Shattered Nacho Bar Dreams

Over the past few months I’ve been evaluating the way that I live my life. I’m not proud of many things in my life and I realized I was shutting people out. So, I decided I was going to make some changes. The first major change was to start opening up my home to family and friends. Anyone who knows me knows that I’m ashamed we’re still renting a home. Even though this home we live in now is much nicer than The House With The Ugly Cabinets, it’s still not what I would want in a home of my own. I could tell you a million things I hate about this house and wish I could change, but, you know, Not My House. I’m tired of living this way though. I’m tired of feeling ashamed about material things (or lack of them.)
So.
I decided to throw a Christmas Party for the first time ever.
I invited old friends, new friends, family.
I came up with a theme! Ugly Christmas Sweater Party! With a nacho bar! And s’mores by the fire pit! And a walk to see the neighborhood Christmas Lights! And cookie decorating for the kids!
I even bought a Triple Slow Cooker Buffet! (Which I did not pay $100, but $50 at Costco. RESPECT THE COSTCO CARD!)
Me and PigHunter spent an entire day thrift shopping looking for the perfect Ugly Christmas Sweater.
I’ve been more excited about this than I’ve been about anything in a very long time.
“Who cares if you don’t have a beautiful house.” I keep telling myself “No one will notice, they’ll only notice the love and laughter!”
Seriously. I’ve been saying things like that.
I’ve sent a couple reminders about the party, as well as directions to my house. But I noticed something kind of odd.
No one was responding to my messages.
“They’re just busy!” I’ve been telling myself.
Then today. I got a message.
“We’re not going to be able to make it. I have to work longer than I thought, you can be mad at me for a while. sorry.”
Then, I started to panic. Maybe everyone is going to cancel! I mean, no one is responding to my messages, maybe they’re all waiting to cancel at the last minute.
So, I sent one last message.
“Please let me know if you’re going to make it. I am starting to get nervous since no one is responding.”
I’ve got one response since then.
“We MIGHT be able to make it, but my wife doesn’t get off til 8.”
(Which, basically, is a NO.)
Then, someone else says their baby is sick and well, if the baby still has a fever, they can’t make it.
I know of 2 couples that are coming FOR SURE.
My sister is one of them.
I’m feeling pretty upset about this. Not so much that people are canceling. I get it, things come up, kids get sick. It happens and that’s life. I just feel kind of stupid for opening myself up to be hurt like this. THIS IS WHY WE DON’T INVITE PEOPLE TO OUR HOUSE.
At this point, I’m not sure what to do.
Do I cancel and reschedule for next week? Do I just keep it on and enjoy the few people who do show up? Do I cancel altogether?
I am not sure yet.
In any case, I keep telling myself “it’s their loss!” because, seriously, they’re missing out on a Triple Slow Cooker Buffet Nacho Bar.
And also, ALL OF THIS:
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Edited to add–
I love how you guys can almost always talk some sense into me. The party is still on. And it’s going to be awesome. Now, can I just got a few prayers that it stops raining at some point during the evening? I really need for God to make that happen.

69 thoughts on “Shattered Nacho Bar Dreams

  1. jessica

    Can I come? Please? The only problem is geographic distance but still. I even have this hideous sweater to wear (with a fuzzy polar bear.) And I love nachos. And Christmas lights. And cookie decorating. Sounds like fun!

  2. Rebecca (Bearca)

    Have it anyway, and enjoy the people who show up. You might be surprised… people REALLY suck at RSVPing!
    Oh, and plus? People actually WILL notice the love and laughter. :) I love that you are saying that to yourself. Heee.

  3. Alison

    That sucks. A nacho bar sounds like complete awesomesauce. I wish I lived closer. And uh knew you. :0) buck up it’s not you this year seems to be busier than the last. Last minute shopping, relatives coming the day of Christmas and all kinds of craziness. Like the magic 8 ball says “Please Try Again Later”.

  4. Louise

    Delurking – finally – to say you’re obviously awesome, and if I lived closer I would so want to be your friend so I could score an invite. Nacho bar…ugly sweaters…xmas lights…sounds absolutely perfect to me!

