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Classic Man: "Always Invite A Few Sworn Enemies To Your Parties"

Illustration for article titled Classic Man: Always Invite A Few Sworn Enemies To Your Parties

Frequently in this space, we will consult a new entry in the 1987 book The Modern Man’s Guide to Life to see how the advice therein has aged. Earlier this week we addressed how to interact with the ladies; today, we’ll tackle dinner parties.

Throwing a cocktail party is the classy, grown-up way of saying, “Hey, let’s gather and drink to excess.” Naturally, The Modern Man’s Guide has some opinions on how to host parties, most of which is pretty agreeable. Except when it gets to advice on organizing the guest list, and suggests that you “invite some enemies” to really get a party going. Excuse me... what?

More specifically:

Cocktail parties, to paraphrase Chinese Gordon, are social events where people who don’t like each other stand around uncomfortably in a room they don’t want to be in eating things they don’t want to eat and drinking things they don’t want to drink. No wonder everyone gets drunk and acts like a jerk.


Always invite a few sworn enemies, divorcing couples, or people with profound professional or personal differences to your parties. They can always be counted on to squabble and cause a scene, providing entertainment for the others and helping to make your party a memorable event.


Yeah, or a total disaster! Most people’s goal is to spend as little time as possible with their enemies. And I don’t know how many people would willfully sign up for shrimp cocktail with a side of domestic dispute. This is a ludicrous idea, no matter the era. No one actually wants to watch other people fight; outside of Bravo’s reality television programming, that is. Our advice? Party with your friends, not your enemies.

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