Party crashing is defined as the act of attending an invite-only event without invitation.
The term "party crash" dates back to the 1920s with the end of the prohibition era and the ushering in of flappers and the roaring 20's philosophy of pleasure.
Now, there's been a lot of talk about party crashing of late - remember those "tacky" Salahis who crashed the White House State Dinner last month?
Sure, it's in poor taste to crash a party at The White House - but you have to admit it takes guts. Secret service, a list, important politicians, bodyguards... you have to give them credit for their courage (or maybe it was just shameless fame-mongering?).
It's probably also in poor taste to "crash" things like weddings (despite the popularity of the movie), funerals, a bris, or anything else that's personal and family-oriented where you may be discovered.
But let's face it - at one point or another, we've probably all been somewhere where we weren't exactly invited. Maybe it was your older sister's closet, your parent's liquor cabinet, or your significant other's phone. Maybe you "crashed" homeroom ten minutes late, your house via your bedroom window after sneaking out, or your living room (with a clear view of the chimney) on Christmas Eve.
So, instead of judging the Salahis, infamous party crashers (who, by the way, come up first when you Google the term "party crashing"), I've been thinking about what the "rules" of party crashing might be. If there are rules.
1) Show up late. You want to get there late enough to where you're not walking into an empty room where your lack of invitation is obvious. Plus, the later you are, the more drinks everyone will have had.
2) Do some research. Scope it out. Look it up on Facebook. Ask someone you know is going. Whatever you do, find out about the occasion, the host, and the dress code. You do NOT want to show up to a formal black tie event in jeans.
3) Bring party favors. If you bring a bottle of wine, you won't look like you're there to mooch food and alcohol, and chances are no one will ask questions.
4) Be confident. Walk in the door as though you belong. Mix and mingle and don't act any differently than you would if you were invited.
5) Be polite. Don't get caught sneaking around the master bathroom medicine cabinets or peeking into rooms with closed doors. Enough said.
Don't forget about that other breed of party crasher: The Unintentional Party Crasher. You know them, they're the people at your party who came with someone you did invite.
As anybody who's had a wedding or who's planned one for a friend or family member knows, it's all about headcount. Some of your guests get "and guested", meaning they can bring a date, and some don't. When my friends and I get invited to weddings, we always ask one another: "Did you get 'and guest-ed'?" If you do, chances are you and your "guest" are getting pretty serious. That or you are in with that bride.
Anyway, all of this is excruciatingly important for tallying up your guests and therefore your financial damage. But some of your guests just don't regard this "and guest" or lack thereof as important.
A friend of mine received an RSVP card from one of her invitees, who by the way did not get "and guest-ed", and he had actually hand-written six names in addition to his own the line where he was to fill in his name. SIX!
(Wonder if he ever got "and guested x 7" when he had all those girlfriends?)
He was a high school buddy, and he'd taken it upon himself to invite several of her old peers that she "must've forgotten." These six people were going to cost her several hundred dollars to add to her list (you know, for food and booze and all that other 'per head' stuff they charge you).
I personally think she should have called him and said "Sure, you can bring six people to my wedding. But at $___ amount a head, you can also bring a gift of equal value to that. Times six."
Don't be that guy.