1) Would you rather be the host or the guest?
Hmmmm.....I enjoy entertaining, and throwing a party is one of the very few ways my house ever really gets a good cleaning, so I suppose I'd rather be the host. That said, I'll be the first to say that I'm not a particularly good host--I panic too much about preparations and amounts. So I work best as a member of a team. Plus, it's a lot more fun to do something as a team or group.
2) When you are hosting, do you clean everything up the minute the guests go home? Will you accept help with the dishes?
I used to be a fanatic about cleaning up the dinner party mess before going to bed. I'm way over that now. Sometimes, cleaning up at a leisurely pace the next day even allows one to revisit the party and savor the best moments in the joyous fog of memory. One thing's for sure--the mess won't go anywhere. And yes, I gladly accept help with dishes.
3) If you had the wherewithal, and I guess I mean more than money, to throw a great theme party, what would the theme be?
If money, time, and creativity were of no concern, I'd probably throw an awesome Epiphany Open House for the parish with oodles of candles, scads of luminaria outside, and food from many countries with attention at the same time to sustainability, simplicity, and fair trade food--light to the world.
4) What's the worst time you ever had at a party?
Usually I enjoy a good party, but I guess the worst was a dinner/dance for new faculty members at the boarding school where I used to teach. It was on a river boat, so we were a captive audience. My now former spouse was getting good and sloshed and saying absolutely ridiculous things and making ludicrous claims about himself. I wished I could have dissolved into one of the chafing dishes. It was totally embarrassing.
5) And to end on a brighter note, what was the best?
The best would have to be my birthday this year. I turned 46, and the parish helped me celebrate all week long. On April 1, one congregation had a lovely "trick cake" (a beautifully decorated cardboard box) followed by the real thing after worship. They all got a real kick out of watching me try to cut it and remain polite and pastorly.
The Sunday school children decorated a huge card, gave me a pectoral cross made of horseshoe nails, and sang happy b'day to me.
And finally, on the actual day about 22 women in the parish took me out to a fancy restaurant for a party with cake, laughter, and some really cool cards and presents--one of which was a quilted wall-hanging from which 30% of the profits of the sale of the fabric are donated to breast cancer research (I'm a cancer survivor, so that was really thoughtful). These folks wrapped me in arms of love and caring and made my first birthday away from all my friends and family back east and down south a wonderful experience.