There once was a time I was a chipper twenty-something, eager to paint the town red. Come to your dinner party? Of course! Bar crawl into the wee hours? I’m in. Club free before 12? I’ll see you at 11! Follow you into a borough I’m not familiar with? And you don’t know how we’ll get home? Bitch yes! I was always down for the cause. That was age twenty-two. Fast-forward five years later, and not even free food will get me out of bed.
I don’t know why it took me so long to realize how awesome it is to stay home. I save so much money, I don’t have to wear pants, and if I want a little company I could just dial a friend (bonus: saying goodbye to your friend doesn’t include hopping into an icky subway.)
Though my homebody lifestyle brings me much joy, it’s getting in the way of social life. It’s a Friday night and I’m in my finest onesie. Just as I try to get comfy with some gummy bears and an umpteenth rewatch of Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, my phone goes off.
“Where are you?”
“OMG this [enter event located 100 miles away] is happening! Come out!”
Over the years, I’ve gotten real good at saying “no.” My “no” game is so on point, I don’t even have to offer supplementary excuses anymore. But there’s only so many times I can “reschedule.” My extrovert friends are follow-up masters and they will make sure my ass shows up somewhere eventually.
I really hate being that friend — the one who never shows up to anything or leaves too early. I don’t mean to be such a recluse, I just get anxiety from being out too late or being around too many people for too long. Plus, the weekend is the best time to catch up on all the sleep I’ve missed out on during the week. Nevertheless, whenever I go out with friends, no matter how reluctant I am, I actually end up having a great time.
Still, the great times aren’t always worth the effort put into getting cute, traveling around the city, and staying out too late. Recently, I’ve found ways to stay social without much hassle. It’s all about time management and staying comfortable.
Subscribe to event listings
Never struggle with the “what should we do?” question ever again. If you’re a lazy planner like I am, I suggest subscribing to weekly event listings. The Skint has offered me plenty date ideas - most of them free too! This is perfect for when that out-of-town friend or relative comes to visit and you want nothing more than to avoid Times Square at all costs.
Stay in on sundays
I don’t like going out on Sunday nights because I prefer to prepare for the upcoming misery that is Monday morning. But you know, those crazy kids you call friends always have something fun to do on a Sunday night. Give them a smooth hell no, and plan a day date instead. In the winter, the daytime appears to be much shorter than the nighttime, so there’s a bonus. A boozy brunch with friends is always fun and doesn’t take too much of your time. Down that mimosa and back to bed you go!
The absolute laziest way to stay social is to stay local. Sometimes the coolest places are closer than you realize. I’m sure there’s a local restaurant nearby that you haven’t tried, or maybe there’s an art gallery around that you don’t even know about. Exploring your hood can make a lazy Sunday super exciting.
Bars over clubs...always
I don’t do clubs. I don’t know how I ever did the club life in the first place. Pinchy heels? Drinks spilling all over the place? Creepy old guys breathing down your neck? Standing in line because your homegirl didn’t actually know the club promoter like that, after all? Nope, I’m good. I prefer to dress casual and dance my ass off to the jukebox, cover charge-free, thank you very much.
Let’s go to the movies
Remember that friend you keep “rescheduling” with? Stop being shitty and just hang out already. I get it, I hate having to go out too. A great way to fulfill your lazy desires and still have a social life is by going to the movies -- yes, the original Netflix and chill. You don’t have to dress up or entertain (the movie is doing it for you!) Even more awesome -- you effortlessly just spent 2.5 hours with your friend. How’s that for quality time?
Coffee/tea dates are great because they are cheap and can last for hours (sort of like my ex). Last weekend, my friend and I were both too lazy to do anything major so we chose to catch up over hot chocolate. Best idea ever. There’s something about cafes that just spark deep and thought-provoking conversations. We showed up in our chicest sweaters and leggings and spent hours chatting away.
Stick to one neighborhood
One of the most annoying things about being social in a big city is the constant transportation. You can agree to do dinner in the East Village but somehow by 3am you end up in Bed-Stuy. The best way to have a good night/day out with friends is to stick to one neighborhood. Choose a location where there’s a bunch of fun shit to do within walking distance. Ain’t nobody got time for planes, trains, and automobiles.
Commit to one activity
This tip is essential, especially when you’re hanging with the, what I like to call, “hidden fee friend.” This is the friend who stealthily always manages to get you to extend your agreed plans beyond your lazy limits. One minute we’re having drinks and the next we’re at some unforeseen house party. Commit to one activity, preferably an event that has a time limit (like an art show or concert.)
I can’t stay long because…[reasons]
This tip is an aid to the one above. When you let your friend know from the beginning that you can’t stay out too long, it makes it easier to say goodbye and return to your pjs. Obligations don’t even have to be work-related; taking care of cute tiny creatures is also a good enough reason to leave early.
Hopefully this makes going out this weekend a bit easier. Take photos, post it to the ‘gram, look all social-like. Enjoy yourself! Sticking to casual situations and local-friendly events are key. It’s tough making an effort to get dressed and leave the house, especially during the cold season. But, the unforgettable moments with friends are worth the pants.