Last week I was strolling the enchanting streets of The Hague, lured by the promise of an election night celebration. The evening, however, unfolded its true magic not within the confines of Nieuwspoort, the center of Dutch political life, but rather in the company of friends. As we sipped wine, strolled through the city’s alleys, and engaged in hours of heartfelt conversation, it became evident that the true essence of a memorable gathering lies not in relying on external events for entertainment but in taking charge and hosting your own parties.

House parties

My journey as a party enthusiast began in high school, where the idea of “house parties” captivated me—whether crashing them or orchestrating them myself. There is an undeniable charm in dancing within the walls of someone’s living room, where a make-believe bar, adorned with chips, cola bottles, and the occasional Smirnoff vodka, transforms the space into an intimate haven. This passion for creating intimate atmospheres persisted through my college years, particularly during my time in Barcelona, where I collaborated with a young bar owner to curate unforgettable parties for Erasmus students.

Blending in

Upon arriving in Brussels, my passion for hosting parties reached new heights. I ventured into the realm of themed gatherings, from the youthful vibrancy of “Young and European” to sophisticated wine tastings at my apartment. Blurring the lines between professional necessity and personal flair, I curated events such as “Friends of Zeeland evenings” and gatherings for Accredited Parliamentary Assistants, seamlessly integrating my professional and social life.

Fake cola: The subtle hunt for social capital

Let’s address the elephant in the room—I must confess that hosting one’s parties extends beyond the realms of mere enjoyment. While the allure of affordable drinks and a good time is undeniable, there’s also the subtle hunt for social capital. Playing the role of the life of the party becomes an ego boost, and in all honesty, I acknowledge that I might be filling a void within myself through these endeavors. Furthermore, I cannot deny that many of the parties I orchestrated were far from glamorous. In retrospect, they resembled nothing more than those high school house parties, with a camping table laden with chips and fake cola. Yet, perhaps true enjoyment can only be found in the unpretentious randomness of such gatherings. Intimacy and professionalism are mutually exclusive. 

Drinks on Us – Just Because

Looking ahead, the upcoming week beckons a new chapter in my party-hosting escapades—the Superlobby Community drinks. Aptly named “Just because,” No themes, no powerpoints, and no speeches, opting instead for a super random gathering to see who will grace me with their presence. Consider this your invitation.