I would rather get hit in the face with a ceiling fan while dancing on a table than attend a small holiday party. A few months ago I got hit in the face with a ceiling fan while dancing on a table but it did not get me out of any holiday parties. I wouldn’t hate holiday parties so much if they didn’t get in the way of my favorite winter pastime: eating cheese and watching crime dramas with my parents. This holiday season, I decided if I couldn’t watch crime dramas and eat cheese at home I’d have to find the next best thing. The following is step by step guide to spice up the boring holiday party by pretending you are in a crime drama on a mission to eat an entire cheese ball off the hors d’oeuvres table.
1. Form an alliance: First, you’ll need an ally. My advice in this situation is TRUST NO ONE. As your own ally/accomplice/hype-man, dare yourself to eat as much of a port wine cheese ball as you can without anyone noticing that you’ve eaten more than normal. You’ll feel like a cross between James Bond and Kirstie Alley as you stealthily/gluttonously down an enormous ball of cheese.
2. Preliminary Work: Next you’ll want to do some preliminary work. Call the host and kindly offer to bring something to the party. Most likely, she’ll say no, insisting your presence is all she could ever ask for. Agree with her to be polite and assure her you won’t bring a thing.
3. Buy the Cheese Ball: Drive to your nearest grocery store and buy a port wine cheese ball. Few people have read the lost chapter of Miss Manners detailing the importance of a cheese ball to any holiday party. It was left out of the book for political reasons much like the book of Melvin was left out of the Biblical Canon. Your host will be blown away by your thoughtfulness and thorough knowledge of manners.
4. Go to the Party: Put the cheese ball in your purse. Arrive at the party 25 minutes before it begins. Hosts secretly love an early guest. (This fact is detailed in another lost chapter of Miss Manners). Offer to help set up the hors d’oeuvres. This is your opportunity to set the spread up to benefit you. You’ll also appear helpful which hosts love.
5. Acquire Wine: Ask your host for a glass of wine. Even though your host will most likely be scrambling to finish last minute party details, she’ll be happy to serve you a glass of wine. It will make her feel useful and it will give you the chance to get started on that cheese ball mission. While she gets the wine from the other room, remove the cheese ball from your purse and put it with the other hors d’oeuvres.
6. Make a Mess: As soon as your host hands you the wine, spill it all over the floor. She’ll leave for paper towels, giving you the opportunity to secretly eat the cheese ball. Pick up the cheese ball and eat off the bottom. When you hear footsteps indicating the return of your host, set it back down and surround that base with wheat thins. The cheese ball will appear untouched.
7. Leave the Cheese Ball: I know it sounds crazy but you need to give it some space. Act like you’re paying attention to guests as they arrive but keep most of your focus on the cheese ball across the room.
8. Choose a Target: Keep track of other party goer’s cheese ball habits and choose a target. When you notice a guest take a third or fourth bite of the cheese ball make a joke at her expense. For example, “Wow Dana, you’re really tearing up that cheese ball over there!” Dana will laugh but she’ll also become self conscious and leave the cheese ball.
9. Hype Up the Cheese Ball: This is your first public move toward the cheese ball. Make it count! Make sure your host is out of earshot, as she is the only attendee who knows you brought the cheese ball. Everyone else at the party needs to believe this is your first experience with a cheese ball. Take your first bite. Really milk it. “Oh my stars! What is this delicious ball of cheese? What do you call it?!?” This is your moment to shine. Ham it up a little. You’ll want a crowd for your next move.
10. Convince Dana to Eat More Cheese Ball: This might take the most effort/strategy but it is an integral part of the plan. Remember Dana? Convince her to eat another bite of the cheese ball. She’ll hesitate but you must persist. Find a way to get her back to that cheese ball! Gain her trust then wait for her to take a bite.
11. Publicly Ridicule Dana: Loudly yell, “Dana! Come up for air every once in a while! My god! You and that cheese ball! Why don’t you just pick it up and take it around the room with you!?!?” Humiliated, Dana will once again leave the cheese ball. The crowd will laugh but subconsciously avoid the cheese ball for fear of a public shaming like Dana’s.
12. Eat the Cheese Ball: Take what is rightfully yours!
13. Work the Room: Mention Dana and the cheese ball in as many conversations as possible. People at the party will view you as a great conversationalist and mingler.
14. Plant Some Evidence: If you can’t watch CSI this is the next best thing. Finish the cheese ball and get your coat. While you grab your coat, slip the empty plastic wrapper from the cheese ball into Dana’s pocket. No mercy, Dana.
15. Leave without Explanation: I offer no explanation for this step.
Optional: Drive straight from the party to your local grocery store. Purchase another cheese ball. Find out where Dana is going next. Repeat steps 4-15.