|Post-party analysis and ramblings
||[Feb. 1st, 2004|10:28 pm]
Saturday was a day of unexpectedness. I don’t want to seem like I am complaining because on the whole the day went well. But, on the other hand, I think any post-party analysis has to include the good and the bad, and anything that was learned that could be helpful in the future for future parties.
Also, I know I have a tendency sometimes to build things up in my mind to the point where no real experience could have matched the expectation that I had. So, I'm trying to be big picture about this.
Toddler Party - I had 3 families at my toddler party. Each had 2 kids, which made 7 kids in total. A pretty good number.
Good things: Athena (my best friend) came! We never get to see each other, so this alone made everything worthwhile. At my last toddler party, Philip, age 3 was bored. This time, I knew there would be two 3 year olds and planned for it. We went down the kitchen to do some cookie decorating. And I borrowed the bowling set from church.
Bad things: I was inspired to do this because the parents of the toddlers at church wanted to get to know each other better and only 1 showed up. So, if the over-arching purpose was to build community, it failed.
Suggestions for next time: None. The people from church ended up canceling because a) of unexpected company coming, b) taking a mother-in-law to breakfast who fell and broke her shoulder and had to be taken to emergency, c) work schedules, and d) spouse being called into work and taking the only vehicle. You just can’t plan for these things. I may follow up by organizing a once every 4-5 weeks play time at the nursery at church. (That way I don't have to clean my house.)
The adult party/open-house.
Good things: Those who came had a good time and I had some wonderful conversations with people.
Bad things: We sent 36 invitations and had 9 guests, responding to 7 invitations. This is less than a 20% success rate. I know some people RSVP’d and had some legitimate other plans. But a less than 20% attendance rate - I’m trying not to take it personally, especially when we did this 2 years ago at the same time of year and had the house so jam-packed it was terrible. (Is 9 guests better or worse than 40 at one time. GF says this one was better. I'm not sure.)
Also, we had a way too much food. And the set up. If you plan for 9 guests (and really only 5 at a time), you would plan a more intimate setting. But the buffet set up in the dining room and chairs in the living room really reinforced psychologically that no one was there.
And I am temped to say, "We did all this work on the house for 9 guests!!" But that isn't true. The party was the deadline to work towards, just like I need bardic and writing deadlines to inspire me to finish work or SCA events to inspire me to finish projects. The party was also great motivation for GF who only seems to work in crisis mode. The truth is that I want this house done for me and the party was a great deadline that helped me get what I want. (So I guess this is really a good thing.)
Suggestions: I designed the toddler invitation and put RSVP on the bottom. GF designed the adult open house one and didn’t put RSVP. RSVP would have let us know to not plan for 40 people. 2 years ago we had paper invitations and this time we did them via email. I don’t know - do people delete emails, whereas a paper invitation gets stuck to a refrigerator?
Youth Group Laser Quest
Good things: They had a ball!
Bad things: The usual people wanting to come and the last minute and people dropping out at the last minute. Rides!! Since so many of the teens have their G2 licenses I thought it would be easier to get drivers. Instead parents don’t want the teens driving other teens late at night in January. And since their teens are legal to drive, they don’t want to drive them anymore either. So, ironically, my pool of drivers has gone down not up. I had to drive my car after having had 2 parties and being up since 7:30. I nearly fell asleep at the wheel coming home. (Ya - an exhausted middle aged driver is a big improvement over a 17 year old one.) :)
Suggestions for next time: None.
Now that I am this close (picture a finger and thumb 1 cm apart) to having a functioning dining room, I think the next social things I'll be doing is having people over for dinner a couple or two at a time. I might have another party in May, but we'll se how it goes by then.