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On Food, Dressing Up and Courtesy: How To Survive Your First American Costume Party

Updated on December 15, 2011
Costume Party
Costume Party | Source

I believe many would agree with me that attending your first American Costume Party is a recipe for disaster. Or something like a disaster waiting to happen. That usually happens if not handled well. Once you receive the invitation, the planning begins on what to bring, what to wear, and how to properly behave. Although petty it my seem, a small mishap goes a long way on your guilt trip. So, a little help would be welcome especially from those who actually survived this.

Actually, I did not survive this. I went home hungry with a bruised ego. I was waiting for someone to give me food or usher me into the dining room. Nobody did. I was immovable on the couch the whole time I was in that party. Every conversation I started did not end very well. Why do I want to share this? Because I care for you.

I was already a professional when I was invited to house warming party doubled as a costume party. Like what I mentioned in my story "Grilled Corn as an Introduction", coming from the pineapple fields to the opulent communities of California was too much of a social environment stretch. Like the one I mentioned in my story "A Goth Wedding, A Victorian Mansion and My Demise", this was another one of my mishap.

Instead of telling you another of my mishap, I will just tell you what I learned from it. This is for those people who came from a different set of culture and is about to experience their first American Costume Party yet.

On Costumes

1. Do dress up.

2. Do not outshine the host.

3. Do know about your character / costume

4. Do not change at your host's house

On Courtesy

1. Bring a gift or food to the host (whichever is appropriate).

2. When you bring food, make sure you know about the recipe and menu.

3. Introduce yourself to the host

On Being Sociable

1. Meet and mingle with people.

2. Join or start a conversation.

3. Participate in the activities or fun games

On Food

1. If formal, wait to be served or ushered into the table. If informal, invite yourself to the table.

2. Take only what you can eat, not what you can take home.

Going home hungry with a bruised ego was my fault. I was engulfed with shyness the entire time. It could have fared better for me had I known before. But I had no way of knowing until I got there.

How about you? Did you have the same experience? What lesson did you learn from it? Please do not hesitate to send your suggestions or corrections.


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    • hoteltravel profile image

      hoteltravel 6 years ago from Thailand

      anjperez, you can choose to see each mishap as a learning experience. It is true that some are blessed to have the wonderful opportunity to learn throughout their lives! My favorite piece of advice to peers and youngsters is - There are so many new mishaps/mistakes waiting to happen in your life, why waste the opportunity by repeating the same old ones.

    • anjperez profile image

      anjperez 6 years ago

      hoteltravel, if i have felt okay, i could shrug it off. but i was a little bit shaken with my experience. seems my life has been full of mishap. if it could make a person vanish because of shame.

    • hoteltravel profile image

      hoteltravel 6 years ago from Thailand

      You must have felt lonely, depressed and totally lost during and after the party. Kudos to you to relate the incident here and give others useful tips on how to avoid similar disastrous situations.

    • anjperez profile image

      anjperez 6 years ago

      thanks Gypsy Rose for dropping by! are there other people on the street dressed up, too? So you mean, you would recommend dressing up on your way to the party or bring the costume and change at your host's house? as for me, i brought my costume and changed at my host's house. since it was a house warming doubled as a costume party, she was giving the tour of her house. while she directed the guest to where the location of her restroom, i was there inside, changing. she tried to open it, but i locked it inside. I was so embarrassed... that is why i recommend not changing at your host's house... funny things we deal with life. (,")

    • Gypsy Rose Lee profile image

      Gypsy Rose Lee 6 years ago from Riga, Latvia

      Sometimes parties are that way. I try to get myself hyped up b?fore. I remember one Halloween when I lived in N.Y.C. I was headed for a party heading along 5th Avenue dressed as a witch complete with broomstick. When I got there I was able to relate the comments I got on the street.

    • Bitingtruths profile image

      Bitingtruths 6 years ago from Mumbai

      My intention was not to hurt your sentiments. Perhaps I have too much experience of poverty thus I associate little leisure with extravaganza. I appreciate the good work you are doing, forgive me for my ignorance.

    • anjperez profile image

      anjperez 6 years ago

      @Bitingtruths, thank you very much for dropping by and leaving this comment. just to let you know, i am doing my share. in fact last week, i donated all my books (including those i acquired that were recently published) to a public school nearby. as to the costumes, i think i am gifted to make one that would look as good. and for the rest of my clothes? (although i don't buy those that i don't need), my mom and I already sorted them yesterday. she already gave it to the people where the public school was located. another thing, I grow flowers, the blooms are given to the church free of charge. and also, since poor people cannot afford flowers on their funeral, i give them for free too. NOT BECAUSE WE ENJOY A LITTLE LEISURE, WE FORGET TO CARE FOR OTHER PEOPLE.

    • Bitingtruths profile image

      Bitingtruths 6 years ago from Mumbai

      Since you love these wonderful costumes so much , It would be nice if you can give away your old out of fashion cloths to poor people of Africa and Asia.

    • anjperez profile image

      anjperez 6 years ago

      thanks @lyricwriter for voting this up. obviously, i blew it up the first time I attended a costume party. i just can't get over it. that is why i remember it so much. it is better be prepared. because costume parties or any party should be enjoyed. it is a fun social activity. esp starting now with occasions starting from halloween and new year. glad you dropped by and left a comment. (,")

    • thelyricwriter profile image

      Richard Ricky Hale 6 years ago from West Virginia

      up, useful, awesome, and interesting. These are could tips Anj. Appropiate wear and manners are important. You defined the propers. A perfect time from now to New Year's. Very enjoyable. Have a good one.


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