The art of acquiring party platters |

The art of acquiring party platters

“I think we’re all ready for our party,” I said proudly to Husband-Head. “Now all we need to do is wait for the guests.”

“And the cops,” Husband-Head added. “I hope you counted them in on the guest list.”

We were throwing an engagement party for some dear friends of ours, which included about 70 people.

“We don’t HAVE 70 close friends to invite,” Husband-Head disagreed when I told him of the head count.

“Maybe not, but they do,” I assured him.

And I did have enough girlfriends to ask for help in bringing over some side dishes.

The theme for the party was “tropical,” so I needed things like fruit salad, watermelon, deviled eggs, vegetables and that kind of stuff.

“You want wine or you want a pineapple?” one woman called to ask.

Duh … I want the wine.

If it was up to me, the bash would’ve been just one big drunk, but seeing as it was part of someone’s nuptial ceremonies, it seemed as if we should be a little more civilized and pretend like we were grown-ups.

“That means no Jaegermeister or games that involve shots of alcohol,” Husband-Head warned as we prepared for the party.

And I had just ordered all these cute little shot glasses with feet and beach shorts that would be perfect for a “sex on the beach” shot.

“These little boogers just scream out for a fun rum-kinda drink, don’t you think?” I asked Husband-Head as I shoved a pair of feet to his face.

He took a swig and scrunched up his face.

“That’s NASTY!” he said, shaking his face side to side. “Aren’t you supposed to put some kind of mixer in it?”


While preparing the food for the party, I took out every party platter I could find.

There was the fun hot dog platter, with the bun cap that housed the mustard and ketchup. There was the hamburger platter where the top bun, again, housed the condiments. There was the pool platter with a hot tub on the side for the chips and dip.

And then, of course, there was the fun seafood platter that looked more like a piece of artwork than something you should actually put food on, which had the seashell thing in the middle to put cocktail sauce.

As the guests arrived, many thoughtfully brought their own contributions of food and drink.

“Here’s some pasta salad,” one woman said, offering up a tray that would have easily fed nearly everyone in a Third World country.

“Here’s fruit,” another guy said, bringing in buckets of pre-made fruit salad.

The plates of food came on an array of platters.

Now, there’s a rule when you bring something to someone’s house on a platter.

That rule is: Don’t expect to get it back.

I don’t know how many times I’ve taken a plate or platter to a party at someone’s house, never to see it again.

“Heidi, I was hoping you wouldn’t notice, but I brought this platter over which you’d brought to my house,” one guest confessed as she tried to hide it under her shirt when she was ready to leave. “I really like it and was hoping you wouldn’t want it back.”

I had to laugh because it was, like, this stupid plastic platter.

“Don’t tell anyone, but my friend Kelley once lent me a cool recycled green glass pie dish that I never gave back,” I confided back to her.

Just then Kelley walked up.

“Can we put this food in something else?” she asked about the leftovers, pointing to a really cool recycled green glass dish in her hand. “This is part of a set that I bought.”

I looked at my other friend and knew I had to confess.

“I have your matching pie plate,” I admitted. “You lent it to me 10 years ago …”

Kelley looked surprised at first and then laughed.

“You know what? You can have it,” she said graciously. “I thought one of my kids broke it a long time ago.”

The party was a success and I ended up with a few new platters myself.

But we’re invited to someone else’s party next weekend…

Heidi Rice is a staff reporter for the Post Independent. Visit her web site at or her blog at

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