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The party is over but the party lingers....

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You've all been in this situation...the party or group event has had several hours to enjoy and communicate with each other...the restaurant/caterer has done its job...then its over. Why do people linger like they did not have a chance to talk all that time?

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  1. Even worse when it is in your home.

    Jfood fell asleep on the LR floor while two guests continued to talk until 3AM.

    1 Reply
    1. re: jfood

      On the floor? Whoa. It doesn't get more obvious than that! Ha!

      My last big bash I was so spent I wearily stumbled to my bedroom, took off my shoes & got into bed, put my ipod on some geisha music to calm me and went to sleep. Mind you I still had a third of my guests still here. I had completely overdone it and my entire body ached... and I had lost all tolerance for said remaining guests who were dancing in my living room.

      I envisioned that scene from the movie Amityville Horror where the devil eerily growls - "GET OUT!" I was so desperate to get them out I briefly entertained the idea of calling on Mr. Scary Redman to assist.

    2. I have gone so far as to stand up, smile, and say, "Gosh, this certainly has been a great evening. But I'm dead and I have to be at the hospital by 6:45 tomorrow morning." (When I was working there - a legit excuse.) "We need to continue this Saturday night [or when we go see Macbeth or just some other time]." And I get their coats.

      Actually, I once had this NOT work, I fell asleep sitting on the couch, and my guests just kept yakking.

      1 Reply
      1. re: lemons

        I had a holiday party on a Sunday where I specifically put "Open House from 5pm to 9pm" on the invitations. My boyfriend (now husband) left around 9.30, loudly announcing he had a big meeting at 8am the next morning. Come 10pm, I cleaned up all the leftover eats and all the drinks. I made comments about how it was getting late. I did the dishes (apt had no dishwasher). Most of the remaining folks got the hint and left.

        Finally, at close to 11pm, I put on my pajamas and robe and sallied into the living room and announced, "This was a lovely party. Thank you for coming and thank you for going."

      2. I think it depends on the type of gathering it is. If it is a wedding, or a birthday, where a hall has been rented and a lot of people have been invited, then you have to take into account how many came in from out of town. How often do they get to see each other? Even after x hours of time, maybe they haven't had a chance to spend time with cousin Mike. But the beauty of a rented hall is that you can say "Sorry People, we have to be out of here by X AM, so let's wrap it up." Then if they want to keep on chatting they can move it to another location, but don't offer your home as the alternate!

        If it's at your home, you could take my DH's approach. He simply gets up, says "I'm going to bed. Good night." And gives me a kiss. That makes people pretty uncomfortable and puts the ball in my court. If I am enjoying myself, I tell them not to go, and shut off the living room. If I am ready for them to go, when they stammer about leaving, I gently say "well, it is getting late."

        One other point about people who linger . . . they could just be lonely, and crave company. Or they just don't like it at their own home.

        1. Wait til you get older. We're "only" in our early 60s but have a fair number of friends in their mid70s. So we tend to start MUCH earlier than we wish (5:30) and it's not uncommon for them to be gone by (9:00). We chuckle over it. Sometimes we're actually pleading with the younger ones to please stay a little longer. Some months ago a couple of people actually stayed til 11:00!!! It felt like the middle of the night :)

          2 Replies
          1. re: c oliver

            Oh dear. hubbie and I are in our late 30's early 40's, and we appear to have the same hours as your friends in their mid-70s! We are such party animals (not).

            1. re: moh

              Ha - we're the same way. My husband has also "retired for the evening" on occasion, particularly when he's playing tennis early the next morning.

          2. My mom would always run a big sink of soapy water and make it clear folks could stay but they had to wash dishes too. But a lonely young doctor who lived across the street would usually roll up his sleeves and wash up the whole lot. Which of course endeared him to my mom - as if being an eligible young doctor wasn't enough.

            1. Ah yes. This happened to me after a recent debate watch party. I have good friends of multiple political stripes who couldn't stop discussing until well past 2 a.m. on a 'school night' (very late given that i'm an old lady at heart and usually get up at 6 a.m.). Finally, I kissed them all goodnight and said "Keep talking if you want, but I'm going upstairs to bed. Make sure you lock the door behind you when you leave." They're good friends and I didn't mind that they stayed 'till something like 4 a.m. given the circumstances. Under most other circumstances, I'd probably have pushed them out of the door without compunction.

              1. In the future, put a closing time on your invites. It makes a huge difference, for the better.

                1. A great tactic to get guests out of your house is to announce that everyone is going to the neighborhood pub for a nightcap! Now your house is empty, everyone is in a comfortable environment to keep chatting and you can easily skip out after the first round. Everyone wins.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: oldbaycupcake

                    Absolutely yes! Usually, I see people linger when it has been a great party and they do not want things to end. Human nature, and a great solution is to head someplace else where people can drift off or stay till closing as they wish. It actually adds to the overall pleasure.

                    Assuming of course one is up to it.

                  2. My grandfather was known to look at my grandmother and say, "Let's go up to sleep and let these nice people go on home". Usually at around 7 p.m. That or, "Here's your hat. What's your rush?". Both made their point.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: southernitalian

                      Love it, SI. They always had a way with words, didn't they? The good ole days!

                    2. Flick the lights.

                      1. I tell people to get out. The first time I do it nicely, then second time I do it nicely. The third time I tell them to leave. It almost never goes to the 3rd time.

                        3 Replies
                        1. re: MattInNJ

                          lol that reminds me - there was a pub we went to during our undergrad where the bartender would giveup and announce "you don't gotta to go home but you gotta get the h*!! outta here"

                          1. re: maplesugar

                            Years and years ago, when I could actually stay awake past 10!, a bunch of us would play cards and drink wine after dinner and almost always at one couple's house. Eventually he would say "you don't have to leave but you can't stay here." Always loved that :)

                            1. re: maplesugar

                              One restaurant where I worked ended Friday and Saturday nights with "If you don't sleep here, work here, or sleep with somebody that works here, get the @#!! out!" Worked every time.

                          2. We do a lot of entertaining and it's usually the same cast of characters and we know them well. One particular evening they would.not.leave. I went and changed into my pj's and then came back down and THEN they got the hint and now they often say "We better get out of here before Janet puts on her pj's."