  5. Danielle

    Sorry Y! I totally know how you feel. We hosted a New Year’s eve party (1999). I think out of like 100 invites we had 20 guests (and some of those not my favorites). Made me feel lame and hardly worth the effort. We had another party the following March with about 40 guests and then had a few more parties the following years with about 120 guests. Felt like we had to build a reputation to get people to come. Have it anyway!
    Its not worth much, but I would totally come (if I was invited AND not in Dallas).

  6. kdiddy

    Definitely keep it on. A nacho bar is a terrible thing to waste. Those under-attended parties can often be the most fun, if for no other reason than you can all drink the extra booze and talk shit on the people who canceled.
    I’ve thrown a few large-ish events and they’ve all had dismal turnout. And I always feel really…embarrassed? Like, why on earth did I think that ANYONE would want to come celebrate my birthday, etc. But you get over it and you learn who would help eat extra cheese and drink extra wine and maybe even help you hide a dead body. And who is just too much of a punk to hang out with your bad self. ;-)

  7. RoseC

    Holiday parties are really rough. My birthday falls near Christmas, and it’s ALWAYS hard not to take it personally when people have other plans–especially in an economy where people are afraid to miss their boss’s dinner or company holiday party.
    One year, when people couldn’t make our Christmas gathering, we opened it up to a few people we knew who had no family in town. Maybe your kids have friends with single parents or you know some people who didn’t make the original invite list because they’re not usually that social. They may be the people who most need a fun, giving presence like yours. You touch so many lives in your daily existence just by being you. I TOTALLY understand feeling hurt (and you have a right to), but maybe there’s a way to turn this into a positive? You may find that your second round of guests aren’t the people you’d most want there, but a different mix than you’re used to?
    We’d all come if we could! It sounds like it’s going to be so much fun! I’d say, don’t cancel, just get inventive! You’re doing a wonderful thing!

  8. Melanie

    You have that party!!!! Don’t let others ruin your celebration. Embrace those that show up and (at least for this party) forget the others. People will notice the love and laughter and you’ll be glad that you didn’t let it ruin your fun. So, again, have that party girl!!!!!

  9. Anna

    The exact same thing happened to me last year with our Halloween party. I wanted to take advantage of the built-in Juno costume (I was pregnant at the time). We even had a nacho bar! Of the 30 or so people I invited less than half came. I was disappointed and hurt, but we ended up having a fantastic time with the people that did come.
    Keep on with the party, it might not live up to the hopes you had for it, but there is always the possibility that it will be BETTER.

  10. stephanie

    I say have the party! A lot of people are terrible about RSVPing, either because they are lazy, they aren’t sure whether they’ll make it until last minute, or they just forget. It’s a tough time of year for everyone to fit everything in, so a lot of people don’t want to commit in case they do back out. And if there’s only you guys and two other couples, so what? Small gatherings can be just as fun, since it’s easier to really talk with the people there.
    I love nachos, s’mores, christmas lights and ugly sweaters. Your party sounds awesome! I’d totally crash it if I was in the area. :-)

  11. Nancy P

    Have it anyway and have a blast and lots of love and laughs with the people that are able to be there. It sounds like a perfect party and I so-oooo wish I was your friend and could be there!

  12. Lauren

    I know EXACTLY how you’re feeling. I’ve been there and have basically stopped throwing parties because of it. Now I just do small gatherings with my best of friends, who I confirm with before even confirming the existence of a party. Essentially, I figure out a time and date that they all can make it and then decide to have the get together. I like small groups. It’s less prep and less anxiety. It’s just more our style. Think of tonight as a dinner party, rather than a big Christmas party. It’s an intimate gathering. Set the table even! It’ll be fun. How couldn’t it?! You and your party ideas are awesome!

  13. kindra roberts

    Have the party anyways!!!! I used to be embarrassed by my house and the fact that I have three dogs which mean alot of hair but the funny thing is over time people say they prefer me to have functions because of the love and carefree attitude they can feel at my house. If there kids spill on the floor, oh well it will mop up. Sitcky hands on the couch, it’s leather you can wipe it. And my house is your house, feel free to treat it that way. YOU will have an amazing time!!!!!

