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Hosting the "guys' weekend"?
December 31, 2009 11:43 AM   Subscribe

How can I help my husband host a successful "guys' weekend" at our house? What are the partner's typical obligations when friends of only spouse are visiting?

My husband is having 5 close high-school friends over from various states to our house later this year. I'm told it's to be a typical guys' weekend of the sort they've had before at Vegas-- basically movies, sports, videogames, poker. Thing is, I (female) have never seen one of these things in action, and I'm confused about the extent of overlap with other, more familiar occasions, like having mutual friends or family over for a social visit. I'd really like to know what to expect, and what's expected of me (yes, I am a little neurotic about social stuff. why do you ask?).

For what it's worth, I'm on strictly friendly-acquaintance terms with each of the planned guests. And I've tried asking my husband, but he's not necessarily the most in-touch with social conventions and others' expectations, so some added perspectives would be nice.

So, some questions for anyone who's been there:
1. At these sorts of things, how much interaction is expected between Guys and Family (me + kid)? Am I supposed to hang about the living room constantly and chat with them, the way I would with regular friends, or do I just go about my business? We have a separate basement space where they'll likely be hanging out for much of the time, but do I need to drop by periodically to seem like an engaged hostess?

2. Should I be planning to provide thrice-daily regular meals at set times, or just a string of snacks/ DIY supplies? Are mealtimes generally communal (me + kid + Guys), or do I and the kid eat separately?

3. If I were to take the kid and leave the house to do my own thing periodically, that'd definitely be rude with normal guests. But is it OK during a guys' weekend?
posted by yersinia to Human Relations (24 answers total)
 
As a guy, in such a situation I would really prefer that my lady-partner mostly leave us alone (no offense darling!) to do our own dude-things. They'll probably be fine with snacks and DIY junk (and beer) and leaving with the kid would probably be fine and even welcome.
posted by ghharr at 11:52 AM on December 31, 2009


I use Guy Weekends as a perfectly good reason to excuse myself and child to a nice hotel with room service and a pool.
posted by jamaro at 11:52 AM on December 31, 2009 [6 favorites]


By definition a "guys weekend" does not include spouses and children. So it is best to make yourself and kids scarce.
posted by birdherder at 11:53 AM on December 31, 2009 [1 favorite]


I would take a pass as well. My husband has a Man Cave on the Cape for these occasional events (which several of my guy friends have enjoyed!) I would leave a takeout number and vanish for something fun I'd like to do.
posted by mozhet at 11:56 AM on December 31, 2009


Make yourself scarce. You'll be in the way if you try to hang around constantly and play the hostess role -- chatting, refreshing drinks/snacks, etc. Ask your husband in the morning if he wants you to do anything for him, but plan to be on your own. I would doubt you'd be eating many meals together (if at all).
posted by lilac girl at 11:58 AM on December 31, 2009


Let your husband figure out what he and his guests want to do for meals and snacks, and you fend for yourself and your kid (serve all the things the two of you like that the husband does not). Drop in for a chat with the guys as often as you feel like, which in my case would be never.

None of the guests expect to interact with you other than a greeting on arrival and a goodbye on departure; any face-time you want to spend with the guests is gravy.
posted by Sidhedevil at 11:59 AM on December 31, 2009


I would take the opportunity to take the kiddo and go visit family or take a little camping trip or something. If you wanted to make up some batches of party mix or meals they could heat up I'm sure they'd appreciate that, too.
posted by Menthol at 12:01 PM on December 31, 2009


How involved would you want or expect your husband to be if you had a girls weekend? I'd want mine to disappear, and he would want it that way as well. Don't overthink it or worry, I assure you that you won't be committing any social faux pas by not catering to them.
posted by iconomy at 12:08 PM on December 31, 2009


It's not like there is a right or wrong way to do this, so much depends on all the personal factors involved but my input:

1) Go about your business, with occasional socializing. Dropping by periodically not at all required and could easily be at either end of the good idea bad idea spectrum.

2) Let them forage their own breakfasts. For other meals maybe do something like making a pot of stew, calling food's up, and letting people serve themselves. Maybe they'll sit around upstairs and do a little socializing, maybe they'll retreat to the basement.

3) Totally ok
posted by pseudonick at 12:10 PM on December 31, 2009


At the top end of the scale (super-wife), make sure everything is clean and comfortable, well stocked food/drink/toilet paper....warmly greet everyone, and then go do your own thing.

At the other end (still just fine wife), go away for the weekend and do your own thing.
posted by esereth at 12:19 PM on December 31, 2009


I think all the dudes should chip in and buy you a weekend at a spa or whatever.

I'm a guy, and I find stereotypical "guys' weekends" awful and boring. But even worse, I think, would be a guys' weekend where you and the kid were hanging out within earshot, or maybe even in the same room. The whole point of a guys' weekend is as an escape and to do silly things (like drinking beer) that are closer in spirit to being in college than they are to being a middle aged dad with a mortgage.

