Annabel Rivkin and Emilie McKeekan – journalists and creators of the popular online blog The Midult – share their survival guide to the festive season, focusing on everyone’s least favourite RSVP – the awkward Christmas party.
Parties!!! Woohoo!!! Or perhaps: Parties!!! Boohoo!!! Depends on the mood, depends on the party. Drinks parties in particular are disheartening. Why do people have them? What can a drinks party possibly add to the fun index of life? What is fun about standing around with no beginning or end to shape the proceedings, looking over people’s shoulders? No one yet has been able to explain the point. But when duty calls, while spirits are sagging, there is a way to swerve the full-blown horror of the standing about trying to avoid repeated cases of ‘The Awkwards’. Welcome to the Seven-Minute Party Plan. Here is the essence of it: keep moving at all times. Never stand still.
- Arrive exactly one hour after the invitation says the party begins. It will be at its fullest and most chaotic, which – for your evil purposes – is good news.
- Each conversation has a beginning, middle and an end.
- Beginning: ‘It’s SO nice to see you…I was just thinking about the time that…’
- Middle: Incredibly brief observation about anything at all. Could be a compliment or a joke or something political or something scandalous.
- End: ‘Back in a sec. I must just go to the loo/get a drink/say hello to/make a call.’
- You do one round of the room in this way and you are almost oppressively cheerful but constantly in motion while talking.
- Leave. No goodbyes (particularly not to the host). Just dissolve into the night. Your presence will have been noted, your exit will not register.
Do not forget: movement, smiling, circle the room, invisible evaporation. And a follow-up text saying how nice it was to see everyone. You will be in and out in no less than seven, no more than nine minutes. This way it hardly hurts at all.
Find more wisdom and witticisms from Annabel and Emilie in their latest book I’m Absolutely Fine – which is already a Mint Velvet favourite.