1. Electronic Cigarettes
When it comes to social situations, smoking is a marvelous tool. Lighting up is the perfect excuse to go outside and meet the other half of the party. Smokers have been going outside ever since carcinogens were recognized by the FDA. People who don’t go outside to smoke? Vapers. I don’t know what it is about people who smoke electronic cigarettes but there is a disconnect in regards to public courtesy. Perhaps vaping is a safe alternative to smoking, but I don’t want to sit in a room filled with cotton candy scented smoke. Take your fog machine outside.
2. Acoustic Guitars
You’re sitting on a couch crammed between two of your best friends and the room is abuzz with laughter and conversation. It’s not every day that everyone is in the same room and when they are, the air is absolutely magical. Then that guy walks in. The guy with the acoustic guitar and amp to match. He laughs and asks the room if it’s alright if he jams out a bit. He doesn’t notice everyone sharing glances while he plugs in and starts to play some chords. Note to all musicians: it’s great that you can play an instrument, hell, it’s even sexy that you play an instrument. However, do us all a favor and leave the guitar for basement jam sessions and open mics. Nothing kills the charisma of a party quicker than a few poorly constructed Dave covers.
3. Newly Acquired Flings
Summer is often synonymous with first kisses and falling fast. Nothing is more magical than sneaking into a pool at night and then holding each other in the cool water while you share kiss after kiss. With all this magic in the air, it seems natural to want to bring your fling to a summer grill out or party. Don’t. Now hear me out before you label me heartless, jealous, and cat loving. When you’re dating someone new, you have to introduce them to all of your friends and worry whether your friends like your fling and if your fling likes your friends. It’s a lot of worrying and if you think about it, it’s an awful lot of work as well. I want your flings to meet your friends, just not at parties where you’ll be socially babysitting grown adults thanks to your awkward introductions. Introduce her at ballgames, coffee shop trips, the mall, anywhere but a party. I want to hang out with you, not the beautiful summer siren you’ll dump in the Fall. Future apologizes to everyone who ends up married to their current fling.
This request sounds crazy but you have to trust me. There are people who bring pineapples to parties and expect the host to figure out how to skin and serve this yellow treat while simultaneously being a good host. The kind of person that brings a pineapple to a party is also the kind of person who thinks fireworks are good party favors. There is a time and place for everything so ask yourself, will this bring fun to a party or will this open up a can of chaos? Is this a pineapple or a bowl of watermelon cubes?
5. Cards Against Humanity
The first time I played Cards Against Humanity, I was sure I had found the game that would change my life forever. I was instantly clever and none of my jokes seemed to be in bad taste. In fact, my bad taste was applauded and allowed me to win a stack of cards. I used to believe that Cards Against Humanity was the best party game ever invented, even better than a Game of Thrones drinking game. That is until I saw a party live, breathe, and die thanks to this silly deck of obscenities and fart jokes. The game began in the beginning of a party and once the game ended, the party abruptly ended. It was the perfect situation for the hosts but it was amazing how fast the game killed the party. What talking points can be created after someone plays a tasteful Altar Boys card?
6. Your iPhone
Keep your iPhone in your pocket and only bring it out to play if you are exchanging numbers or expecting a wife to go into labor. If your story has to be aided by a Youtube video or a funny picture, it’s not your story. Eleanor Roosevelt once said, “Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people.” Talk about the ideas in your head, not the latest tragedy on CNN’s mobile app or Courtney’s newest selfie in the Hooter’s bathroom.