must (there is no negotiation about this point) arrive to hear music that is far too passionate for the occasion. I'm thinking a little Brian McKnight. Maybe some carefully selected Celine Dion peppered with everyone's favorite Christian tune, "I Can Only Imagine." Oh...or one of those collections of the best 1960's Love Ballads. Another sure hit if awkward is your target.

At awkward (little "a") parties, people usually just group with the people they do know and talk in small groups about how oddly the party is developing and how soon they can leave without giving offense. Since we want to make sure that not even this is easy, the furniture must be carefully placed.

I'm thinking the room(s) should be low on chairs. There should be a few chairs, but not nearly enough for the people invited. Also, these chairs should be spread out and never grouped in conversation circles. This way, people will be forced to either seat one of their group members or just stand in front of a chair, thus blocking someone out who might like to sit.

My roommate and I have also learned (from experience) that chairs that seat 1+ are doubly fun. We have a fluffy loveseat that seats one loosely and two tightly. This was great fun when we hosted a Comp Exam study group this summer. Jason and Dan got quite cozy... and felt very awkward about it.

Food & Drink:
One of my officemates came up with the snack that I think best grasps the spirit of the Awkward Party. Awkward Trail Mix. Now, I'm sure there are millions of possibilities that can instantly make a trail mix awkward. Immediately I can think of some trail mix ruiners like gum, a sticky fruit that would ruin the fingers, that salty black licorice that only fishermen like, chewable Vitamin Cs, individually wrapped candies, I think you get the idea. All edible, but really awkward when offered in trail mix.

Always thinking of the cupcake, I suggested a cupcake that was out of the wrapper and iced on the bottom and placed on a platter. Of course, the icing would adhere to the platter and the cupcake eater would be sadly without icing. Awkward.

Oh, and this should just go without saying, but there should be no alcohol at the Awkward Party. Again, we don't want to give our guests an easy way out of this awkwardness. We want to relish it. That said, if you are with fun, up-for-anything people and you all enjoy the awkwardness for a couple of hours or so, then by all means, let the party devolve. However, if your Awkward Party is truly just awkward, then keep the alcohol away and see how long it will last.

Now, the above basics will certainly secure an Awkward Party. If you want to be really cruel, you could tack on some little extras like these:

- Invite people personally and excitedly explain the theme of the party. Make it out there like 1970's pirates or pregnant celebrities and most important... make it a different theme for each group of people you invite. When they show up, just admit that the theme changed a few times and you forgot who you told.

- Velvet Blacklight posters are always a good idea. And let's be honest, these posters are awkward with or without the lights.

- For our crowd, largely English composition teachers, we thought it would be nice to have a screening of one of the films we all used in our 101 classes. Some good options we have are SuperSize Me, An Inconvenient Truth, and Good Night and Good Luck. Having seen these movies several times and with very academic purposes, these movies would certainly deaden any remaining party energy.

So, Awkward Party throwers, go forth! You make those parties as unpalatable as you possibly can and rest easy knowing that your party will not be one quickly forgotten.

1 comment:

The Empress said...

This sounds like a wonderful and terrible idea.

When I was thinking ways to do this, I was thinking about inviting people who don't like each other. That would be awkward - but it might also be a serious nightmare.

I hope you have better ideas than me.