Washington Life Magazine
Washington Life Magazine

Have to Pay

here are certain rites of passage that happen in any childhood. In fourth grade, many are allowed to have their first sleep-over party; and at 13, many parents give their children a small blue book that silently haunts most adolescents, Tiffany’s Table Manner for Teens. At the time, it leads to eye-rolls – a glimpse at the content reveals such useful fare as “when drawing soup, one must pull the spoon away from oneself and the bowl.” The book delicately outlines potential social landmines and elaborately details how to pull off a successful party. “To be a good host, you must provide for your guest,” writes Walter Hoving (former president of Tiffany & Co.).
This Halloween, many of The Young & the Guest List (Y&GL) crowd were invited to a “Hallow’s Eve Affair” by a series of hosts. The expected standard offerings were all there: a favorite DJ, a People bachelor, a Polo guru and a ubiquitous party boy. It was “invitation only,” and guests were required to R.S.V.P. In any other city, you would assume the hosts were generous and gracious

The Club

enough to pay for the evening and that (of course) there would be an open-bar. Not so in Washington.
Over the last two years, a new phenomenon has emerged. Clubs and restaurants now use younger socialites as promoters to draw the “right” crowd. Without fail, we now receive E-vites (electronic invitations) requesting our presence at Smith Point with a list of names on it for Thursday night. We’re not sure why this is happening. One would assume the clubs are throwing kickbacks to these “hosts,” but that’s not the case.
Having your name on the right committee is prestigious when it’s tied to causes such as the Corcoran Gallery of Art, the Washington Ballet or the Kennedy Center.

Tying a name to a nightclub opening where you essentially invite your friends to support a for-profit business is a different story. As The Washington Times society editor Kevin Chaffee says, “It’s not a party if you have to pay.”
In New York, you would never receive an invitation saying “Ivanka Trump and friends invite you to [be a customer at] Pink Elephant.” Furthermore, many of these “hosts” don’t even bother to show up at their own “parties.” We don’t know why we’re required to R.S.V.P. to attend a bar we regularly frequent.
We’re thrilled to see sexy lounges, but Washington is a smart city and the disguised “party E-vite” is wearing thin. We’re happy to be invited to clubs, and if you insist on an E-vite to Blue Gin, also disclose that upon arrival we’ll have to pay $14 for a glass of second-rate champagne and that these “hosts” are in effect, working for the house. What happened to traditional promoters doing a great job at bringing people out? Works for every other city.

Readers wishing to get in touch with Katie canemail:columns@washingtonlife.com.

The New Year


Home  |   Where To Find Us  |   Advertising  |   Privacy Policy  |   Site Map  |   Purchase Photos  |   About Us

Click here to go to the NEW Washington Life Magazine