Elsa Maxwell, the hostess with the mostest


Elsa Maxwell with birdcages via Corbis

My dog-eared copy of Elsa Maxwell's How to Do it is a great source of hilarious quotes from the original hostess with the mostest. As party season begins in earnest, I'll try to keep these two jewels from the hostess herself in mind.

As a guest:

Under pressure, people admit to murder, setting fire to the village church or robbing a bank, but never to being bores. 

As a hostess:

Serve the dinner backward, do anything - but for goodness sake, do something weird. 

In other words, whether you're a guest or the host, DON'T BE BORING.

Now, doesn't that just put you in the mood to party?