  14. Cass

    I think you might have jacked this post from my brain. Seriously, the lack of RSVP was next on my list to post about. I’m having a thing this weekend too and the only way to get answers out of people is to individually call them.
    It makes me feel like I’m the only one who grew up with manners most of the time.
    But have that party – you’ll have the best time with those that come over.

  15. sylvia

    This might not help – but for us? December is crazy and we’re not managing to see all the family members who think we should be making a point of visiting and to be honest, we’d probably blow off anything not-critical that we could get away with.
    So it may be nothing to do with you (and surely nothing to do with whether your house is rented or not) but simply timing.

  16. mouthy_broad (michele)

    just like everyone else–i wish i lived closer and was your for reals friend! i would love to come decorate cookies and look at lights in ugly sweaters! what could be more fun than that?
    also, nachos are like my favorite food. ever.
    but i have experienced very similar events in terms of opening up and inviting people over. it hurts so bad. but dammit–you have the internets dying to come over. and that is something.

  17. Amy

    Hi Y! Delurking to say, bad sweaters/nacho bar/xmas lights is an AWESOME party theme. I wish I lived closer (and uh, we were friends) ’cause I would totally raid MIL’s closet for some “winners” TO wear to your house! Hope you stay dry tonight (we’re in SoCal too) and have lots of good stories for us on Monday! :)

  18. jenfromboston.

    I’m having a party tomorrow, and had sent out the evite. I’m chapped at the ones who couldn’t be bothered to OPEN the evite. wtf. my parties rule (I’ve been working on my robot & running man).
    Anyway, it’s enjoying the peeps that do show and saving the grudge for the non-rsvp’ers for Monday.

  19. Jessica

    My parents were “building” my family’s home from the time I was twelve until…well, I am 30 and they are still doing work on it.
    I still occasionally invited people over to the God awful trailer they had by the house they were building in the country from time to time. Trailer is gone, but the memories are there.
    My house now is weird and I have no extra $ to fix it…Oh,w ell, I just laugh it off…and have friends over. I love having friends over for dinner. IF the nacho party isnt’ as huge a hit as you’d hoped, don’t quit…invite one family over for dinner, even if you have mismatched plates and a hot pink table. Who cares? Friends love you for YOU, not your stuff…if they love your stuff, they are more likely to steal your stuff (J/K) Have a great party…my husband would SOOOO go to your party, too, b/c he LOVES ugly Christmas sweaters and nachos.

  20. bethany actually

    Man, the holidays are so tricky! There are always so many parties and fantastic things to do. I say you keep the party on, and if it’s a very small party you enjoy the hell out of it anyway and try again with another party in a few months. You’ve been out of the habit of HAVING parties, maybe others are out of the habit of attending your parties. :-)
    It sounds like it’ll be fantastic! Have a blast!

  21. Jessi

    Aww, that really sucks. I’d say go ahead and have it and enjoy those who show up. If you reschedule next week, you’re likely to run into even more issues because it’s holiday time and people ‘are’ busy (or worn out, or dealing with extra stuff). Be sure to take pictures so you can show them what they missed out on anyway, hehe, and maybe they’ll show up to your next one!

  22. Jennifer

    I’m going to an Ugly Sweater Christmas Party tonight! I say have it and have fun with whoever does come. As long as it’s hang-out, no pressure, it will be great. Try not to worry too much. And I looooove your sweater – much uglier than mine!

  23. Midwest Mommy

    Did you put the right date on the invitation? Like a Monday date thinking it was a Saturday date? Like Saturday the 14th? I’m not sure but that stinks. I say still celebrate and have fun. I honestly think it sounds like a fab party!

  24. Lori

    I always say it is for those who are there, not for the ones that didn’t come. So many times people miss out on something fantastic. If they would have known!

