Like I said last time, we're still at the age where you usually stay at parties unless you're specifically told you can drop and go, and when this happens, you know you're signed up for 2-4 hours of spellbinding fun watching your kid do nothing particularly interesting.
During that span, there is bound to be pizza, cake and ice cream, or as I like to call it: the highlight of the party. But before you grab your three slices and stuff your face with cake, here are some tips to make you look like the gosh-darn adult you are and not the hungry, half-angry, bored panda you've become over the past ninety minutes or so.
1) Pick a spot on the side.
If you are too close to the table, you'll end up serving, and you'll probably accidentally tumble the cake upside down and make someone's kid cry because you obviously mushed theirs on purpose.
Still, you don't want to be in the back. You want full-on access to that food when it's the parents' turn to grab a bite.
2) Don't grab a plate.
It's way too obvious, dudes. Just wait patiently for the servers to do their thing. Stand there with your arms folded, and make witty banter with the poor schmucks who made the mistake of standing too close to the table. At the very least, you'll make their job less pressure-filled with your reminder that adults also exist in the room.
3) Don't be the first grownup in line.
If you can manage third or fourth, you've got it made. Still plenty of pizza (even though the little buggers probably grabbed all the cheese), and you don't look like you've been waiting for this moment your entire life.
4) Take one piece, two tops.
It's more important to be a conscientious adult and save some for the kids who are getting big enough to need two pieces than it is to feed your facehole. Trust me on this, I know it's hard. I want three pieces, too. Just remind yourself that there is cake coming.
5) Resume your exact position.
You want to be in the same spot when it's grownup time for cake. This way, you're still ideally positioned, but it looks casual. Like you are a creature of habit. What, me? Oh, I was just standing here before. This is my standing spot. Do not make the mistake of sitting down. In the three seconds it takes to get your butt off the chair, that kid's dad is totally going to snarf down all the cake. Remember, third or fourth in line. ONE PIECE. You got this.
6) If the party people ask you if you want pizza or cake and you DO, then just say yes.
If you say no to look polite, someone further down the line is going to say yes, and then you have to look at their food with the same longing your first graders is casting upon that huge pile of presents over there.
7) If you DON'T want pizza, that's okay.
It's not rude to politely decline, but absolutely no shade thrown at the poor parents whose only joy in life at this moment are the four slices of pizza they grabbed from their crying child's hands (we're assuming they haven't read this list yet).
8) Don't take the food home.
Even if it's offered, remember how much more painful it is to throw a party than to go to one. All the pain you are feeling times a thousand. Those parents deserve the leftovers. This step doesn't count if it's like your best friend offering it and you know she's legit, or if the food is offered more than once. If that's the case, and it's going to go to the garbage anyway, it may as well find it's new forever home with you, no?
Good luck and good eating!