I had 12 people over to watch movies. My apartment has always been big enough, but it hasn't always been clean enough, nor have I always had a TV. Given that a lot of the last-minute cleaning was just finding places to hide stuff I didn't want people tripping over, I should probably spend what's left of the weekend going through my closets and bedroom to actually deal with the stuff I shoved out of the way. But I was able to make the floor sweeapable before even the first of the people came, and those first few people came early specifically to help with the vacuuming and whatnot, so as of about 7:30, my apartment was cleaner than it's ever been. (When I arrived never counted, because I didn't have anything in place then.) 12 people came, I met most of them in the parking lot near my house that I directed them to, my sofa filled up, chairs filled up, the zabutons I put on the floor in front of the sofa filled up, and the endtable I put another zabuton on also filled up. We watched Edge of Tomorrow for the first movie, since someone mentioned it a few days ago. I wanted to draw ballots for the second movie, but after one of the people who volunteered to let me use their Netflix account pulled up her Netflix page, everyone agreed on Mean Girls. Some of the guys hadn't seen it before; some of the girls were quoting the lines alongside the characters. It was great.
Now I'm thinking about my next one. I feel like movie nights are a really nice, easy, low-key party for a bunch of people. But what sort of party shall I do next? A dinner party where I make everything? (And if so, how crazy am I going with everything?) A potluck? Is there some sort of middle ground, where I make maybe half the food? What about the sort of party where I just set out cheese plates and have people milling around-- is there a way to invite people over just for that?
I also am thinking about the guest list. My next movie night with all English teachers shouldn't be too hard-- the date will be more or less determined by other prefecturewide events, I wouldn't want to do it too soon with the same group anyway, and, like this one, I'd set up a Facebook event page a few weeks before and invite all the ALTs within about an hour's drive. But for any other kind of party, I think very hard about who I'm inviting. Some people don't like large crowds, some people love them. Some people would be thrilled for me to make them a seven-course dinner, some people would be happier with just beer and potato chips. (Some people, I don't even know which they prefer!) Some English teachers want to practice Japanese; some Japanese people want to practice English; and most people I know are really only comfortable with one language. I'm new to this!