  25. DiaryofWhy

    I am in the same boat right now! I never host events, but this time I decided to tell my French speaker meetup group, sure, we can have our holiday party at my house! Five dozen meatballs and a vat of mulled wine later, and it’s…snowing! And still 3 hours until the party. If no one shows up I’m going to be so pissed…

  26. Kellee

    Okay, first of all, I’M BIG SQUISHY GROPY LOVING the ideas you’ve come up with. Secondly, you’ll have a fantastic time with those people that DO come up. It’s everyone else’s loss. Even if it is just your family and your sister’s, good times!

  27. Jen

    I threw my first party ever this year for Halloween. Pretty much the same thing happened. I thought we were going to end up with 4 guests. In the end only about a dozen people came but we had such a great time that it didn’t really matter. For your party I say fewer guests just means that there’s more fun to be had for the people that DO show up. I mean, come on! Look at who the hostess is. It’s going to be a fun party no matter what.
    Also, I’m pretty sure my grandma has that sweater only in red. Thankfully she wears a turtleneck under it. Cleavage on you = good. Cleavage on granny = (shudder)

  28. Meredith

    I threw a party for the 2002 Olympics. I was the only person who attended. Even my live-in boyfriend couldn’t come. So, more 7 layer bean dip and beer for me! I really did have a great time and laugh about it now. It’ll be a great party no matter what happens or who come because you will have a great time.

  29. Jeanette

    I would totally come to your party if I lived in that area. Not invited? I would crash it anyway and you would love my ugly Christmas sweater! You will have a great time no matter how small the party is!

  30. Alias Mother

    Like the others above, this has totally happened to me. More than once. Yeah, I’ve stopped throwing parties because of it. Also, because I’m pregnant and tired and have a toddler. And my house sucks for parties. And I’m a hermit. And because our driveway is steep and people complain about getting stuck in it.
    But if it weren’t for all that stuff, I’d totally throw parties still. Except not really.

  31. Heather, Queen of Shake Shake

    OMG, that sounds like the coolest Xmas party of the year to date. Nachos (my most favoritest meal ever) and ugly Christmas sweaters. Why can’t company Xmas parties sound this fun?
    Just last week, my mom tried to give me a Christmas t-shirt with cats dressed up for Xmas. I’m not even kidding. I mean, I need nachos and a martini after that experience.

  32. Roxanna

    I would so come to your party! Sounds FABULOUS!
    Totally love the sweater (in an “oh my that’s ugly” way).
    Have a ball!!

  33. julie

    Just a thought: Did you send emails directly or did you use something like evite or another invitation-mailing site? We discovered that many email service providers flag them as spam. Which would mean that many people, depending upon their spam-filter settings, may not even know you’ve invited them.

  34. Karla

    Y,
    Owning a home isn’t all its cracked up to be. I wish I could rent and even more so now that my house is worth less than I owe on it. Also, you can always give notice and move from your rented house…I can’t. I’m stuck riding out this horrible economic rollercoaster until I can sell my house.
    Count your blessings and have a good time hosting your party!

  35. Norma

    Dang! That is one ugly sweater! Have the party any way. Your family seems so awesome you don’t need anyone else.

  36. Maggie

    I would be there if 1) I was invited and 2) I lived at all nearby (MN don’t think so). Hope it all works out.

  37. slynnro

    This is why I don’t throw parties. Because at the smallest sign of something wrong, I get all “nobody likes me, everybody hates me” worms etc.

  38. Kate

    We all have these hangups I think. I have house hangups too. Handyman’s special for sure. My parents have never been here and we have been here for two years! Does that tell you how many hangups I have? The satellite dish installer is coming to our house on Wednesday to put wires in our bedroom(untouched from last owners horrible decor) and the TV room(even worse decor and cement patches all over yucky floor). I am freaking out. I call it the CHAOS theory. Can’t Have Anyone Over Syndrome.
    Lots of us in the same boat. And we rented this house until recently and just bought it too. Now I can’t use the just a renter excuse.

