For most people, the word “party” conjures up an image that is so intimidating, so overwhelming, so terrifying that they just want to skip the whole thing — it’s just too much pressure.

A party doesn’t necessarily have to be a big, extravagant to-do. A party can be as simple as a few people getting together for conversation and snacks. As my guests leave even my most simplest parties, I consistently hear the same thing: “That was the best time I ever had,” and it’s always me saying it. But I do know in my heart they all feel the same way, probably.

I don’t even like to use the word “party” because often the word gives people grand expectations. So when you see the word “party,” don’t think of pony kegs and loud Southern rock or cigarillos and businesswomen. Don’t think about cockfights — even though it’s hard not to. Don’t think tiki lights and fruity cocktails served in coconut shells on the patio, or a large group of drunken seamen clustered together shouting over each other.

Think simplicity. Because if there is one thing I am, it’s clinically simple.