Holiday Party Etiquette

On Saturday we were invited to three separate get-togethers: a lunch visit with friends we hadn't seen in a very long time, even though they don't live too far from us; a dinner at my cousins' house because they will be away on Cape Cod for Christmas; and an evening get-together at our neighbors' house, who dropped the invitation on us just a few days before it happened, which is typical of them, but we try and make an effort to show up.  Since the last of the three was going to start at 8pm and it was stated that all the other kids were going to one of the other neighbor's houses with a baby-sitter (poor girl), we opted to put Gus to bed and take shifts at the party, which was right around the corner.  We did the same thing on New Year's Eve last year and it worked out fine.

Cue me, taking the first shift, slightly after 8:00 because we had just gotten home from visit #2, but no one is ever on time to parties at this house anyway, and I brought Greta with me figuring everyone wanted to see her and the husband said it was ok to bring her along.  I walk in (because this is one of those just-walk-in houses) and I'm greeted by a sea of faces looking at who's interrupting their party, or so it seemed because everyone was already there in their COCKTAIL DRESSES and suits and ties.  Pardon my shouting, but I've never been so embarrassed in my whole life.

Again, there's me: out all day with two kids, jeans and a sweater (nice but not cocktail attire), hair in a disaster bun, had a baby 6 weeks ago (not that I'm out of shape- I'm surprisingly in shape, but my pants still don't quite fit).  In a sea of black and red and heels and makeup and jewelry.  I managed to get out of there in under an hour, citing Greta's fussing/need to be fed (because oh, yea, I brought a baby with me), promising to send the hubs back for his shift.  The hubs refused to go.  First, he didn't want to put on a suit and tie and second, he was in disbelief and a little bit angry.  He said, "You should have said something like, 'I didn't realize it was a dressy party,'" but when you are deer in the headlights, your brain doesn't always work properly.

So please, do me a favor this holiday season: if you have a party, please inform the guests of the proper attire before they make an ass out of themselves in front of people whom you don't necessarily know well, and if you go to a party, make sure you look just a little extra nice just in case.


  1. that is too funny. not to have a laugh at your expense.........but, well........i am having a laugh at your expense.

    i say bravo for attempting three parties in one day.

    and if it's my kind of party, you can never be underdessed either. as long as you're there. that's what counts.

  2. That's ok- I'm sure they all had a good laugh at my expense too, much to my dismay!

    The casual, come-as-you-are idea is how their parties usually are. Who doesn't clarify on the dress code??? :)

  3. lol! :) I can totally see myself doing the exact same thing!

    And I'm with Pamela, brave you for attempting three parties in one day, especially after just having a baby! :)

  4. Aw man, we did the same thing! Hubsey and I went to a party at his boss's house. We thought it was going to be pretty informal because there weren't official invitations or anything (just a verbal invite), but no. We showed up in jeans and nice sweaters because we came straight from one of my art shows... and there was everybody else in dresses and slacks.

    And snaps to you for braving three parties in one day WITH A BABY. You need a trophy!

  5. definitely is something that needs to be stated. i surely hope they didnt actually laugh (at) you because ya... you kinda just had a baby here, people!

  6. Oh no! I think I've done this sort of thing on multiple occasions! It's always one of those moments where you feel as though the record stops and everyone turns your way. So sorry! I'm surprised that people wouldn't have thought to include that on the invite! I've had a cocktail party like that before (it's always fun to dress up sometimes!) but we definitely told people to dress up!