  39. Wacky Mommy

    i cannot believe they make a triple slow cooker that is just the coolest thing. Steve threw me a birthday party last year? Year before? can’t remember. THE POINT IS one of my best friends managed to make it, I love her and YAY! nice to see ya! her kid was having a great time, her husband melted down and they were here 7 minutes, tops. I was so bummed. then i realized, a whole lot of people have anxiety about all kinds of various stuff, so…
    argh.
    we’re just all stressed out this year about all kinds of stuff, that’s why everyone’s stalling out on invites.
    (WISH we were still renting, then the landlord would have had to pay for the new furnace.)

  40. Jenera

    I would love a triple slow cooker. Oh the things I could do!
    I’d still have the party and if only two people show up, who cares?! It’ll still be an awesome party

  41. chris

    I have posted before but not often, but I have to do so again. I so understand your thoughts. My husband and I live in an over 100 year old house that we do own but don’t have a ton of money to fix up. Our bathroom had silver and white wallpaper when we moved in and all we could do was paint over it. We did replace the tired vanity and toilet, but I still feel like our house is “beat up” when I visit the homes of friends and fellow community club members. Yet, we love our home and find it cozy for us. I still entertain and also agree that the food and laughter are better here than in a fancy place. And I love the sweater idea!! Go you and have fun. Wish I could come out.

  42. jan

    Next time try “Ugly sweater optional” My son in Pennsylvania was invited to the exact same type of party last week (must be going around) and didn’t go because he didn’t have an ugly sweater and didn’t have time to track one down!

  43. Lujza

    I’d totally come….except there’s many miles, a border, three kids, a dog, a husband, a dad and possibly closure of the airport (due to freezing North temperatures) holding me back….otherwise….nachos….yum!

  44. sara

    i just cried about this situation exactly. If youre not coming FINE i understand…BUT!!! ….to not give me a courtesy answer is so rude! this is what i wanted to tell people but now i dont have too….Thanks for posting this as i was feeling like the only one with hurt feelings! love you and hope you have a great night!

  45. dale

    FAIL on picking an ugly sweater! I actually like it! Not sure what that says about me . . . . except I’ll add any garmet that shows off that cleavage can only be so bad, ya know? If ya don’t know, ask PigHunter. :) You rock, your party wins, your no-shows FAIL.

  46. Heather Cook

    This has happened to me! I hope yours went better than you thought :)
    I have always been jealous of those friends of mine who seem to through the best parties and everyone wants to go to them…. I wonder why and then think that perhaps it’s because they just CONSISTENTLY through parties and their first were probably smaller, too.

  47. Sugared Harpy

    I would totally come to your party! You know, if you knew me and I didn’t live in Missouri…
    The best thing I ever did was rent my last house. I was NOT in a position to buy, and you know what happens when you buy a house? The goddamn water heater that breaks is suddenly your responsibility.
    Don’t be ashamed. I know that’s easier said than done and it matters so much to you, but I promise, home ownership does not confer some wonderful American Dream status upon you. You may just still have some shitty parts to your house that you don’t like and can’t fix up!
    But have those parties, but clearly you have awesome ideas!

  48. Heidi

    I think you should still have the party…even if only family shows up. You’ll be surprised when people start showing up that never RSVP for anything…some people do that. It happened to me when I had an open house for my first condo…
    I hope you have a good turn out! If I were in California and I was your friend I would have RSVP’d right away — it’s just the right thing to do.

  49. Rachael

    I’m sorry that this happened. I know how it feels to be so excited about something and just have people bailing left and right, sometimes for not so great reasons. It totally sucks. I hope you had a good time anyway!

  50. Beth

    Going by my sister’s experience in throwing an annual Christmas party, I’d say the key to inviting people is volume. That is, you have to invite about a million people to have a decent crowd show up. Also, it helps to invite them well in advance (not sure when you invited your friends), since a lot of people hold holiday parties right about now. Also-also, if you start making it an annual thing, people start planning to attend and come to expect it. Which is why it sucks that my sister stopped having her annual party. Oh, wait, we were talking about you. ;^) Dang, we coulda come to YOUR party! LOL Hope you guys had fun!

