Every year, my husband and I host a Diwali party for our friends (aside from what we do with family). We’ve experimented with different party themes over five years, and some have been more successful than others, but they’ve all made good memories. Our friends seem to anticipate our annual party with enthusiasm.
A few days ago, as we were sitting down to begin planning, we received a WhatsApp invitation from another couple in this group of friends inviting us to their Diwali party — scheduled for the same weekend we usually have ours. I’m not laying claim to the idea of a party for Diwali obviously, but… this was our thing. Should that couple have checked with us before taking over hosting?
KB: Dear Party Planner, you’re absolutely right: You can’t lay claim to a weekend, and you are not The Grand Duchess of Diwali with the only rights to parties during the holiday season.
That said… this is just plain weird. I have to agree with you: your friends are acting like major creeps. Who does that? I think you are well within your rights to call them out and ask why they don’t move their party to another day. And if they won’t move the date, relish going head-to-head with them. May the best party win!
SB: Dear Diwali Diwana, it seems like you have a holiday mutiny on your hands. My advice is to wait it out. Maybe it’s time to enjoy being hosted by someone else for a change. Let your friends have a go at the party planning this year, and, if your parties are as good as you think, it won’t be long before they defer to your superior hosting talents.
In the mean time, commandeer another holiday. I mean, what says Party Planners Extraordinary better than holiday versatility? Dussehra party, anyone?
SH: SB has a point. While it is weird and insensitive on their part, risking a friendship (and putting others in the group in an awkward position) over a party may not be worth it.
You could put all the time you save from planning for the annual event to a better use: On the day of the party, spring on everyone your perfectly mapped itinerary for a splendid holiday — and steal the show. Maybe this would become your new Diwali tradition, or the copycat couple’s from the next year. In which case, you can happily go back to your Diwali get-together.
MM: Gotta agree with SB — this is a good opportunity to hand over the responsibility and play guest for a change. But if there’s a special Diwali kheer you make every year, or a cool playlist, take that along. Might be a good way to score some brownie points without the heavy lifting — whilst also reminding everyone who’s Diwali boss.
LG: They say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, so take this as confirmation that you are, indeed, the hostess with the most-est. Like SB suggests, enjoy the fun with people you would’ve partied with anyway — and without the stress of prep, hosting and clean-up!
And implement a new friend-tradition in the future by hosting your party on a different holiday each year. The number of possible party themes will multiply exponentially (A Slip ‘N Slide Holi! Blue Man Group does Janmashtmi!) and the copycat will be perpetually behind the times.