How Good of a Host Are You?
By: Mark Lichtenstein
Estimated Completion Time
About This Quiz
Hosting isn't just a matter of showing up. A well-run party is your responsibility, and your guests expect you to rise to the occasion. Do you have what it takes to run a good party?
Do you have a table plan?
Naturally. How else can I curate introductions and keep people away from folks they will be bored with?
Usually, unless I don't have time.
No, because my friends should have the freedom to sit where they want, including next to their spouses.
No, because I ask my guests to sit around my living room, like college students.
Do you always know when a vegan is coming?
Of course, because I ask.
Usually, because I know my guests.
Yes, because they are required to put it in their Twitter bio and tell other people constantly.
The room is 15 by 15 feet and has 2 sofas in it. How many people can it fit?
A guest asks if they can bring a significant other! Can they?
Only if I was already planning for that, or not inviting that person was an oversight on my part.
Sure, I like them, so I'll like their significant other.
No, the invite was for them.
They can bring anyone they want. Bring their exes too!
A guest is drunk. What do you do?
Give them a Coke and quietly suggest they take a breather, maybe even give them a quiet room to lie down in.
Tell them to stop drinking.
Get them someplace I don't mind a mess and give them something so alcoholic, they will definitely be sick, so I can stick them in a taxi and be rid of them.
Get everyone else drunk too, so no one notices.
Your friend brought her boyfriend and he's making super racist jokes. What do you do?
Tell him to cut it out and apologize or I will be forced to ask him to leave.
Take him aside and ask him to cut it out.
Quietly excommunicate him and the woman from your friends.
What's the right way to inform your guests that there is a dress code?
When I get confirmation that they are coming.
If I talk to them on the phone.
Do you know all your guests' allergies ahead of time?
Any relevant ones, of course
Only the dangerous ones like peanuts
I ask for their entire medical histories.
No. They can bring it up if they care.
If you're having a summer party outside, what steps do you take to ensure there is somewhere cool and shady to sit?
Large parasols set up at the tables, and a tent with the bar. I tell people to bring bathing suits and have a pool at the ready.
Give everyone an umbrella
Tell everyone to bring a hat
If your party is someplace up a flight of stairs, what do you do to include your friend who uses a wheelchair?
Sort out a way to get them up before the party, like getting a ramp or something. If that is not possible, I have them arrive a little early so the indignity of being carried isn't seen by anyone else.
Hoist them up through a window.
Throw them a drink from my window and tell them to have a nice time outside.
If a guest returns from the bathroom with their skirt tucked into their undies, what do you do about it?
Discreetly walk her past a mirror while "admiring something else" so she'll notice on her own, and pretend I didn't know.
Ask her if she did something with her hair, and hope she notices.
Pull my own clothing askew so people notice me, and not her.
Tell her and ask her what on Earth she was doing in the bathroom.
A guest says she is too hot. What do you do?
Make sure the room is not too crowded. If it isn't, then I open a window and get her a seat.
Open a window and get her a chair.
Get her a cold drink. Alcohol lowers the body's temperature.
Tell her that maybe she has menopause.
How do you cater to your friend who is an alcoholic?
Don't have drinking be a feature of the event, or at least don't have a drinking section of the party. Or provide ample beverages that are not booze, and encourage everyone to partake in those.
Don't serve any booze, period.
Serve booze but don't offer them any.
Get some non-alcoholic beer for them, or, failing that, some light beer.
You're hosting a charity ball. What are you going to wear?
For what sort of party is it absolutely imperative that you send a real physical invitation?
Religious ceremonies, weddings, funerals, or graduation parties.
You should send them for all events.
You never need to send RSVPs. It's uptight behavior.
Is an RSVP on Facebook a real RSVP?
Any RSVP is a real RSVP, but I don't expect other people to honor that with one on Facebook.
Unless I get a card in the mail, and the RSVP is to a wedding, it isn't real.
If you know a recently divorced couple, can you invite them both?
It depends on how amicable their divorce was.
It depends on if one or the other or both have partnered up.
It depends on which one I really like more.
It depends on how much I want to watch them have a fight!
When guests are staying too late, how do you kick them out?
Tell them I'm fading and have to walk the dogs.
Tell them I have an early day tomorrow.
Tell them the last train home is soon.
You're serving dinner and you're making your special paella, which you told everyone ahead of time. A guest shows up with a dish, unasked. What do you do with their dish?
Put it in the kitchen, saying we'll serve it when we inevitably run out of paella, which we won't.
Thank them, but say a guest is allergic.
Throw it away immediately, in front of the guest in question, so they know not to do such things.
What is your policy on people taking photos in your home and posting them online?
Establish a yes or no in the invite to the party.
Yes in certain rooms I establish beforehand.
I have the right to review all photos before they go out.
No, or else I will prank them.
What parlor game would you suggest people play first?
Is it ever appropriate to mix work friends and other friends?
Yes, if I know both parties will definitely get on well without my help.
No, because then I am necessary for all interactions.
Yes, because any friend of mine should work with any other friend.
No, because you don't poop where you eat.
A guest sits down on a dining chair, which breaks, plopping them on the floor. Who should be the most embarrassed and apologetic: you or them?
I should! It's either a bad chair or I should have known better than to seat them there.
I should because I should have given them an obviously reinforced chair because they are a fatty.
They should, because they broke my chair.
They should because they are fat.
A gentleman guest calls the next day, saying he wants the phone number of a lady guest you know he spent most of the evening with. Do you give it to him?
Only if she says that is OK.
I provide the phone number and her address.
Your friend from Italy is visiting and doesn't speak a word of English. What sort of party do you throw to make sure she has a great time anyway?
We go to the theme park and go on the rides! Ideally with at least one friend who speaks her language. Later, we gather round the piano and sing Beatles songs.
Cocktails! When people are drunk, they think everyone is speaking their mother tongue.
You are in a friend group where there's one person you just can't stand. You're having a large event. Do you invite them?
If by large that means over 20 people, sure - they'll be diluted by the others. Unless they are racist or otherwise a bigot, then nuts to them.
I invite them and seat them at the kids' table.
I invite them and tell them it's a costume party. It isn't.
A guest is late. At what point do you start eating anyway?
We wait all night. It makes the shame greater.
A guest canceled on you twice in a row. Do you stop inviting them?
I will if they don't show up the third time - but I will talk to them and explain how important this is to me.
No, I would never not invite someone.
I don't invite them, and snub them from now on.
I call them out on Facebook and blacklist them.
A guest got drunk and humiliated herself before you could stop her. She doesn't remember it and there's nothing on social media. Do you tell her?
That depends on how many witnesses there were, and if they could be persuaded to keep it under wraps.
I tell her, and shame her so she doesn't do it again.
It's not on social media yet? Then I get the scoop!
Your party is over. Guests offer to help tidy up. Do you let them?
If they press repeatedly, then yes.
They are jerks if they don't offer.
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