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    You’re a zero

    More hazards of living in Brooklyn: you might end up crammed into someone’s tiny studio with pretentious vulgarians drinking eggnog from plastic cups while the Cure is played at you (via Instapundit):

    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. “I’m an adult now, living by myself, and this is my sh-bam, my moment,” said Ms. Argiro, who runs a clothing boutique nearby called Charlie and Sam.

    She called up Tealicious, a catering company in Queens, which sent over Eric Villani, a 33-year-old bartender, who was stationed in a two-foot-wide triangle in the middle of the room. For the next four hours, Mr. Villani stood there, not to make special cocktails, but to pour a vodka punch or a rum eggnog into clear plastic cups, trimmed with sugar-coated cherries and cinnamon sticks.

    As a free-market type, I approve of service industries that fill niche needs. If Argiro is unaware that it’s more traditional to ask trusted friends to pour for guests from a teapot or punch bowl at a small party at home, I think it’s great that she was able to find Villani to help her out. He gets rent money, she gets to enjoy being a hostess without having to worry about the drinks table, and everyone’s happy.

    What’s touching is that anyone in the scenario thinks there’s anything sophisticated about it.

    His presence did not go unheralded in the apartment, in a new warehouse conversion along the Brooklyn waterfront, although the intimate cluster of guests could have easily served themselves. “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.”

    Ah, yes—I remember well when I was a boy and dear mama told me that you must always look for guidance in the social graces from gentlemen who make their living trying to wangle admission to glitzy nightclubs for jumped-up trash that can’t get in by reputation or mien.

    Me, I think that the people who shouldn’t be giving parties are those who, in the words of one bartender, “don’t want to have to look after their guests’ needs.” That’s what giving a party’s about, even if you have a footman for every pair of dinner partners. If your priority is “bringing your party to the next level” (barf!), it’s not surprising that that gets lost.

    One last thing that caught my eye was this parenthetical attributed to some event planner: “Putting out a tip jar, said Lyndsey Hamilton, a New York events planner, is a definite ‘faux pas.'” Is it, indeed? Why on Earth would that be? It seems to me that a bartender who was asked to shoehorn himself into a 2’*2′ space in someone’s studio to ladle stuff into plastic cups—just so the hostess could show the assembled revelers that she can afford a bartender—might as well appropriate a disused KFC bucket, wrap it in construction paper, scrawl “TIP$ MUCH APPRECIATED THANX!” across it with a glitter pen, and park it prominently in front of himself. It would be in perfect keeping with the setting.

    Hope everyone’s weekend is starting well.

    Added later: The Go Fug Yourself ladies noticed this article, too, and they mention something that also struck me: “I feel like the reporter just cackled with glee as the people he interviewed said yet douchier things.” He must have, yes.  The whole thing sounds like a parody; on first reading, I hoped it was a parody.

    11 Responses to “You’re a zero”

    1. Sarah says:

      Ah! Lately I’ve been making lists of things to do when I win the lottery. (Yes, very important that. Who knows, could happen tomorrow!) You just made me add “Get footman per every two guests at party.”
      Of course, no clue what to do if my guests aren’t into foot fetishists. (Runs.)

      Have a great weekend.

    2. Sean says:

      A party with the servitors in fetish gear strikes me as less objectionable on grounds of form than one where the guests are invited to ooh and ahh over the presence of a bartender. :/

    3. Eric Scheie says:

      People who expect their guests to ooh and ahh over the presence of a bartender need an etiquette lesson from Hannibal Lecter.

    4. Julie says:

      So, is leaving open bottles of booze around for guests to help themselves out of the question? How about if there are also cups available?

    5. Sean says:

      Eric, I’m afraid even that might be too subtle for them, though it would certainly spare the rest of us the task of dealing with them later.

      Julie, that occurred to me also: Who on Earth is willing to stand in line for drinks at a little house party? And who would hang out with such people?

    6. Connie says:

      Your marking on the Tip Jar missed one thing, in an otherwise perfect analysis: “And Merry XMas!”

      You brought back memories of my first foray into the business of Holiday parties in NYC, and was instructed by one of my yob acquaintances on how one dresses and behaves at these anything-but-familiar unfestivities. Nice timing. I was feeling a bit of the blues because our weather doesn’t feel much like Christmas right now. You made me grateful I’m here and not there.

      Merry Christmas, my friend.

    7. Sean says:

      LOL, Connie. I think a lot of it has to do with what kind of party you find yourself going to; once you’ve been around for a while and know which people make good friends, it’s not all that common to be stranded among the self-displaying. :) But I’m glad you’re home with the family, too.

    8. On trouve toujours de bonnes idées chez Si Tu veux Jouer… Pas de mariages prévus dans mon environnement proche, mais comme d’habitude je conserve ces éléments dans un coin de mon ordinateur (non, pas dans mon cerveau hélas, cependant il garde en mémoire l’essentiel : où trouver la mine )

    9. I made these last night with depuy lentils because I couldn't find beluga… I wouldn't recommend it, they were pretty runny and mushy. But what would be a good alternative then? Wild rice?

    10. http://www./ says:

      I love reading these articles because they’re short but informative.

    11. nos dimos cuenta de la naturaleza ilusoria de esa riqueza. Y yo mientras tanto escribiendo sobre inside money.No parece que la innovaión, sea tecnológica o finaciera, hagan mella en este jóven inelectual

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