Most people have never heard of a come-as-you-are party. They were popular in the ’50s and ’60s, but you rarely hear of anyone throwing one these days. That’s a good thing, because this is a surprise party where the guests are the ones in the dark. The less they know ahead of time, the better.
Now you may be wondering how you could possibly have a party where the guests don’t know they’re supposed to come. It is a bit tricky, but rounding them up is part of the fun.
My aunt threw a come-as-you-are party for me when I graduated from high school. They’re normally held in the early morning – you know, before any of your friends get up – so you can count on finding them in bed when you go to their houses to “kidnap” them.
My aunt and I decided to hedge our bets. She called my friends’ moms, and let them in on our little scheme, so we could at least be sure the girls were home and available for the duration of the party. It would have been disappointing if they’d had other plans.
I had my own car by then, so I got to do the kidnapping while my aunt made breakfast. My first stop was a bit anticlimactic, because my best friend’s mom spilled the beans. She didn’t really have a choice because my friend had been making other plans, but – no problem – there were three more girls to pick up.
Oh, and did I mention I was wearing my pajamas. In this game all the guests are required to come to the party in whatever they wore to bed. This is another good reason to have an inside mom – uh person – at the guests’ house. They can subtly encourage the prospective guest to put on nice pjs the night before.
The next two pickups were exactly what I’d hoped for. The girls were surprised but agreeable. It was just the right combination of irritating and exciting to make us all loud and silly. As the car filled up, we started giggling and acting stupid, which was the whole point.
The Next Surprise Was on Us
We pulled into the driveway of the last girl, Connie – also known as Crazy Connie. My aunt had warned me she couldn’t get a hold of Connie’s mom, so we weren’t sure about this one. I banged on the door several times with no reply, and we almost gave up. Her car was in the driveway, though, so we knew she was there.
At last Connie opened the door a crack and peaked around the edge. We tried to grab her and pull her out of the house and she screamed, “I’m naked!!” That’s how we learned that our friend Connie liked to sleep in the nude. So we had to make a little exception to our come-as-you-are rule. Connie threw on a bath robe, and squeezed into the now packed car, and we were off to breakfast.
Come-as-you-are parties aren’t for control freaks. You have to be up for an adventure and open to whatever comes your way. They’re good models for real life, actually – unpredictable, random, and if you can learn to roll with the punches, lots and lots of fun.
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