By: Sharon Schweitzer for the Muncie Journal—
It’s the New England Patriots and the Los Angeles Rams battling it out in Atlanta on Sunday. The big game tradition includes parties with lots of food, drink, conversation and of course, plenty of football. So, how do you best get along with people pulling for the opposing team? Are you required to bring something to the party? Do you have to watch your language in the company of others?
Sharon Schweitzer, an international etiquette expert, author, and the founder of Access to Culture (formerly Protocol & Etiquette Worldwide), offers these tips to being the best big game party guest:
Don’t arrive empty-handed: Bring a hostess gift; maybe a tea towel, diffuser, or ask if you may bring an appetizer. If you’re unsure, ask the host in advance.
Do Arrive On Time: Timing is everything! Arrive 10-15 minutes after the party starts and depart 30 minutes before ending time. Don’t arrive early and don’t be the straggler who’s last to leave.
Do Be Gracious: Once you RSVP, show up and be gracious. Feeling down and out? Refocus and have fun. This is not the time or place to be a Debbie Downer. People want to have fun and enjoy.
Don’t Binge at the Buffet: It’s impolite to eat in line at the buffet. Serve yourself without overloading your plate. Take your napkin and plate to be seated. If you pick up or touch something on the buffet, it’s yours. Avoid double-dipping; instead, place the queso or dip on your own plate.
Don’t Over-consume: Pace your alcohol consumption by drinking water between alcoholic beverages and don’t drink on an empty stomach. When the bar closes, respect it and stick to water, juice or coffee.
Sports Talk: Stay on topic – football. Game day is sports related. It’s not the time to talk politics, workplace issues or anything else. If you must go off topic, move to a private area away from the TV.
Don’t use Profanity: There is no excuse for offensive language. Be considerate of the host, other guests and children whether your team is winning or losing.
Do Tidy Up: Be a good guest. Place your trash in the garbage. Depending on your relationship with the hostess, offer to assist with evening clean up.
Do Show Gratitude: Send a handwritten thank-you note within 48 hours. Opening your home and throwing a party is a lot of work, and your host will appreciate you taking the time to acknowledge and thank him or her.
Don’t Distract During Commercials: The big game highlights include the commercials. So, no chit chat or noisy phone apps. Move sideline conversations to another area during the commercials to respect folks who want to watch and enjoy.