For example, throwing a party in Atlanta, where I live, and throwing one in Los Angeles, where I’m from, is an entirely different experience in almost every conceivable way. I have only been to a handful of children’s parties in L.A., where I have only thrown adult parties in the somewhat distant past. Here, in Hotlanta, I have only thrown birthday parties for my daughter. But I’m pretty sure the differences in party behavior still apply. If I’m wrong, please correct me.
If you throw a kid’s party here, people will arrive at either the exact hour of the party or maybe a half hour late. If they plan to come any later, they will email you ahead of time to make sure that’s OK. Nobody in Los Angeles would ever do that. Almost everyone that says they are coming will show up at the appointed hour. One or two might not make it. They will likely email apologetically and explain that they or their child has the stomach flu. And they really will have the stomach flu. If say, the party starts at 3 pm, the party will begin winding down around 4 with people starting to leave and thanking you profusely for inviting them and by 5 pm, all will have left. The same amount of people who said they were coming on the Evite will have shown, off maybe by two at most.
Though, I have done no research, I think this formula may not just apply to Atlanta or the South, but to most of America, or at least, all the places where strangers say hi to you when you pass them in the street, either out of friendliness or nervousness.
Not the case in L.A., though. If you have a party for adults that starts at say, 8 pm, you shouldn’t expect anyone until 9:25 or so. But people will really start ringing the doorbell ten or twenty minutes later and pop in at any old time throughout the night. Someone will show up at 11:45. You can expect maybe a half or a third of the folks who responded uproariously to the Evite to not show up at all.
Then there’s the person who shows up and leaves after ten minutes. You will not witness them skedaddling stealthily out the door. You’ll just wonder where they are. It could even be a pretty good friend. They will have gone off to something more fun, no doubt. I’ve done it. There might actually be something more fun to do in L.A., not so in Atlanta, no way, no how.