How to Attend a Party: A Noob’s Guide

    May 8, 2013 at 4:30 am

    Picture a party. Did you picture either an MTV Spring Break-style production with half-naked drunken whores crawling up the walls, or a Magic The Gathering meetup (with nachos) between you and your neckbeard friends? If so you may need help knowing what to do when you’re invited to a real party. You know, one attended by men (without neckbeards) and women (cute, fully clothed and maybe smarter than you) whose more sophisticated mating rituals include conversations and dancing (not daggering).

    Here are some ways to ensure that your attendance is a pleasure, not a nuisance, and that you overall don’t act like a total dickbag. You probably just said, “I’m not a dickbag.” But remember this: The only difference between a nice person and a dickbag is that nice people can admit when they act like dickbags.


    The first thing to remember is that you want people to like you. The more people like you, the more likely you are to enjoy yourself and maybe even get laid. That means being agreeable, easygoing, polite, grateful to the host for even inviting you, and an all-around affable chum. Don’t be a tumor.

    Ask not what the party can do for you, but what you can do for the party. The party is doing you a favor.

    You were invited to a land of fun, drunkenness, single women, and maybe even some drugs or various other types of debauchery. The resident’s home will be used as your vessel to both pussy (or cock, if you’re one of those “women” types) and getting drunk (which you can hopefully do without taking your pants off). You should be grateful for the opportunities at hand and express that gratitude in the form of bringing at least your own fucking alcohol. You don’t need to provide for anyone else, but if the party is a more intimate gathering among many close friends, it’s always nice to bring an extra bottle of wine or case of beer for the place. People might actually think you’re a nice guy.

    The host is there to make sure everyone is having a decent time, no one’s getting raped in the guest bedroom, and most of the glass items are remaining intact. If the host is gracious enough to supply refreshments, don’t be a hog and remember to say thank you; most people notice who is and who is not an impolite, chugging leech.

    The host is not there to do shit for you.  If you have to ask, ‘how many cases of Mountain Dew do you plan to stock?’ You’re fucking up.

    If you want to be (and be thought of as) really nice, you might even go out of your way to ask the host if he or she needs any help if you see that person cleaning up a spill, mixing the date rape flavored punch, or cleaning vomit out of the fish tank.

    If some particular aspect of the party matters a lot to you for some stupid reason, such as wanting to force your shitty music on everyone else or desperately wanting all the lightbulbs to be replaced with black lights, ask permission to do that thing yourself. Music can be tricky because the host may have it covered and, if you’re a shitty DJ, you run the risk of ruining the party and making everyone hate you forever.

    Bring your iPod if you have a playlist you want to hear and play your music considerately if the host is cool with it. If you are permitted to play your shitty Animal Collective anthology, do what you have to do and get out of there. Don’t try to dominate the DJ booth or be awkward by telling others they can’t change what you’ve put on. You’re trying to be agreeable here, and you have plenty of time to listen to your show tunes when you’re back in mom’s basement.

    Going to a barbecue and want a specialty dish? What do you know how to make, fried spaghetti? While fried spaghetti is actually quite delicious, it’s clear by your use of the words ‘specialty dish’ that you have absolutely no fucking idea what you’re talking about when it comes to cooking. If you’re going camping or to a cookout and it’s your first time barbecuing, don’t try to create an iron chef meal; the result will be bad enough that Gordon Ramsay himself will emerge from the surrounding woods to berate both your food and your worth as a human being. Keeping it simple and successful is way more impressive than failing miserably.

    Refrain from getting ‘white girl wasted.’ In other words, no vomiting allowed. In fact, you want to stop drinking far before you reach ‘on the brink of vomiting,’ unless ‘on the brink of vomiting’ is how you usually roll and no one seems to mind (that is, people still invite you to these drinking functions).

    Actively Seek Conversation. It’s a party, you’re going to mingle. It’s okay if you find conversation with strangers boring. A lot of people who don’t like to mingle can still have fun at parties. Here are some games we play:

    – Find something interesting about the other person. This one’s self-explanatory. Just keep asking questions and making statements until you can elicit something about the other person that you don’t find completely boring.

    – TMI. The goal is to get the stranger you are talking to to share something way too personal WITHOUT asking a single uncomfortable or inappropriate question. Like this:

    You: Like this music?

    Stranger: No

    You: That’s cool. Is it the sound or the band you don’t like?

    Stranger: When I was a kid, my mom would lock me in the basement for days, blasting this song over and over and over.

    You: Jackpot.

    Don’t Grope Anyone. Be on your best behavior. Assume that you’re a mouthbreathing shit and try your hardest not to creep out every girl in the room. Don’t breathe on people, don’t hang over their shoulders, and don’t touch the waists of unsuspecting women who you have just met. No one wants to be touched unless they have expressly told you that they do. Be kind, polite, and keep a respectful distance from anyone you even think you have a chance of creeping out.

    And that’s your loose guide to partying without getting kicked to the curb in a puddle of your own regurgitated dinner. Notice how it’s more “do nots” than “do’s.” Above all, remember to be yourself even if it means getting ostracized and spending your life living under a bridge, wallowing in misery.

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