Tag Archives: advice

Home for the Holidays: Party with Your Parents

party-buffet

Home for the holidays? Do yourself a solid, hang out with your parents & their friends. You’re too old to be dragged to one of your parents’ social events, you should be tagging along willingly. So for a day (or night) trade in your kegs & Jäger for a grown up affair of bottled beer, cocktails & delicious food for free ninety-nine.

When you’re in town, your parents will most likely introduce you to an insane amount of people. While you’ve been off at school or working your big city job, your parents have probably spent a good chunk of time talking about you. They’ve been keeping absolute strangers in the loop when it comes to your life. See, whether they know it or not, parents enjoy swapping kid stories long after so-called kids have graduated high school, gone off to college, got a promotion, etc. And, while you’re back in your hometown, your parents will introduce to their friends who, I hope, have only heard good things about you. Parties are a great way to maximize face time with your parents and their buddies as you shamelessly eat & drink everything in sight.

lafayette-margarita

Before you leave the house, know what you’re getting into and ask your parents what’s up (alcohol, designated driver, etc). CYA and BYOB if need be, but you should be in good hands. You might be able to save your twenty-something – age and/or amount – dollars. Plus, a Jäger-free bar, stocked with out-of-budget booze really lifts the spirits. Definitely something to consider before you make a mistake & flake on your parents. C’mon, go to the party, it’s the least you can do.

While thirdwheelin’ with your parents, in quest of superior booze and foods, please exercise caution.

Caution: Before you make a beeline for the bar, do yourself a favor and eat something.

Actually, eat EVERYTHING. Hors d’oeuvres & buffets are pretty much the social norm when it comes to adult affairs. A far cry from a sad sack of Lay’s & PBR of our younger, wildly inexperienced years, parties become virtually synonymous with eating and “cheat days” after a certain age. What age exactly? Whenever you put your foot down and say “NO MORE VOMIT COVERED BATHROOMS”. See, hosts don’t expect their guests to shave, shower, sit through traffic and scarf down a 3-course meal before a soirée. No. Instead they arm themselves with multiple snack bowls, a buffet area, and sometimes even a grill. They come prepared so you don’t have to.

A properly lined stomach is the best defense for a puke free powder room.

food-dinner-party-girls

Speaking of which… The best defense is a great offense. Hosts take it upon themselves to make you feel at home right away. In one breath, the host has shoved an appetizer in your hand, served you a drink, and introduced you to a handful of people. The best icebreakers include , “can I get you a drink?”, “you have to try (insert food here)” and my all-time favorite “would you like to be a judge in our rib cook-off?”

Every party is not structured around some sort of cook-off, and that’s okay. But, if your parents allude to any kind of culinary competition, THAT is the party you should be saying YES to. Over the summer, I had the pleasure of attending a rib cook-off with my parents (I love ribs!) When I was asked to judge 4 different rib recipes, I accepted this great responsibility with honor. Each chef had been marinating over flavor combinations, dressings and textures for the past 12 months. There was even a miniature grill shaped trophy for 1st place. Don’t be fooled, a friendly competition is still a competition. That said, even the friendliest of competitions can make grown men act like school children. Taunts were made, happy dances were danced & the winning was not particularly won gracefully. If I had been intimidated earlier, I surely wasn’t by then.

Lesson: At the end of the day, we all just want to shoot the shit with our friends.

Be social. It’s not always easy to carve yourself a space among long-time friends. If you’re ever stuck looking for conversation topics, stick to what you know (school, job, travel, blog…). No one expects you to roll out with a 5-year plan over cocktails. You’re there to have a good time, sure, but also so that your parents’ friends can put a face to a name. They’re not interviewing or criticizing you. Relax!

Note: Shameless self promotion works fairly well here.

betty-white-self-promotion

Once you’re comfortable, don’t be afraid to showcase your twenty-something skills. Good at editing pictures? Show someone your favorite editing app. Speak another language? Teach someone to say something useful or fun.

