A Manifesto On The Etiquette Of Hosting

As Co-founder & Creative Director of Maderas Village, I play host to our nightly dinner parties 4-6 nights a week. Our crowd usually consists of 30 – 40 people between the ages of 27 – 35 who are creative professionals, entrepreneurs, artists, or just interesting, like-minded people. I do not consider it my job to stay up nightly drinking with guests, I am just usually so entertained by the rants, opinions, perspectives, and debates that come out during the course of a night that it feels irresponsible to my once-bored self to ever call the night before the vibe has had a chance to be realized to its most entertaining potential. Over the course of the last three and a half years I have developed the following list of guiding principals based on the belief that hosting should be considered a privilege and a responsibility, rather than a position of power used for selfish pursuits:
Kayla Rocca
image credit: Kayla Rocca

(1) Always agree when a good point is made, laugh when something that’s said is objectively funny, or steer a bad comment or argument in the right direction.

(2) Don’t laugh loud at controversial jokes, but feel free to repeat them quietly at appropriate times.

(3) Avoid aggressive flirtations and sexual relations with your guests. Instead focus your attention on facilitating relationships between those that you’re hosting.

(4) Practice upholding #3 with discipline.

(5) Always have a good enough understanding of pop culture that you can discuss what’s relevant and discern between what’s bad and acceptable.

(6) Always have a related point to whatever is brought up in #5, but one that brings the conversation to a more culturally relevant and palatable discourse.

(7) Know your top 5 favourite songs and make sure they’re either relevant or classic.
Or not, but be sure to ready the rant for the inevitable hecklers.

(8) Know your top 5 favourite bands and make sure they’re either relevant or classic.
Or not, but be sure to ready the rant for the inevitable hecklers.

(9) Know your top 5 movies and make sure they’re either relevant or classic.
Or not, but be sure to ready the rant for the inevitable hecklers.

(10) Know your top 5 favourite meals and make sure they’re either relevant or classic.
Or not, but be sure to ready the rant for the inevitable hecklers.

(11) Know your top 5 travel spots and make sure they’re either relevant or classic.
Or not, but be sure to ready the rant for the inevitable hecklers.

(12) Contribute sarcastic comments quietly, so that those that don’t pick up on them don’t feel stupid and those that do appreciate it as a quiet compliment to their level of social aptitude.

(13) Actually do what is idealized in #3 and practiced (but likely with failed results) in #4.

(14) Be able to drink enough to encourage a relaxed atmosphere, without ever suggesting that belligerence is tolerated.

(15) Spend as much time as you can listening to the most unattractive and attractive people in the room. They tend to have the most interesting things to say and perspectives to share, but tend to get talked at more than listened to.

(16) While pursuing #15 make sure you never accidentally or purposely end up contradicting #3.

(17) Always try to strike a balance between the number of females and males present to minimize competitive jousting and maximize the ease with which the #3 can be realized.

(18) Don’t ever talk negatively about a former or current friend, girlfriend, or even a neutral party. And talking about enemies should only be done with a strategy in place otherwise it’s just drunken boasting or insecure backfill.

(19) Never light the first cigarette, but always have a lighter in your pocket.

(20) Ask more questions than you answer.

(21) Don’t be hesitant to get into a short or long term relationship, assuming that you’ve identified a prospective partner who’s points are never classified as the third scenario in #1, is always present and laughing in the second scenario of #2, has always ignored your attempts to stay true to #3, heckles every point made under the second scenario in any or all of #7-#11, giggles to themselves at the quiet comments made under #12, appreciates the necessity and skill of balance required to continuously execute #14, and doesn’t apply to the asterisk recommendation that was required to help direct those that don’t know how to react to #15.

(22) When you find someone that satisfies everything spelled out in #21 disregard #3. TC mark

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