Sure, sure, it seemed like a great idea when you invited all those wonderful folks to eat turkey and watch the football game. You know you've planned everything perfectly, too, right? The turkey will be juicy and the stuffing, well, even Aunt Rosalia will compliment you on the stuffing and she never says a nice thing about anyone! So what are you worried about?
Well, if you are like 62.79% of the people who will open their homes to friends and family on this wonderful day, there is one little worry lurking in the back of your cerebellum: how the heck will you get them to leave before the clock strikes… well, add 8 hours to whatever time they arrived?
You cleaned all day yesterday, you prepped all night last night and you cooked all day today. You pulled out the special china, tablecloth and linen napkins and inspected each. You set the table, got on your hands and knees to extricate those platters from the back of the cupboard below the sink, and to top it off, you had to dismantle the insides of a turkey and fill it back up again before you put it in the oven.
You waited on the multitudes before dinner, during dinner and after dinner. You even put on a happy face during dessert, and never said a thing when little Johnnie wiped his chocolate chip pumpkin-pie covered hands on the new curtains in the great room (just a few minutes after he gave the dog the wishbone).
So here is the Party Girl's Top Secret Strategy Guide for your use in solving that age-old problem: the Guest Who Won't Go Home. Some of them are more complicated than others but you are sure to find one that will work. Select the strategy that will best fits your particular situation, have your props carefully stored in a box in your closet, and before you know it, you'll be waving goodbye at the front steps to the last of 'em!!
Sometimes you just have to turn out the lights and say, "go home." So here are the Party Girl's "Top Ten Ways To Get Those Guests To Leave" list.
10. Bring out an old slide projector and two really dusty crates, the dustier the better. Begin to set up portable screen like the ones your parents watched filmstrips on in junior high school, and announce brightly: "Look what I found! Slides from our trip to Mall of America when Megan's Girl Scout troop won the cookie sale in 1984!"
9. Dim the lights and pop in a "Barney" videotape.
8. Ask which version of the Bach Mass in B Minor each remaining guest prefers: the Otto Klemperer version and the Herbert von Karajan version. Insist that you will play both of them so they can make an informed choice.
7. Using a loud whisper, ask one guest (preferably someone with a medical background, like a data entry manager at a health insurance company): "Would you terribly mind looking at Thurston's throat for me? I think he may have a tiny bit of strep…" Thurston should then start coughing.
6. Ask them to "quick, get the stains out of the tablecloth" and hand them a stain stick, some Lestoil and a laundry brush while pointing to the basement.
5. Grab a handful of flatware in one hand and a bunch of disgusting rags in the other and say: "OK, who will help me polish the silver so we can put it away?"
4. Put on your coat and grab a bag of trash from the kitchen saying, "Who wants to help me run these bags over to the dumpster behind the supermarket so those darn skunks don't come back again?"
3. Arrange with a co-conspirator to repeatedly flush the toilet and make disgusting noises in the nearest lavatory. Rush to your guests and ask: "Does anyone happen to have syrup of ipecac with them?"
2. Take a service platter and place it on the floor for the dog. Make sure everyone notices. If people don't notice, ask one of the guests whether he's seen the puppy. Confide that the puppy is just like a member of the family when it comes to sopping up that last lick of gravy. Ask them to dislodge the wishbone from the dog's throat.
1. Bring your foot soaker/massager into the living room and plug it in. Ask them to rub your feet and hand them the rubbing alcohol.
And the Party Girl wants to know: what's your favorite strategy for getting the last of the stragglers out the front door? Tell the Party Girl and she'll post the most ingenious ones. E-mail us
your strategy (25 words or less, please).