When I turned 30 years back, I had a 60s theme party. Since I was born in 1969, I thought that would be cool (I'm writing about a 60s party in a few weeks for the Crasher column...I wore the same crazy shirt, which I was surprised still fit me).

I spend close to a thousand bucks on the party. I bought a lot of booze, even though I'm not really a drinker.

I had a collection of old rock posters, but needed to buy a few things like lava lamps and beads, to really create the right vibe.

I made a few mix CDs, so you would hear a variety of 60s songs. And...I wanted the most pyschedlic. I didn't want to just have Sgt. Pepper or Disraeli Gears playing. I wanted you to hear In-A-Gadda Da-Vida, followed by Incents and Peppermints.

I rented Easy Rider and The Graduate, so they would be playing on different TVs.

And, since I don't cook, a lot of food was purchased.

I remember thinking it's crazy that people spend so much to throw parties.

I thought about that today when I attended a party in Kearny Mesa. A doctor put it on, and he had the food catered. Lots of booze and non-alcoholic drinks. And the best part...he didn't charge people.

I went to a party at a plastic surgeons place in Encinitas last year. He was charging $15 a person.

He could clearly afford to throw a party without charging people. And...if you can't, don't have the party. Or throw a small one.

It's the same with weddings. I read in Dear Abby a few months back, about a "pot luck" wedding. Now, I would have no problem going to one. But...not sure if I would feel like bringing a wedding present I spent $100 on, if I'm also bringing potato salad.

I remember as a kid, my parents got invitations to parties that said "BYOB". I thought, that's perfect. Telling someone to bring their own bottle, because some might not drink. Or they might not the selection you have. And, it keeps the costs slightly in check.

But, I've seen other parties that ask you to bring your own drinks, and they ask you to bring a side dish as well. I wonder what it is the host of the party is providing, other than the house to have the get-together.

A day will come, when you'll be asked to bring over the booze, a main dish, and someone will be asked to bring lighter fluid. Another person will be asked to bring a grill. Others will be asked to bring utensils.

Maybe you'll even be asked to put up a canopy in the backyard, too.

And that's another thing. The host shouldn't ask people to do a lot of extra things. Believe me, you'll have a lot of nice folks offering to help you clean up. Or to make a run to the store if you are low on ice. Don't start assigning tasks.

If you do that, it's tacky. And ya know what? People will be talking about it behind your back. Trust me. I've heard 'em.

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