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"Don’t stress. Get a drink with an umbrella in it and start warming up your “License To Grill” jokes. You got this."

The Grown-Ass Woman’s Guide to: Barbecue Etiquette

You’re a grown-ass woman, so you know that summer is about grilling meats. Here is how to grill some meats in the company of your friends and loved ones.

Keep The Guest List Chill.
Because this event involves food prep, you’re going to want to have an idea of numbers. This is not really an “invite 12 of your random university friends” kind of afternoon. I would suggest telling friends that they’re welcome with a date (friend or lovah, who cares and what’s the difference, THESE DAYS), and getting enough food for everyone to have at least two hot dogs/burgs/veggie burgs. Which brings me to my next point:

Have Enough Food For Everyone To Feel A Bit Bad About How Much They Ate
“God, I went to a barbecue the other day and you know what? There was way too much food. Everyone was mad. It was all anyone could talk about, what were we going to do with the mountains of delicious salads and grilled veggies and everything else. I guess they’re living in some kind of leftovers nightmare world now, those poor creatures. They’re going to be eating potato salad for days… I really feel sorry for them, truly I do.” – WHO. WHO WOULD SAY THAT. If you don’t want to provide everything on your own, go pot luck with the salads and sides. Also, we’re grown ups, it’s nice to provide some wines and beers too.

Don’t Stress About Being Stuck Behind The Grill
Best seat in the house. Everyone comes to visit and is happy to see you. You’re like one novelty apron away from living the true dream. May I recommend “bikini babe illusion” as a fun summer look? Really, don’t stress. Get a drink with an umbrella in it and start warming up your “License To Grill” jokes. You got this.

Calm Down And Accommodate Alternative Diets
Vegetarians. Vegans. Gluten-free babes. Allergies. Whatever “paleo” is. These are often treated like the enemy of a good Q, when patently, the REAL enemy of a barbecue is bad attitudes. A lil dietary variety never hurt no one. And don’t make a poor vegetarian/gluten free lady sit there with a big slimy mushroom head on her plate while everyone is tucking in to nice juicy sausages. Consider: halloumi cheese! Falafel balls! Veggie skewers! Grilled fruit! Corn-on-the-motherfucking-cobbbbb, bbs!! Meat-free dishes don’t have to be a consolation prize to vegetarians, they can just be one of many delicious offerings at the Dionysian feast that is your backyard right now. Alt-y diet people are used to this kind of thing and will probably bring their own food, think how nice it will be for them to discover you planned ahead!

A Word For Guests:
This is not a note for hosts, although hosts can help facilitate. Pssst, barbecue guests, now that we’re alone: definitely bring a bottle of wine or some nice summer-y beers (lemon! mint! oranges! ICED TEAAA!) or a side salad or a nice Citronella candle or something. You’re about to eat a lot of this person’s food and just fill up their whole garbage with napkins from your sticky jam hands. Bring a gift. ALSO: socialize! BBQs are a dream in terms of meeting new people and having pleasant conversations. You’re out in the sun in the afternoon/early evening instead of cramped in a dark bar, the guest list is smaller than a house party and almost certainly already friends or friends of friends, and there’s less annoying ambient bar noise (like where are you getting your playlists, contemporary bars, you sound like a yoga studio on party drugs). It’s perfect! Strike up a convo with a cute stranger or a girl in a nice dress or someone who seems fun. #YesNewFriends #SheDoesSummer #YouGuysGottaStartUsingThatHashtagItsKillingMe

A Few Extras:
Keep lots of water and non-alcoholic drinks on hand, because let me tell you, my baes, alcohol and the sun are like your couch and Kardashian-related media: they seem like a fun pair, but combined for too long can lead to light comas and feelings of nausea. (“Very good comparison Monica, well done. Not too long and certainly very clear.” – International Jury for Superb Metaphor Use) It’s also nice to provide a shady area or at the very least some sunscreen for your guests. Also: chairs! Or blankets! People love to sit, basically. Help them sit!

BYOBBQQ
The extra B is for “BE NICE AND HAVE FUN”QQ.

Follow Monica on Twitter: @monicaheisey

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