Is it the relaxed, oft-casual nature of parties that brings out the jackass in some people?
Last night, while enjoying myself and my martini at a cocktail party for (supposedly) professionals, I watched as one guest told another that the company she worked for is, indeed, "The Devil" and that they're "screwing her" by "paying her a pittance."
I know for a fact that the female guest is incredibly proud of what she does, and wasn't terribly happy to hear her work denigrated.
On another occasion, I attended an apartment party held on one of those sweltering, 90-plus degree Chicago nights. (This party was not held this year, our coldest summer, since, what, 1922?) This was in a vintage apartment, and in case you're not a Windy Citizen, vintage = no air conditioning.
The host was running her tiny window A/C unit full force, trying to keep everyone cool and happy. The salsa, despite being nestled in a bucket of ice, was melting into tomato soup. One guest, upon sampling the "soup" turned around and told the host, "You might want to consider keeping your food a little fresher."
And while the host was civil to rude offender after that, she no longer socialized with him.
When attending a party, you don't have to be all Pollyanna and agree with everyone's opinions; nor should you kiss everyone's butt. But a little respect and consideration is in order.
And if you're on the receiving end of a jackass, keep in mind that just because someone else is classless, doesn't mean you need to go there with him/her. Just smile, walk away, grab another martini, and make a mental note to check the jackass off your future guest lists.