It has happened. I’m all moved in at the Mayo (hotel, not building). I’ve purchased a sectional, my too-small TV rests atop my underwear drawer in the living room, we eat off of a refrigerator box, and my roommate is currently sleeping on an air mattress. Ah, early adulthood at its finest.
A big part of moving on from the glory days of college to adult life is wondering how your social life is going to change. This was a huge concern of mine–I’m a social kind of girl, going to work and coming home to prime time and take-out just isn’t my idea of an ideal 20something life. Luckily, last week answered a lot of questions for me.
Here it is, a dichotomy of sorts for separating college keggers from mature get-togethers. Heed this information little grasshoppers–you wouldn’t want to embarrass yourself.
Invites. In college, a simple Facebook Event and “select all” button was all that was needed to throw a bumpin’ party. Adulthood requires a bit more exclusivity–you don’t want your ex-roommate’s friend’s cousin’s boyfriend who dabbles in drug dealing to know where you live. In fact, when it comes to weekend activities, avoiding Facebook in general is a good rule to follow. Pictures of you double-fisting beer cans or doing a keg stand no longer makes you look like a badass, it makes you look like a raging idiot. You might have your job secured, but you have your dignity to lose.
If you want to keep it real classy, send out an evite, but remember to keep it vague. Dinner parties, cocktail galas, or charity events are fine archived in your work inbox, but an invitation to a strip club for a bachelor party probably is not. And as always, let the host know if you are bringing guests, and never show up unexpectedly–that’s just tacky.
Dinners. In Norman, a “family dinner” would consist of Pizza Shuttle and a box of Franzia. Now, expect something that requires a little bit of preparation and wine that at least requires a corkscrew. If you’re the host, food from scratch is not required, but at least pitch the KFC bucket and styrofoam containers so the fact that you’re serving fast food isn’t quite so obvious. If you’re a guest, pick up a bottle of wine (not Carlo Rossi) or bring a bit of dessert (not Chips Ahoy).
A step up from the family dinner is the dinner party. These are fancier, usually involve hor d’oeuvres and cocktails, and sometimes (well, at least on Sex and the City and Desperate Housewives) requires you to bring a date. Date selection is extremely important–after all, you’re bringing someone into your inner circle of friends and you know they’ll be judging the shit out of your guest. Be sure that they’re intelligent enough to keep up with the conversation, but not so smart that they lack social skills. They should contribute a few funny anecdotes, but not be an attention whore. It’s a delicate balance.
Libations. The days of trashcan punch and 30 packs of Keystone are behind us. Although you might be jonesin’ for a jello shot, do those in the privacy of your own home. From now on, stick with adult drinks–microbrews, obscure wines, martinis that aren’t pink or green, old fashions, or anything mixed with tonic.
Another key difference between college life and adulthood is that you DO NOT want to be THAT guy or girl. Dancing on the table with your eyes half open no longer makes you the life of the party, it makes you the embarrassment of the party. Throwing up is absolute social suicide.
Activities. Taking shots are completely out of the question, as is any activity that requires coins, solo cups, sticking tap spouts in one’s mouth, or slapping bags. The last thing a 20something needs is pock marks on their brand new Ikea table from a bunch of quarters slammed on it. Any rowdy activity should be avoided–if you spill your red wine on a friends’ carpet, guess what? You get to replace it.
Stick to mature pastimes, like discussing current events or work. Party games like Apples to Apples and Catchphrase are always a hit. If you’re the host, it’s extremely important to provide entertainment for the sober folk–after all, hangovers at our age last 3 days and we now have responsibilities to attend to.
Transportation. Now that we’re making some money, be classy and take a cab everywhere. Drunk and even tipsy driving is never okay, nor is expecting the host of the party to house you. I have a handful of close friends with an open invitation on my couch, but that developed over years of friendship, respect, and a clear track record. Never assume that you’re invited to stay the night not matter how many guest rooms someone has–there’s nothing worse than an annoyed host. An angry host will not only shove you in a cab, but they’ll whisper to the taxi driver to take the scenic route to your house.
Of course, if you’re one of the lucky few with a permanent spot reserved at a friends’ house, it’s important to offer the same courtesy. A toothbrush for a toothbrush, if you will. Similarly, if you’re the sober one, offer your friends a ride home–don’t worry, they’ll pay the favor forward.
Thoughts/comments/concerns? Leave a comment and let us know!