Happy New Year! And happy house cleaning after it's trashed with wine, puke, garbage, broken household items and other party favors.
A New Years Eve hostess hounds her house party trashers.
When the New Year's Eve carnage was over, Tracie Egan was left with wine on her walls, vomit on her walk-out roof, broken possessions and a $450 cleaning bill.
A hole was punched in her apartment wall, the shower curtain ripped from its rod, her prized Dolly Parton poster sprayed with booze and, most vulgarly, a tampon left on the sofa like an unwanted party favor.
Forget resolutions. For this bitter 28-year-old hostess, it's all about reparations.
Putting a modern twist on the post-party cleanup, Egan emailed the entire guest list photos of the damages, a written account of her grievances and a PayPal link for donations to a fund that would simultaneously help cover her expenses and allow the guilty to buy absolution.
"You have to give me something," wrote Egan, an editor at the Gawker Media blog Jezebel. "I don't care if you're poor. If you can't afford to be an (expletive), then you shouldn't act like one."
Though the nearly 800-word tirade has yet to strike a nerve with the "scumbags" she believes wreaked the most havoc, the New York woman has so far managed to recoup about $120 from those sympathetic to her plea.
"A girl who I totally know did not do anything bad in my apartment put in $50. The girl who broke the shower curtain put in $30. God, even an ex-boyfriend - who I lost my virginity to and haven't talked to in nine years - put in a dollar," Egan said.
"But the people that did the worst things are not the people who paid the money."
Though the silver-haired set might cringe at the notion of demanding unruly guests pay, quite literally, for their bad behaviour, a spokesperson for the Emily Post Institute suspects Egan's approach will catch on as abused hosts seek easier methods of dealing with conflict.
"It's one more way we're able to use the Internet in a passive-aggressive way," said Lizzie Post, great-great granddaughter of manners maven Emily Post.
"She found a way to (seek re-parations) where she didn't have to confront anyone in person or do it verbally over the phone. She also didn't have to get in anybody's face - although looking at the language she used, she still got in people's faces."
Though it's often assumed in polite society that hosts must bear the sins of their guests,
Post assures that's not the case. People just have to pick their battles, be respectful in their approach, and know that the outcome won't always be what's expected.
When a houseguest's dog tore up her wood floor, for example, Post repeatedly confronted the person about repairing the damage. The friend refused and the two are no longer on speaking terms.
"There's not a problem with asking people to pay for what they've done," says Post, the 25-year-old author of How Do You Work This Life Thing?
"That being said, if you throw a party and pass out halfway through without kicking everybody out and aren't guarding your personal space - which is your home to protect - then you're asking for a lot of trouble."