How to Throw the Perfect Party for One
Being solitary is being alone well: being alone luxuriously immersed in doings of your own choice, aware of the fullness of your won presence rather than of the absence of others. Because solitude is an achievement.
December 29th, 2013
The last of the family left yesterday after a raucous, amazing, fun-filled family Christmas. My daughter headed off for her father’s for Christmas the III. My husband headed in the opposite direction, to Calgary to enjoy his Christmas gift from my bro (Canucks vs. Flames).
My house is silent.
Moments like this can feel sad and lonely if you let them. But with a little planning, turning a lonely night into a Party for One (PfO) can transform into the ultimate act of self-care.
I lived alone with my daughter for several years prior to getting married this past summer and several times throughout the year, she travels to her dad’s house.
As such, I’ve kind of perfected the act of Partying for One.
My tips for the perfect date with yourself are below, but I urge you to personalize as much as humanly possible. Ask yourself, “Self, what would you do right now if you could do anything?” Then listen to the answer and act on it to the best of your ability.
I’ve taken myself on dates to other cities and stayed in fancy motels. I’ve gone to the movies alone. I’ve eaten in restaurants and cooked three course meals, all for yours’ truly.
The possibilities are endless!
– take yourself to the ballet!
– go for a run and then get a pretty pedicure for your gnarled toes!
– see a movie that your spouse would never see! (or, in my case, would watch with you quite amiably but not really love and probably fall asleep during)
– eat whatever you want!
– meditate for hours!
– not wear a bra!
– wear your fanciest dress!
Tonight’s PfO is an at-home party, which I do quite often. Partly because I’m a total homebody. Partly because it’s more cost-effective than flying to Vancouver and staying at the Hyatt (which I have done. It’s indulgent and magical and really expensive. You should totally do it.)
And partly because, for me, one of the most decadent things is to be totally alone with absolutely no one around except my pets. Nowhere to go, nothing to do and no one to pick up or feed. For approximately thirty hours.
The following tips are a few things I’ve learned about the elements that go into planning the perfect Party for One.
I’m using tonight as an example, but I can’t stress how important flexibility is to the enjoyment of this. The joy of a true PfO is the freedom to abandon the plan at any moment without fucking up anyone else’s life.
Chips and Bacon are often my PfO staples. I mitigated today with a super healthy and delicious pineapple smoothie for breakfast.
Mostly because it’s been holiday-binge-time for the past week or so. If it was busy-work-time, I fully reserve the right to eat nothing but pizza.
I usually buy myself some candy during a PfO but in this instance, there’s still plenty of amazing food lying around from the holidays.
During one particularly memorable Party for One a few years ago, I purchased and grilled a thirty dollar steak while drinking cheap Shiraz.
Once, I ate an entire box of microwave popcorn and nothing else.
Pepsi at the moment. Judge if you will. It’s delicious.
Bailey’s on “ice” will be next. The ice is frozen coffee. Thanks, Pintrest!
Soft flannels, two teeshirts and a head band (made by my sis).
I have been known to purchase entire outfits for past PfO’s. If it feels good, do it.
-Spa bath with lavendar bath mud, apricot salts, and a facial mask
-hike the dogs
-Write a bit (check)
-Send flirtatious texts to husband
-Watch When Harry Met Sally
-Read by the fire
Potential activities are limitless. I’ve spent Parties for One on a huge cleaning purge. Sounds nerdy but it felt completely amazing.
Sometimes I have dance parties for one with boxed wine and loud reggae (pants are optional).
Some of my favourite Parties for One have involved reverent yoga rituals by candlelight, complete with chanting, incense and my favourite deities.
Entire spa days are encouraged.
My dear friend, J, snuck in a PfO while away for her last Master’s cohort. She did her nails, ate baklava and watched The Sound of Music on TV. Nailed it.
It can also be a nice time to catch up with friends. Phone calls and coffee dates are great. If it’s good for your soul, it belongs in a PfO.
So, what doesn’t belong??
–Shoulds. Leave them at the door. They don’t belong here. Neither do have-to’s
–Diets. (unless it’s a lifestyle thing. No sense in puking up an entire loaf of French bread if you’re gluten-free. The idea is to feel better afterwards)
–Doing stuff for other people. Unless it makes you feel really good. One of my best Parties for One took me to Nicaragua on a house-building trip. Ok. Scratch that. Helping people is really cool. Just don’t help anyone move. Or drive anyone to the airport.
–Judgement. The key is total self-acceptance. Ask yourself what in the world will bring you joy and have the balls to go out and do it
Now, I get it.
You’re totally busy. Sometimes the opportunity for the perfect Party for One won’t arise for several months. There are a few ways around this glitch in the system. The first is to take an imperfect moment. Maybe it’s only a few hours. The second is to plan for the perfect moment. Maybe you know your kid is going to camp in a few months. Start stock-piling supplies or book a massage. Start a Pintrest Board. Ooh. I might do that. The most important thing to remember is that this is just for you.
I’d love to hear how your own Parties for One go.
Take care of you,
What are your Party for One essentials? Comment below and let us know!