I have two great roommates, and between the three of us, we have a multitude of friends. The trouble is, when we throw a party it gets way out of hand. There are just too many people crammed into a tight space, and before you know it, things are being knocked over, no one can get to the beer cooler, and everyone's a big sweaty mess.
How can we throw a party and invite all the people we want to see, and at the same time limit it, and at the SAME time, not hurt anyone's feelings??
Ah, the perils of being popular! How can you balance your desire to have nice things with your desire to keep from excluding anyone? From planning a wedding to figuring out how many people can safely fit around a fondue pot, as a host you've got to whittle down the guest list to something manageable. That isn't easy, and it's especially hard when you have three Little Miss Populars under one 1,000 square-foot roof.
I have a solution to your problem: A three-tiered party system.
1) The Big Bash
Once a year, throw a giant rager. Each of you can invite your whole guest list. Be sure to plan this during warm weather, when people can spill out into the backyard, and onto porches. Don't have a yard? Consider teaming up and renting a venue. Throw a party for the ages, and hopefully get the huge party urge out of your system for the next 364 days.
2) The Birthday Party
The only time you'll be able to keep your party mid-sized is when it's *your* party - especially when you're the one footing the whole bill. Let your roommates know that it's nothing personal, but you just want your besties around for your special day. Tell them it's fine if they want to bring a friend or two, but you don't want a house full of strangers crowding you - you want to get lots of face time with your guests. And naturally, you can extend this same courtesy with them on their birthdays.
3) The Private Party
If four parties a year isn't enough to satisfy your entertaining spirit, then by all means, plan some additional smaller parties. Let your roommates know you're just having a few friends over Saturday night - and by a few, you mean fewer than 10. If they each bring a friend that's fine, but more people than that would make movie night, game night, or your chili cook-off really unwieldy. If your other friends catch wind of it, hopefully they'll understand that there's only so much room on your couch or so many burners on your stove, and that it's nothing personal that they weren't invited.