Far me it from me to get my arse in my hand over Christmas but fuck it. I’m going to anyway because as much as I love a week or two of festive carnage I despise the journalistic bollocks that spooges its way across the pages of our national newspapers and magazines as a result. You see I was already up to my baubles with the media’s instructions about what to wear and how to shit when I came across this last weekend: The Times Magazine’s feature entitled The New Party Rules: Polly Vernon on what to wear, drink, discuss – and what not to do.
Yeah, it’s as suppurating as it sounds too. It includes such advice as “We bus there. We cab back. Double cabbing is ostentatious”, “Finish off an evening with a civilised macchiato. It’s 2012’s espresso”, and “Do not deviate from the approved topics for discussion at this year’s parties, which are…the shift in contemporary attitudes towards the wearing of fur… (and) what next for Nadine Dorries”.
Polly, love, just fuck off will you? You see, I really can’t tell if this feature was tongue in cheek or a toffs’ directive as to how we should act the next time we knock up at a neighbour’s house with a flaggan of Diamond White. Either way, it as sure as shit sounds like the kind of party that has all the allure of trench foot. Why in the fuck would anyone want to go to a party stuffed with people who agree that “Professional over-glossy blow-dries are out” or that “a lot of people will be judging your party look, just as you are judging theirs”?
Well if this is what ‘now’ parties are like I’d rather spend the night in an under-staffed A&E department because it sounds like one fuck of a lot more fun than any do that Vernon is at. Imagine being surrounded by people who are in such agreement with Vernon’s The New Party Rules? Jesus, it must be like the Waco siege where everyone is swivel-eyed with the fear that they’re saying words in the wrong order or actually, God forbid, wearing an item of clothing that was purchased before the arrival of 2012’s Autumn/ Winter collections.
Seriously, does anyone actually take notice of features like this? Do you think there are thousands of Times readers out there sweating because they don’t think they are capable of “Aiming for a level of disinhibition that is charming, engaged, giggly, potentially a bit naughty…”? And what about Vernon herself? If she thinks she sounds like the life and soul of party I’m afraid I have a spot of news for her. I wouldn’t invite her to a party if she was the last human on Earth and had exclusive control of the planet’s Pringles supply. Or, sorry, should that be canapés delightfully stuffed with Mongol goat foetuses because Pringles are so, well, prole.
And that’s the problem with these party guides. They present themselves as fun-filled features about dancing on tables and flirting with strangers but really they are anything but. In fact they are festooned with threats about what could happen should you play the ‘wrong’ music or serve up the ‘wrong’ fodder. Follow guides like these and by the time your first guest arrives you’ll be so crippled with fear that you’ll probably spend the entire evening rocking back n forth in the downstairs lav with the toilet roll holder between your teeth.
So the next time I see a party guide I’ll do what every decent party hostess does and stick it in the fucking bin. Then I’ll invite people who are simply happy to be with each other regardless of what they are talking about, how they arrived or how they look. And you know what? It’ll be the sort of memory-making party that Polly Vernon would never be invited to.
So what do you think? Do you fancy going to party where everyone’s chatting about the state of your blow-dry? Or it is de rigueur in your neck of the wood. Go on, get stuck into that comment box.