If you’ve played host or hostess often, you have a pretty good idea of what to expect. Planning a party becomes second nature, and there aren’t too many surprises. You know “the drill.” Things can go wrong, of course, but, if you’ve taken care of all the foreseeable details, you can generally handle the unexpected ones.
The first thing you do is prepare a guest list, right? After all, it’s your party and you get to decide who’s invited and who isn’t. It may be just a friendly get-together, or it may be business mixed with pleasure. Either way, there are certain practical matters that will influence your decisions.
First of all, how big is your house or reception area? How many people can it hold? Obviously, you can’t invite more people than will fit at one time. Will it be a cocktail party where everybody stands and lots of people can be accommodated, or will it be a sit-down dinner, with a limited number of seats and place settings? What about your budget? How much can you afford to spend to purchase the necessary food and beverages, or to have the event catered? If your budget is tight, you might have to pare back the invitation list a bit, or settle for a more modest menu.
How long will the party last? When do you want the guests to arrive, and when do you want them to leave? What do you do about the stragglers, the ones who seem to have no intention of leaving, as though they had no homes of their own to return to?
What about the permanent members of your household – your spouse, your children, the other family members who live in your home? They come first, and you don’t want your visitors to disturb or inconvenience them.
Those are some of the questions you have to ask yourself when you plan a party, because it’s your home and the only reason the guests are coming is because you’ve invited them. They can’t invite themselves. If someone shows up uninvited, you have every right to refuse to let him in – even if he’s come with someone you have invited. It’s your home, it’s your party, it’s on your tab, and all the decisions about who comes and how long they stay are yours to make.
Here’s the point: America is your home, too, and mine, and ours. We live here. We call the shots. No one from a foreign country has the slightest right to come here uninvited. No one who has come here has the right to decide for himself how long he gets to stay. Everyone who comes here does so at our discretion. If he doesn’t have the decency to behave properly while he’s here, he’ll be asked to leave. If he won’t leave quietly, we’ll just have to throw him out.