So get online, pick out a sweet spa or beachfront B&B, and take the kid off for a peaceful weekend of no poker playing drunk guys. And you could sweeten the deal for all concerned by arranging for a cleaning service to come in Sunday afternoon and clean the house before you get back, so no one has to argue about who has to vacuum.
posted by Forktine at 12:25 PM on December 31, 2009 [1 favorite]


Your husband will probably be relieved if you leave.
posted by xammerboy at 12:36 PM on December 31, 2009


Is Kid a boy-kid or a girl-kid and how old? If you have a boy-child of a certain age (say 7-12) I have no doubt that your husband will want to show him off/involve him in something harmless (like a movie).

If its you and your daughter, yeah, plan to be away.
posted by anastasiav at 12:44 PM on December 31, 2009


If you have a boy-child of a certain age (say 7-12) I have no doubt that your husband will want to show him off/involve him in something harmless (like a movie).

If its you and your daughter, yeah, plan to be away.


wow. ouch. If it is anything like the typical guy weekends I have been exposed to, I would recommend making yourself and your child scarce, regardless of gender. But before I left I would stock the house with plenty of tp/paper towels/disposable cups etc and lots of snacks & finger food, as mentioned above. And I think having a cleaning service drop by once the festivities are over is a great idea!
posted by bahama mama at 1:12 PM on December 31, 2009


If I were to take the kid and leave the house to do my own thing periodically, that'd definitely be rude with normal guests. But is it OK during a guys' weekend?

Expected.
posted by Ironmouth at 1:22 PM on December 31, 2009


Am I supposed to hang about the living room constantly and chat with them, the way I would with regular friends, or do I just go about my business?

Just go about your own business. Imagine that they are children having a play date.

Should I be planning to provide thrice-daily regular meals at set times, or just a string of snacks/ DIY supplies?

Don't thing that really matters, you should ask the guys what they want to do. Most will probably be ok with DIY stuff and would love a dinner prepared by you.

Are mealtimes generally communal (me + kid + Guys), or do I and the kid eat separately?

I would plan on having dinner with them, and let them graze on their own during the day.

If I were to take the kid and leave the house to do my own thing periodically, that'd definitely be rude with normal guests. But is it OK during a guys' weekend?

Totally ok. You can ignore them as much as you want. Again think children having a play date. If you want to get away for the weekend, I'm sure they wouldn't have a problem with that either
posted by bigmusic at 1:26 PM on December 31, 2009


I agree with the "get out of Dodge" advice. When my sweetheart has LAN party night (which I call "MAN party night" due to the parties' attendance demographic and male bonding element), I take it as a convenient opportunity to get some me time in. I say you vacate the premises, go have a super-fantastic time with the young one somewhere happy, and then return, refreshed, and having had a chance to miss your husband for a little while! Have fun!
posted by sarabeth at 1:43 PM on December 31, 2009


How can I help my husband host a successful "guys' weekend" at our house?

Your husband is probably way too nice to suggest that you go away. After all, you live there too.

But you should. Go away!
posted by hermitosis at 1:44 PM on December 31, 2009


Nthing that weekend would be a good time to go visit someone.

If you think about it, wouldn't you want the same thing, if it were girls' weekend?
posted by A Terrible Llama at 2:13 PM on December 31, 2009


My husband periodically holds a similar event. Usually I help prep like any other get-together at our place, meet everyone, chat a little, then go off and do my own thing for most of the rest of the time. No need to flee or hide, but yeah, give 'em their space as much as possible.
posted by bunji at 2:23 PM on December 31, 2009


I totally agree with leaving. However, he should have had the foresight to set this up somewhere else, rented a cabin, etc so as not to put you out. Whatever. I totally agree that this is the perfect time for you to treat yourself to a spa and a REALLY nice dinner with some girlfriends. Even better, drop the kid off at a grandparents house and have a girls weekend as well, just from a hotel, a very luxurious hotel, the kind with breakfast in bed and in room massages.
posted by TheBones at 3:10 PM on December 31, 2009


Also, in terms of socializing and stocking the house, if you were awesome, you would buy a bunch of liquor and beer and stock the fridge with really good snack foods, ribs, wings, and BEER.

I would say stay and pound a few beers with the guys, show off the kid a little, make them envious of your weekend out (make sure to let their wives know exactly what you are doing as well and that they are in good hands so they are jealous as well).

He should have thought about hiring a cleaning service, but oh well.

After about an hour of pounding beers (if you shotgunned a couple, that would be really awesome, but if not, no biggie), leave and don't look back.
posted by TheBones at 3:17 PM on December 31, 2009


Should I be planning to provide thrice-daily regular meals at set times, or just a string of snacks/ DIY supplies?

Is there a reason why your husband and his friends can't feed themselves? If they wanted the kind of lazy weekend where they don't have to lift a finger, a hotel was maybe a better choice than someone's home.

Otherwise, as many others said, if my girlfriends and I wanted to have a girls' weekend, having the fam hanging around would probably cramp our style. (Not saying your husband wants to get totally nuts, but they probably will want to act silly and let loose.)
posted by Mavri at 9:28 PM on December 31, 2009 [1 favorite]


My friends and I do this twice a year. I truly and sincerely like all of their wives (and my own), but their presence would ruin the spirit of the get together.
posted by Twicketface at 11:53 AM on January 1, 2010


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