We had house guests this weekend.
C’s friend Mikey and a few of pals were coming down on Friday from London to celebrate Mikey’s birthday. They would be coming to ours at about 6ish for food and drinks before we head out on the town.
I was looking forward to it.
This may surprise you but I like new people. I also really like meeting new people. Mostly because they have no idea of how awkward I can be. So essentially I get to start with a clean slate.
Besides, C would be there to introduce us all and help in navigating around any potential faux-pas that I am likely to make.
R wasn’t to be around though as he was spending the evening with his girlfriend and would be staying the night at hers.
I checked my phone on Friday lunchtime I saw I had a voicemail from C.
“Hey bro. I’ve been called into work, it’s an emergency. I’ll be home later but not until about 9:30ish. You’re gonna have to entertain Mikey and the lads alone for a few hours. See ya.”
That was not the news I wanted to hear.
Despite some anxiety around this I figured the best thing to do would be to put a brave face on things and just throw myself into my hosting duties.
My neurotic side got the better of me though and I decided to consult google for ideas on ‘how to befriend men’, ‘how to entertain men’ and ‘how to break the ice with men’.
As you can imagine, most of what I found was tailored towards women who have romantic intentions behind their desire to meet and bond with men. As I am not a woman and have no desires to pursue males for romantic reasons most of what I read was not really relevant.
I was on my own for this one.
Anyways, earlier on today I was thinking that someone who finds themselves in a similar situation to the one I was in will have no guide as to what (or, as I should more accurately say, what not) to do when trying to entertain and the break the ice with a group of males.
As I have now been through this scenario I should document my own experiences.
So I decided to provide to you all, based on my experiences from Friday night, 10 tips that will come in handy should you ever need to break the ice with and/or entertain a group of males that you do not know:
1) Stay calm. Do not let nerves get the best of you and cause you to start drinking vodka alone hours before your guests arrive. It makes you look troubled.
2) Remember your greetings. Don’t agonise over whether you should shake hands, high-five, hug or wave when meeting your guests. A handshake will suffice. Make sure that you remember this and don’t end up sort of half hugging and shaking someone’s outstretched arm. You will appear to be stupid.
3) Do your homework. Know as much as you can about your targets prior to meeting them. That way you won’t serve burgers to a vegetarian, give cheese to someone who has a dairy allergy or insult rugby to a rugby fanatic. It leads to awkward moments.
4) Control that inner monologue. Should you think that one of your group bears an uncanny resemblance to Gollum (of The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings fame) then try to keep this revelation to yourself. Do not mention it out loud. Furthermore, do not mention it to his face. It could hurt peoples feelings.
5) Be prepared. If, for some reason, you and housemate are trying to learn the words to a couple of Lady Gaga songs for an elaborate in-joke then be sure to remove the Lady Gaga CD you borrowed from your sister from your CD player before your guests fire up the CD player. Otherwise they’ll think you’re weird.
6) Be yourself. Don’t pretend to like the same things as they do just so you can have some common ground. You may find yourself trying to pretend to know about motorbikes when you don’t. On the following Monday you will then be trying to think up excuses as to why you can’t go to a motorcross rally next month. (On a completely unrelated note. Does anyone know of any good excuses as to why I can’t go to a Motorcross Rally?).
7) Act sensibly. Some people do not like losing. If you are playing Goldeneye and winning comfortably then do not taunt them, make fun of them and question their masculinity. It will only serve to alienate them and make you seem like a douche.
8) Take it slow. Don’t goad your new friends into a drinking game. Some people do not share your high tolerances for alcohol and will proceed to vomit in your bathroom. Nobody wins in this scenario.
9) Be vigilant. Do not leave your laptop open when around a group of drunken guys. They will change your Facebook name to “I touch kids” and change your desktop background to an x-rated image featuring elderly people. It will lead to awkward text conversations with your parents.
10) Persevere. If you are able to power through those initial awkward moments then you will end up having a great night with a decent bunch of lads and wonder why you were so concerned about everything in the first place.
Okay, so I confess that these tips may be slightly too specific to be used universally but of they prove to be of benefit to anyone then this post would be completely worthwhile. I mean, it was a good night in the end so all’s well that ends well.
It’s not often I end a story that way!