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I Heard You the Third Time!

Suzanne Pollak

Women are talking, men are not listening: You have effectively communicated to your partner your exact battle plan for your party. The drinks, the menu, the flow, and most importantly, what you expect for the division of labor. You have been concise, informative, polite; in short, you have exhibited your customary brilliance. You are serene in the knowledge that everything will go exactly as you have envisioned it, so clear and exacting is your plan. Your guests start arriving, your kitchen is at its maximum captivity, you turn your adoring eyes to your loyal spouse to indicate that it is time to move the party to the designated garden spot or living room, but lo, what is this? He does not return your gaze. No amount of waving or flagging can get his attention. Your interior temperature starts to rise, as your kitchen is clogged with multiple drinkless guests, while your partner holds court with one guest, not helping you in the slightest. Your temperature rises further as you slosh tequila and soda water while you try to do the work of the other bartender you thought you had. Then your top pops off when you gently remind your spouse its time to corral the guests into the other room and your partner looks at you in wonder, and professes to never have heard this idea before. Is there a solution? 

The problem is different then what you might think. It's not your party didn't go as planned, its that you lost your cool in front of your guests. Any out burst makes everyone feel uncomfortable and feel unwanted.  Unpleasant exchanges between spouses are never appropriate in public. Ever.  The Deans from this moment on, banish any couples who engage in this public display. Consider yourself warned. 

The solution to this thorny problem has just dawned on us and the Deans are always eager students. Every group has one or two party guests who are authoritative and commanding and one or two diligent worker bees. If you need an extra bartender, ask a worker bee. He or she will be thrilled to help. If you need people to move to the next room, enlist the help of a bossy pants and watch your guests move like a well ordered battalion.  Instead of rueing your unhelpful spouse, be glad he/she is enjoying himself.  That was actually the purpose of your fete to begin with, to have a good time.  Don't set yourself up for insanity before your affair even begins.  Designate in your mind a few helpers prior to the party and that way if your partner ignores you, you have a Plan B.