We had our annual holiday get-together at our house this last weekend, where something like 25 to 100 people stopped by our little abode to partake in food, drink, and stimulating conversation.
Twenty-five is the more likely number of attendees, but it’s all a matter of perspective, right? A very social, extroverted person may have looked at our gathering and thought, “My, what a charming little party this is.” While a more private, introverted person might have thought, “GAHHH!!!”
Regular readers of this blog know that I lean more toward the latter than the former, so perhaps you’re wondering why I have these parties to begin with? Truth be told, in the days leading up to the events, I wonder it myself. But the fact is, I enjoy them.
I especially enjoy them when they’re over.
Also, I think we introverts have an obligation to society to show how parties should be done. Because from the parties I’ve thrown and the parties I’ve attended, I’ve come to one inescapable conclusion: Introverts throw better parties.
That is because, as with all things, we overthink them.
How an Extrovert Throws a Party:
- Sets up event on Facebook and tells friends to invite anyone they inadvertently left out
- Gets on with life until day of party
- Buys food and drinks
- Welcomes guests at door
- Enjoys party
How an Introvert Throws a Party:
- Carefully reviews calendar and selects a day with least amount of personal conflicts, in which the stars have aligned to give the best possible chance of success for a social event
- Looks over guest list; crosses off names, adds names, but mostly crosses off names
- Googles “Party Planning” and bookmarks several sites; peruses Pinterest for recipes and decorating ideas
- Checks out party planning books at library, as well as several cookbooks; a menu is created after several revisions
- Walks through layout of home, imagines party in real time, considers the main areas of gathering, the best flow from one area to another, moves furniture several times until the right balance is achieved
- Plans out music for the evening, selecting song list with great care
- Night before party, wakes up several times thinking, ‘Did I remember to …” but of course they remembered to; they remembered all things
- Drinks glass of wine before guests arrive, or other calming beverage of choice
- During party, remains in kitchen for majority of evening, replenishing dishes that don’t need replenishing, also providing safe haven for fellow introverts requiring a quiet space with no small talk
- After party, collapses on sofa and reviews the evening, replaying every moment, wondering how it could have gone better; pledges not to repeat event for a very, very, long time
- Makes notes and plan of improvement for the next event
I know many introverted party planners would insist on including the presence of their pets at their soiree, certain that without them, a successful evening is impossible.
I find that pets can be tricky at parties. Normally I am in full favor of their presence at all times, and I certainly appreciate them at any party I attend. But the sad fact is, phobias do exist, as does general discomfort, and not everyone likes a cold nose in their crotch.
That being said, I came up with a brilliant idea that should be considered by anyone planning a party: the Introvert’s Party Room for Rest and Recuperation.
I got the idea after thinking about an old record store in downtown Phoenix, back when vinyls were all that. It was a huge store, and it had a separate room for classical music. It was great! When you walked in, all other sound was blocked off and you only heard classical. It was soothing and oh-so-peaceful, and I might be remembering wrong but it seems like it always smelled of leather and pipe tobacco.
I was 15 years old and had no interest whatsoever in classical music, but I seriously loved that room.
My thought is, we could have a separate room not very far from the main party — it has to be easy for the party guest to slip in and out of, without detection. The room would be soundproofed, with maybe some quiet, instrumental music piped in, and there would be comfy chairs, books, writing materials, one or two tablets (free wi-fi) and a dog.
It would be glorious.
Once the introvert was properly re-energized, they could return to the party in progress. Or not. No pressure.
Doesn’t that sound great? I’m going to get to work on that. It may involve buying a new house. Unsure at this point.
Right now I have to recuperate from my own party. And you know what’s great for that? Soup. Soup and cookies.
(Wasn’t that a smooth segue into our recipes? I’m telling ya, sometimes I amaze myself.)
Potato Soup with Beer and Cheese
This is a wonderfully comforting soup, and a great way to use up leftover mashed potatoes. But if you don’t have mashed potatoes, go ahead and boil some potatoes and mash them. It’s a little more work, but worth it.
- About 4 cups mashed potatoes
- 3 cups vegetable broth (or chicken broth)
- 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)
- 1 bottle or can of beer (preferably a pale ale or lager)
- 1/4 cup cornstarch
- 1 can evaporated milk
- 1 cup grated sharp cheddar cheese
- Salt and white pepper to taste (I used about 3 teaspoons salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper)
Combine potatoes, broth and cayenne pepper in soup pot, stirring well. Cook over medium heat until hot.
In a bowl, combine beer, cornstarch and evaporated milk. Once smooth, add to soup and stir well. Lower heat to medium-low and simmer until soup thickens. Remove from heat, add cheese and stir until melted, add seasoning to taste.
For garnish, sprinkle with chopped chives.
Raspberry Oatmeal Bars
- 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
- 1 cup flour
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup rolled oats (not instant)
- 1/2 cup butter, softened
- 1 cup raspberry preserves (or other favorite; quality matters, so get what you love)
Prepare an 8″ square baking pan with vegetable spray; preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In medium bowl, combine brown sugar, flour, baking soda, salt and oats. Work in butter with fork until a crumbly mixture forms. Measure out 2 cups into prepared pan and press into bottom to form crust. Spread the preserves on top, leaving about 1/4 inch from edge. Sprinkle remaining crumb mixture over top and lightly press into preserves.
Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, until lightly browned. Let cool before cutting into bars.