Long the subject of a certain kind of sophomoric movie, a night out with only men or only women traditionally ends with one or more arrests and guests having to make bail before the sun rises. Segregating the sexes is always an iffy proposition and alcohol doesn’t help the phenomenon. However, properly given, such a night out is one of the nicest ways there is to repay social obligations to friends and a great alternative to lunch.

For a ladies night out, the only hard and fast rule is no men, children or strippers. The only requirement for the menu is chocolate and wine, both of which come in all budgets. Don’t skimp on the menu, don’t ask your friends to BYOB and don’t feel obligated to make any of those all-liquor cocktails with cute names. Women have a lower threshold for alcohol.

The purpose of the evening is to catch up on each other’s lives in a relaxed, elegant atmosphere, so make sure the conversation flows and the company is compatible. Since most women will have little experience with this type of gathering except for childhood slumber parties, bachelorette romps and baby showers, you may have to give your guests some guidance. Don’t require your female friends to play games. Likewise, selling makeup, Tupperware or anything else is off limits. The gathering may take place indoors or out, a fire pit is fine, but any discussion of “Fifty Shades of Grey” and “Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants” is strictly forbidden. Just don’t invite that person next time.

For a men’s night out, omit all of the above except for alcohol and strippers.

Patricia Gannon covers society for The Acadiana Advocate. She can be reached at pgannon@cmaildrop.com or at pgannon@theadvocate.com.

Xanadu parties for 12th Night

They had to wear hip waders, but all’s well that ends well. Rooftop lights marked the spot at 200 Running Deer as if you could miss Bill and Joan Moody’s hospitality. All-day rain didn’t dampen the spirits of the Xanadu ladies, however, whose court princesses turned out in gold cowboy boots for gumbo and gifts. Doing the swim were Xanadu monarchs Donna Olivier and George deGravelle, Dr. Natalie Brasseaux, Lisa and Leon Ferguson, President Brenda Dudley, ball Captain Maxine Hollier, Head Muse Tammy Sonnier, Mark and Monica Lyon and Princess Susan Doucet, who said, “This is more fun than anything.”

Triton holds 12th Night party

The merry men of Triton welcomed Mardi Gras with a traditional 12th Night party at the Cajundome. Queen Kelly Ortego flashed her crown and pretty smile, while King Troy Knight supervised some friendly hazing for Triton’s new dukes. “It’s a wonderful rite of passage for us — not them,” laughed past king Chuck Peddy. Mardi Gras-ready were Ray and Danielle Schrock, Kevin Couvillion, Peter and Kathy Piccione, Rita Goodrich, proud papa Jim Ortego, pageant Queen Danielle Couvillion, new Duke Noah Brandon, both past and present Xanadu Kings Darryl Myers and George deGravelle, who said “Heavy sits the crown.”