IT’S FALL! And between the changing of the seasons and the epic closure of The Odyssey (*holds fractured hand*), the autumn and slightly cooler weather SCREAMS the return of the epic house party.

Now I know we’ve been partying in bars and drinking on the beach all summer but being invited into somebody’s home for a good time involves a bit of couth on everybody’s end, despite a debaucherous couple of months. So here’s a few simple tips to keep everybody from some September embarrassment.

1. DON’T BRING RED LIQUIDS
The first time I saw this on an invite I thought it was the most brilliant thing I’ve ever seen. Carpets or no carpets, there’s always going to fabrics in and around somebody abode that could face a serious thrashing. Really, does your cranberry cocktail (*it’s just full of sugar anyways*), really need to make an appearance? Do you really need the antioxidants tonight? And nobody will say anything, but the guy that shows up with red wine will be treated differently. A nice Malbec doesn’t scream Good Time Charlie. Call it subconscious judgement, but the other party goers MAY roll their eyes, and WILL think you’re just plain pretentious. Who wants to be THAT guy? Not me.

Solution: Soda. Tonic. Water. These are your friends, and they love you.

2. DRESS FOR THE THEME
A lot of my friends love to up the anti when throwing a soiree and have everyone come together in a mess of hilarious garb. Don’t be the loser standing in the corner in jeans and a t-shirt saying you didn’t know. Everybody knew, and everybody knows you knew too. Even worse, don’t throw on a pair of sunglasses and try to pass yourself off as Corey Hart. Weak costumes are worse than no costume. You WILL be ridiculed behind your back, you and the ‘red wine guy’ WILL be judged. Suck up your pride, and have some fun with it.

Solution: Value village. A whole new look for under $20.

3. DON’T MAKE A SCENE
This could come in the form of many things, all involving over-inebriation. Couches are not for standing, beds that aren’t your own are not for personal sexy times, and if your ex shows up with a new beau, be the bigger man. Nobody wants the screaming match of broken hearts to ruin their night. And if you’re the guy that broke into people’s cars, or bled all over the hosts carpet last time, eyes will ALREADY be upon you, so behave! And what’s a worse buzz kill than somebody clapping their hands too loudly while dancing, or digressing to proving you know all the lyrics to Bohemian Rhapsody. EVERYBODY KNOWS ALL THE LYRICS TO BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY! Be remembered for being the fun guy, not the mosquito buzzing in everybody’s ear.

Solution: Bow out at appropriate times. If you have a history of alcoholism, this may be as early as 11pm.

4. CONTROL YOUR BODILY FUNCTIONS
Someone’s living quarters will most likely be a slightly smaller space and a different scene than the Roxy on a Saturday, or The Odyssey on a Thursday. You WILL not get away with throwing up in the toilet, or in some people’s case….the bathtub. Everyone in the vicinity will hear you yak. Nausea is a sign of #3 on this list. Get the hell out of there, don’t walk, RUN. And if your typically gay high-fiber high-protein diet is doing a number on your innards, don’t blame it on the dog, and PLEASE don’t exit the washroom and think that pulling an Ace Ventura will still be funny or relevant. We are all in an enclosed space together. Try to keep your dignity in your back pocket for everyone’s sake.

Solution: The gas station around the corner, or Nature Calls.

5. DON’T TAKE OVER THE MUSIC
Quite often, being under the influence will have you thinking that you’re the next Dave Aude. You’re not. You’re just a dude with a lot of vodka in your stomach. Playing music at a house party is a big responsibility, and you could very easily fuck it up. Crowds could clear, people could stop smiling, a figurative bomb could go off in Funnsville. Just because you have a connection to Bonnie Raitt doesn’t mean you have to share your gift with the world. Opt for more socially acceptable party music, don’t take risks, stick with the trends, and the vibe will stay solid.

Solution: Dance Mix ’95. Journey. Gaga. Know your crowd, and your crowd will be kind.