I don’t want to sound like a miserable old sod, a joyless moaning Minnie, a Billy no-mates sociopath, but I really hate parties. I know, what a bitch. What a bah humbug. Who hates parties? Well, me. I do. And I’m just fed-up of having to pretend otherwise.
I’m not a dull, boring person; I like fun as much as the next gal…sometimes I sing Girls Just Want To Have Fun in my head to myself for no reason (FUN!). It’s just my idea of fun is a little more informal and low-key; a nice dinner, a cosy night in, you get my drift?
If I’m seeing my friends I really want to see them, and talk to them, and not have to shout over a banging baseline or fight to get a seat (not doing myself any favours, eh?).
It’s not even that I’m bad at parties. I’m really quite good actually *blows own trumpet*. I can get mixed in, stick a smile on and get into the spirit with the best of them, but offer me a get out and I’m gone. Like the wind. Blink and you’ll miss me on the last train home, suckers.
It’s hard to pinpoint exactly what I hate about parties, because, well, I hate all of it. I hate the pre-party outfit anxiety, and the faff of getting ready (party hair, party make-up, party fucking knickers). I hate the false cheeriness and the forced conversation with new acquaintances (Siam…SIIII-AAAAM…M FOR MOTHER).
I hate the getting there, and even worse, the getting back. I hate the anticipation and the aftermath. I hate the cost. I hate it when they’re about someone else, and I hate it when they’re for me.
But, if I really had to pin it down I’d have to say that of all the tedious, unpleasant things about parties the most obnoxious is that they almost always come with an obligation to attend.
By their very nature a party is a celebration, usually of some fabulous milestone, often achieved by someone very dear to me, so how can I not attend? Even if it’s almost literally the last thing I want to do? I can’t. Parties are so tightly sewn into our social fabric that persistent non-attendance is just not an option.
As with most things that I dread (doing my taxes, going to the gym, brushing my hair), parties are rarely as bad as I build them up to be in my head. The journey is rarely as treacherous, the company rarely as bland, the cost rarely as extortionate; yet the pre-dread alone is enough to make me want to faux double book from now till eternity.
Except that wouldn’t help because the hateful party irony is this; no matter how much you hate attending parties, nothing is worse than missing one.
We’ve all been there; the one party you miss, the one time you’re double booked or are struck down by some deadly disease, or just think fuck it I wanna stay in and watch Masterchef, well that will be the party of the bloody century, won’t it? The party to end all parties. The night that your friends bang on about for years to come, sharing knowing glances and HE-larious anecdotes about the time when… and then… and oh don’t forget… MEGA-LOLZ! And you’ll just have to sit there hating yourself and desperately trying to think of a lolzy anecdote of your own to change the subject.
There are of course exceptions. There are always exceptions. Notable exceptions to my 'all parties are crap' rule are:
- House parties during your uni years - Parties where I know everyone - Outdoor parties on sunny days - Family Bar Mitzvah’s between the ages of 5 – 10
Yes, over the years there have been some great parties; some dance all night, look back and smile, remember forever parties, but they are few and far between. Most parties start with a soul-destroying journey on public transport and end with a brain-crushing hangover, and all that is in-between is a forgettable (sometimes regrettable), couple of hours I’d have preferred to have spent on the sofa… or even better, in bed.
So, you can see my dilemma: I hate parties, yet can’t avoid them. This tricky situation led me to develop my party pooper survival tips, developed over many years of reluctant party attendance:
1. Never go alone. Ever. EV-ER. People like us are not, I repeat NOT made for solo party surfing. Leave that to the freaks who actually want to be there.
2. Pick your plus one wisely. Make sure it’s a. someone who definitely won’t cancel. b. someone who won’t want to stay on longer than you will. c. someone who lifts your spirits.
3. Don’t stay sober. I do this a lot; it really doesn’t help.
4. Wear something comfortable. Adding being uncomfortable in your outfit into the being uncomfortable in the general situation mix is quite frankly just ridiculous.
5. Have a get-out plan. Don’t feel you have to stay the whole night. We’re all busy (ish….in our own heads) people; it’s totally acceptable, if slightly diva-ish, to sweep in and sweep out.
So, who’s with me? Are there any other party poopers out there? Do you have additional party survival tips? Do you feel as persecuted as I do? Or do you just think I’m a miserable old whine-bag? Come, share, heal!
For more moaning and general bah humbuggery follow me on twitter - @MissSisiG.