• The Alien Issue

    Essentials for your Outside Dinner Party

    The Alien Issue
    Rooftop cover

    Fire It Up

    Forget chips and hummus. Full-time lady of leisure Leigh Barton has the inventory for your next rooftop party.

    Whether you are a guest or a seasoned patio-party host, here are some recommendations from a professional event specialist/full-time lady of leisure (it me).

    First thing’s first: doing dishes sucks, so unless you’re really highbrow and/or serving your significant other’s family, stick to disposable table settings. Sorry, Earth, but having people over is stressful enough already. Paper plates it is.

    Cop these salad plates from H&M. You’ll feel better about scarfing down two burgers, two hot dogs, and whatever else fits on there if it looks like it’s just greens at the end.

    Some of us are more into cheap beer and cups of vodka, but if you are not one of “those people” (me) and are having some sort of themed party, people really love drinks with umbrellas in them. Have you ever seen a person get a tropical cocktail and not play with the provided garnish? Put it in your hair, set it on fire, the fun goes on. Tacky? Maybe, but in a good way. Get umbrella picks.

    Lighting for outdoor entertaining is key. If you have ever perused Pinterest, you will see that globe light bulbs are essential to any woman’s wedding board, (you know at least 10 people who have these, even if they are secret) the ideal outdoor party. Save some energy (literally) and cop these solar lights from IKEA so you don’t have to spend time and money trying to reach the one outlet in your outdoor area, if you are lucky to even have such a luxury. There are a couple of different lantern options but these multicolor ones seem really ... happy. 

    Let’s assume this event is a special occasion – a birthday, a reunion of friends – and you really want to roll out the red carpet. You don’t want to associate with those “vape-life” lames, because you still believe in the classic joint. For the millennial that has everything, I present to you: GOLD ROLLING PAPER, because your guests deserve the best and sometimes, regular papers simply will not do.

    To remind your guests that you’re really happy to have them and not at all bitter that you’ll have to spend hours picking up their cigarette butts, swiffering spills from that guy who brought his drink inside, and separating recycling and garbage after they leave: make ice cubes.

    The most irritating thing about having an outdoor gathering is definitely people going in and out of the house – bugs get in, the sketchy chick your friend brought starts eyeing your off-limits liquor collection, and so on. So, it is essential to be prepared with a way to keep drinks cool outside. My mom bought me this when I first moved into my current apartment, but it was December, so I was thinking “girl, you crazy, but thanks.” And now I am so happy to have it: a container with both functionality and style, this drink bucket is complete with a bottle opener. Moms really do know best.

    This next item is essential if you are a partygoer blessed enough to find a pool area. No matter how early you claimed this land (or chair) in the name of you, some dirtbag will swoop in and usurp your territory. Not today, Satan. This “reserved” towel has been on my mind since last summer, when some obscure high-end brand produced it and now there are tons of knockoffs. Hooray for the common people! 

    Not all of us are social butterflies. If you are the type of person that responds to an undesirable situation with “duck and cover” (or maybe by plotting a more aggressive path in silence) then you may want to pick up a place to hide. Take a cue from the professionals and invest in a Real Tree tent, complete with a chair because these events can run hours. The haters will never see you coming.

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