  51. Nancy R

    I so wish I lived close enough – I would have crashed it with no invitation. It sounds like a lot of fun – nothing too ‘organized’, just hanging-out-casual with stuff to keep the kids occupied. I mean, how can anyone pass up a NACHO BAR? Seriously? I’m hungry just thinking about it. Hopefully, you had a blast with the guests that did attend and you can be all ‘see what you missed?’ to those that couldn’t attend and they’ll put forth a better effort next year.
    The best parties always start as something small and just get better each year.

  52. Leah

    I have a Christmas sweatshirt with a gingerbread house and gingerbread man with the recipe right in the middle so everyone looks at your boobs trying to read the recipe. How did the party go?

  53. mom, again

    This happened to me. I wanted to throw a party for a friend who was going on a trip, and for politeness sake, another classmate who was moving away.
    The event was announced in a class where most of our mutual friends were. But, since the date of the party was a week or so after classes ended: emails were sent. Phone calls and texts were sent. I got 0 responses. ZERO. Even the girl included did not get in touch, even though she got, in addition to the group contacts, messages to herself asking if she’d heard from anyone, was she planning on bringing her spouse, that sort of thing.
    Finally, me and the first woman went out drinking about 30 minutes after the party was to have started. An hour after that, the other girl called to say she was on her way. I told her where we were and that no one had shown up. She didn’t meet us. I’ve never seen her since.
    We were culinary students, and the class most of us were in (having put it off til the end since it wasn’t a ‘kitchen’ class) was the event management class.
    PS: I think I do live near enough to come to your party. I have an awful, Christmas Sweatshirt. Beribboned and sequined in mis-matched colors. Made by hand and given to me by a former co-worker. I think I still fit in it, as it was originally much to large. Just sayin’

  54. Julia

    have the party! it will be fun — those who can’t make it will be missing out and will have to wait until the next one. If I was within even 1000 miles, I would be there :)

  55. ~ifer

    I found your blog as a suggested reading from Google reader, and I just wanted to tell you that it is fabulous. I have added you to my reader list. As a fellow blogger, it is always a pleasure to stumble across the good ones.
    Well done!

  56. Marla Martenson

    At one point in my life I vowed never to have a party again because it is almost impossible to get anyone to come. I remember inviting 40 people to a party once and only 2 showed up. I was so humiliated. Now I do small intimate dinners with one or two couples. It’s just amazing how everyone seems to be going out of town at the same time I decide to have a party.

  57. Lena

    1) People suck.
    2) Except in VIRGINIA.
    3) I told you it should have been a FRIENDSHIP PARTY so I could have rocked that nacho bar.
    3) People still suck.
    4) I don’t.
    Two words: New! Years!

  58. Christy

    Isn’t that the way hosting goes? We moved into a trailer last year (rent free) but I wanted to paint it before we had people over. So when my husband decided (2 weeks notice) that he wanted to have a 30th birthday party, I frantically painted the place. We didn’t give people a lot of advance warning b/c we were afraid we wouldnt’ be able to pull it together. And it was Halloween. So I was worried that two people would show up & it’d be lame & he’d be really disappointed. But we ended up having 25-30 people over & a great time. :) Hope your story turned out great as well.

  59. girlplease

    I would have gone to the party and loved it. But I hear you regarding the two things you mentioned:
    1. being more appreciative and turning things around. For me, I’ve been ultra negative, moody, and hating everything and it kills me. I have a beautiful son turning 1 (although his bday party is tensing me up), a roof over my head, a job (which I need to refocus on), health (my mom has terminal cancer and this will be the 1st and last xmas she sees our son). Good friends of mine have a 2 1/2 year old with cancer and I read their journal and think my god I’m an asshole with all of my hate and bitching.
    2. my son’s birthday party. Being the day after Xmas I knew it was going to be hard but we got 2 responses including one of “I can’t wait. Should be fun.” That turned into a “mmmm now I don’t know. I might go to my mom’s instead (meaning her mom pressured her beause she doesn’t like her daughter having her own life). And I’m all pissed. We went to her kid’s everything and now it’s “meh screw your son’s 1st birthday.” And her mom lives 10 min away. Do both?!
    Anyway, just wanted to wish you a great holiday and say I admire you for turning that frown upside down.

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