HER studio apartment in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, is just shy of 400 square feet, barely enough room for an Ikea open-shelf bookcase, a chocolate-brown tufted couch, a full-size bed and her brindle-coated Shih Tzu, Charlie.
So when Claudia Argiro, 33, gave a holiday party last Saturday night, she pared down her guest list to about two dozen of her closest friends, hid the TV behind an industrial column wrapped with holiday lights and turned the media console into a bar.
But one thing she had to have was a bartender.
“In my opinion, if you don’t have a bartender at your party, you’re a loser,” said Dustin Terry, who lives a floor below Ms. Argiro and said his job was to get models and Saudi royalty into hot clubs. “The bartender brings class and sophistication.”
“If you can’t afford to hire a bartender,” he added, “you shouldn’t be having a party.”
There’s a lot more but I couldn’t get past that point. “If you can’t afford to hire a bartender you shouldn’t be having a party”?! Really?! That’s the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever heard. What about all the perfectly splendid parties where there isn’t even any alcohol? I suppose we should hire bartenders to serve pop, lemonade and ice tea.
But anyone can play this Party Rules game so here are my rules.
1. There must be a minimum of 25 square feet of party space for each person at the party, including yourself. Note, that is a minimum and would be considered an excessively crowded party. You really should allow much more space than that.
2. If you live in an apartment you should never have parties. Small gatherings that end at 9:00pm are permissible as long as you only invite people who are quiet and well behaved. No alcohol should be served because this might cause your guests to become noisy. Music must be limited to very quiet background music.
3. No professionals (bartenders, caterers) should be involved. Show your guests that you care enough about them to do the work yourself, you lazy yuppie!
Ridiculous? Unreasonable? Why, these rules work perfectly well for me so they certainly should apply to everyone, right? If you can’t follow them you shouldn’t be having parties. Seriously, I really wish I could present my rules to Ms. Argiro and her neighbor. It wouldn’t do any good. They would laugh; they would insist that I just don’t understand. When you live in “The Center of the Universe” it must be hard to see anything outside of that tiny, deceptively bright region of space.
* UPDATE: In this case, “New Yorkers” refers to New York City dwellers of course, not those nice, perfectly normal, pie-eating, overalls-wearing upstate New Yorkers.