At the end of the party, the hosts were discussing customized cars. Out of nowhere, the term “murdered out” pops up & eyebrows were raised. Before we knew it, the hosts were going back and forth debating if the term even existed. Somehow, I found myself in a warped, adult version of “Kids Say the Darndest Things” where I stood in for Bill Cosby, and my parents’ peers the children. Assuming my new role, laughing my way to 6-pack abs I let the ridiculousness ensue. Eventually, I settled the Great Murdered Out Debate by pulling up the Urban Dictionary definition on a phone:

Murdered out:
When a vehicle has both black paint and black aftermarket wheels. The window tint should also be really dark and other aftermarket accessories such as black taillight covers etc. should aid in blacking out the ride.

After you’ve laughed, cried, eaten everything & boozed, it’s time to go home. When everyone starts grabbing their purses, and dishes, calmly start searching for Mom and Dad. Your carriage awaits!

#1 Party Tip:

Annual. It’s really just a fancy way of saying “I can only do this shit once a year!” People will no longer expect you to throw more than one party per year.

Source: gif1 – gif2gif3definition

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Pre-planned Hangovers

pint beer

After a certain age, hangovers should be planned. Now, that doesn’t mean you can’t spontaneously have a night out on the town, but it does mean that you need to be prepared when you get home. Waking up in some new kind of hell, because it seems as we get older hangovers get stronger, longer and infinitely more evil, ultimately becomes unacceptable. There are a number of ways to prepare yourself for the drinking aftermath. I swear by bubbles. I refuse to be hungover and without the fizzy little bastards. When you don’t have whatever it is you need, you’ll curse that very same thing. Luckily, I’ve started buying a bottle (or two) of sparkling water to have around just in case. It’s a pretty solid insurance policy. Especially in the summer months where there tends to be a lot of goodbye parties, visiting friends and the odd quiz night where you end up winning a meter of shots.

After I sleepily downed nearly a liter of my saving grace, I was pretty damn spritely. Now water can do many things, but it does not make for a good meal. The last thing I’m trying to do while fighting off last night’s demons is to whip up anything time consuming. Ideally, this is where leftovers come in. They’re free, prepared and sometimes you don’t even have to heat them. Those are my favorite. Second best would be pizza. I’ve been guilty of drunkenly pre-ordering. I’m fairly sure that’s why Domino’s lets you schedule next day delivery in the wee hours of the morning. Who is soberly ordering pizza after 2am? Sometimes your wallet might hate you. Sometimes the doorbell becomes your mortal enemy. But every single time, you will eventually need to roll out of bed and get the damn pizza. Some days that is an easy feat but every now and again you feel like you’re training for a triathlon just trying to get some semblance of food into your belly. The day bedside pizza delivery happens will be a very joyous and dark day. I might just eat myself into a food coma I cannot come back from.

Now, I’m not one for popping pills, but sometimes even I give in. And when I do, it seems like the heavens open just enough to shine on my medicine cabinet with the Advil sat there, glittering in all its glory. You do not want to be caught empty handed with a tear-inducing headache. Especially not when shots happened the night before. Keeping a bottle of relief on hand will make you want to high-five your past self for being a responsible adult, especially when you mixed alcohols, despite knowing better.

I don’t know how many hangovers it takes to finally start planning for them. My guess is it’s different for everyone. All I do know is I’ve had enough, and I refuse to curl up in a ball and be punished for having a good time. If you’re not pre-planning your hangovers, you are essentially just punishing yourself. And we all could use less of that, and more self high-fives for being smart about it. If being equipped to take on a hangover (and the rest of your day) isn’t an act of self-love, I don’t know what is! I’ll cheers to that, but maybe not just yet.

Shout out to my team 43, for placing in last night’s quiz. Without you, I would not have blogged today. (Totally named our team after a bottle of delicious, vanilla flavoured booze. Should’ve known where the night was heading!)

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