By: Dave Infante
As an adult, you're going to go to parties. They are not like the glorious college bashes you threw with all your friends. There are fewer dance floors, fewer kegs, fewer reasons to stay... fewer everything, really. Grown-up parties can get pretty bleak, in fact, and these are the bleakest of them all. We've ranked them for suckery from "nearly tolerable" to "dying cannot be worse than this," just so you know what you're up against.
13. Your own birthday
Despite the fact that birthdays are a tangible celebration of the biological truth that you are closer to death, they can often be fun. Sure, you might not want to make a big deal out of it, but any party where you're the center of attention and your friends buy you drinks simply isn't that bad.
12. Open-bar weddings
For a stretch in your late 20s, it may feel like the only reason you have a job is to pay for all the weddings you have to go to. This may even be true. But it's not all bad! Even though you can't be the center of attention here, someone else is still paying for your good time. At their best, open-bar weddings are just big, boozy, well-dressed parties that someone else planned, executed, and will clean up afterward. Plus you get to gator to "Shout!" Woo!
11. Bachelor/bachelorette parties
Stag/hen weekends are usually pretty OK. They cost a lot: you'll have to spring for travel & booze, plus incidentals like strippers or jumbo inflatable penis hats and a tiara made out of twizzlers. But you'll probably have enough fun that the debauch seems almost worth it when you're back at work the following Monday. Again: "pretty OK." Nothing more, nothing less.
10. Friend moving from/returning to your city
Going-away/coming-home parties are just excuses for a bunch of disparate groups to get together and lavish attention whichever friend they all have in common -- like Todd, who just took a job in San Francisco. You usually have to buy your own drinks and suffer through a few awkward "so how do you know Todd" conversations, but these are generally tolerable.
9. Company holiday parties
Do you like a few of your coworkers, and absolutely loathe the rest of them? Perfect! Drink deeply on the company's bar tab and talk wild crap about the latter with the former. Is this how you'd like to spend a precious evening during the holiday season? Of course not. Don't be ridiculous. But it would look bad if you weren't here, so put a lampshade on your head and make the best of it.
8. Coworker leaving happy hour
If you have a cool boss, he/she will open a tab to cover a few rounds. If you don't have a cool boss, you probably shouldn't go, because canceling your ambitious gym-to-Netflix plan to instead buy yourself drinks and get anxious about how your career is stalling while your peers' are blossoming is... uh, not ideal. Plus, your boss isn't cool, which means showing up late the next morning is a no-go.
Apparently, some people expect you to bring, like, actual apartment furnishings to their housewarming parties. Did you know this? It's absurd. Even if you don't come across one of these delusional maniacs, housewarmings are an unpleasant adventure into the home of a stranger. You'll either be jealous how big it is, uncomfortable because of how small it is, or embarrassed because it's way cleaner than your place. No matter what, they'll run out of beer like three times.
6. Other people's birthdays
Right at the beginning of your post-college existence, all your friends are going to do "wristband open-bar" birthday parties. These are categorically terrible: too expensive, too crowded, and invariably hosted by gross, hypothetically Irish bars. But don't take my word for it -- go experience a few for yourself. You'll see.
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