The rain in the Pacific Northwest really blows sometimes. Between the natives who forget how to drive in it to its uncanny ability to ruin 75% of outdoor events, the rain has its way of putting you in a bad mood. The good news is, with summer right around the corner, those rainy days are becoming fewer and farther between. And you know what that means……BBQs!

Just this past weekend, we hosted a BBQ at our humble abode for a friend’s birthday. Any excuse to get friends and family over for food and booze is fine by me.  As far as I could tell, everyone enjoyed themselves. We were all sufficiently intoxicated and stuffed with a variety of traditional BBQ nummies.  Sounds like success in my book.

There were, however, a couple of complaints throughout the night. Even with a cup full of henn and a plate full of chicken, you can find something to irk you when everyone in attendance doesn’t practice proper BBQ etiquette. And I’m not one to judge. Some folks may  just not be aware of the unwritten rules. So, I’m here to help you with some tips.

Let’s go….

Never show up empty handed. It seems like a no-brainier, but the worst thing you can do when invited to a BBQ (or any house party) is to come with nothing to offer. You should always bring something to eat or drink. Even if you’re low on cash, you can use that good ol’ EBT card to buy a bottle of coke or a carton of orange juice as a mixer. Shoot, a pack of hotdog buns is only $.99. It’s just rude to go to someone’s home to eat and drink and not bring anything to add to the mix. {Editor’s Note: Amen}

Dress appropriately. I know a lot of you fashonistas (male and female) like to look your best at all times. But a backyard BBQ probably isn’t the best place to sport your new kicks or that cute little club dress you just copped at Forever 21. Wear something comfy. Something you wouldn’t mind getting a drink spilled on. You can still be fashion forward, just don’t show up looking all fancified and completely out of place. Unless you like when people talk about you when you walk out of the room.

“Did you see what she had on?”

“Who tries to get chose at a family BBQ?”


Very Overdressed
Very Overdressed

If you bring it, leave it. Along with not showing up empty handed, you don’t want to be the one who scrambles to collect everything you brought when it’s time to head out. Leave whatever’s left with the host as a small thank you for the invite and whatever else you consumed. If I spend $150 to make sure everyone eats and drinks at my house and you take your $2 Sprite home with you, I’m going to be insulted. Just leave it. Or be THAT GUY and miss the invite to the next shindig.

**Exceptions: If there’s only a shot left in the bottle, take it. If you brought three 12 packs and only 5 people showed up, take it. If you spent your last dime on the mac n cheese you made and your fridge at home is empty, take it.**

Leave your kids at home or check with the host to see if it’s ok. If the host doesn’t have kids, it’s safe to assume their function will be adult only, but even if they do, it might be polite to check if you can bring yours because nobody wants a house full of kids when people are trying to turn up. Most of us spend 40 hours a week trying not to cuss at work. We don’t want to censor ourselves while in chill mode. Plus, some of y’all’s kids are bad as sh*t.

BBQ4Secure transportation BEFORE everyone starts drinking. There is nothing worse than asking a bunch of drunk people for a ride home. Especially when you live out in the boonies. Figure out who’s heading that way before they’re too tired and 5 minutes out their way seems like an impossible feat. Or ask the host if you can crash. If everyone is tired and drunk, you’re better off slobbering on your friend’s couch cushion anyway. But if you need to get home that bad, perhaps you should leave a little early and catch the bus. Sometimes you gotta take the L.

Clean-up after yourself. Ok, I know you’re like, “Well, duh.” But common sense is about as common as albinos. I kid you not, someone dropped a half eaten corn on the cob in my yard and the next morning it was still there. I’m not asking you to do the dishes, although on Saturday my good buddy Jayron was gracious enough to do that. I’m just saying, if you spill or break something, clean it up. Of course, the host will clean their house after everyone leaves, but if your mess was more than just a disposable cup and plate take care of it yourself.

I guess the moral of the story is don’t be a burden or a fool. And most importantly, have fun this summer. Be polite, be safe, and be ratchet.