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Girls and Parties

"Partying" as a verb and concept makes me uncomfortable until I'm doing it.
December 16, 2011, 8:15pm

IMMERSION JOURNALISM HALLO I AM DRUNK! Except, I really am. Like, “partying” as a verb and concept makes me uncomfortable until I’m doing it. Here is a tally: first, I had a soda water, because I knew that after I attended my own goodbye party I would have to go home and write this, because in the hours today that I planned to write it I got really busy doing internets and putting on so much bronzer at my desk and just wrote little bitsies here and there. Wait, what? Then I had wine. Wines. White wines. What else. I also painted my left hand with the “Glitter In the Air” nail polish that my friend brought me for a present and forgot about my other hand. I was busy fancying around between my friends being fantastic/the worst. Anyway, herewith, a column. Uh, hello? Can we get the party started? Young Money! (I’m contractually obligated to reference my best Barbie once a day).

I’m sorry.


If girls own anything it’s pre-gaming, because getting ready for a party is both the transcendent and controllable part of even bothering to present yourself for social consumption and sipping on a drink while you’re constructing a workable persona is obviously necessary. Easy on the blow because then you’ll forget about the element of mystery. Remember, the magic formula for party outfits is something old, something new, something borrowed, something slutty. Get your dad’s shorts and your BFFFF’s bag happening and you can keep that ponytail from yesterday. (Welcome to Kate’s Academy of Dishabille; get into it.)

What I find so overwhelmingly lovely is how every girl, and I know every girl from the scaredy-cat nerdia majoras up to the ones I don’t even talk about because knowing them is post-Skull and Bones-level cool extremism, and every one of them listens to Mariah and Whitney (??!!) when she’s putting on her makeup. (Britney is for later).

Why are we even talking about this? Champagne, guy. Or, take a shot of tequila under your desk if you’re going straight from work.

These are a bummer for anyone who isn’t also in the midst of their own wedding/baby showers, not because you have to want it to understand it, but because going to someone else’s shower is like going to their office Christmas party. The lexicon is different; the expectations are both essential and invisible. Your non-enthusiasm will be apparent, even if you really love your friend and their thing, because the other girls who are inside of that moment too will just chemically out-do you. I am totally happy/fine going to other people’s wedding showers and baby showers and whatever until I get there and realize that this is a sanctioned, women-only event and that the guy-proxies are at home watching TV. There’s no more silent fury than watching some bish open presents while the patriarchy is winning. Also, some girls start being the worst when their non-unique life experience gives them a License to Cunt.


I had my goodbye party tonight/last night (I woke up!) since I’m going to be “wintering” (har, har) somewhere else on an extendamix vacation. You probably want to interview me about where I get my inspiration, don’t you?

My therapist asked me why people go to parties (this was because I had just finished a monologue about how weird I feel about how little I need to socialize, even though I go out constantly) and I was like “Easy. Sex and winning arguments.” Right? Why go out unless you need to bodyslam a Catholic about abortion, or have pre-sex in a bathroom? Obligation, I guess? But otherwise…

I’m offended by professional party girls not because they’re passing their youth and beauty to sweaty, stunted douchetards by the tongue-tip but because the experience is so vastly, hideously uniform, from the hair-and-makeup-and-clothes contract law (an excerpt: “Hair MUST be flat-ironed so that a tight gloss distracts from the fried ends… Lips MUST be frosted in the manner of a child’s plastic doll who got bukkake’d… Dresses MUST approximate the look and affect of a Herve Leger number…”) to how they talk. Like, I hear you in the bathroom, girl. I know you think I’m a dyke, but I’m listening with my straight-girl ears. And, I dunno, are you happy?

It’s been said (in VICE?) that nothing good happens after 4am. I’d dial that back to, like, midnight. For girls, who cannot and should not party-drink to the extent of boys (SORRY/TRUE/ASK YOUR MOM), for reasons of human physiology and date rape, getting flash-flood drunk and then leaving is far superior. Three glasses of wine in an hour or two hours is going to get you ripped sideways but then you’re sober enough after a minute to manage every other element of existence that is trying to tear you limb from limb, like your 1%y icepick shoes and taxi drivers and guys.


In high school, I broke my ankle in a ditch I was running away from some Socs from another school whose house party me and my part-time clique of older boy nerd-friends had sabotaged in a way too subtle and cruel to even explain lest I experience retribution (all of them have PhDs or MDs now, it’s gross). It still hurts sometimes. This is what “comeuppance” means, use it!

Counterintuitive partying of any kind (daytime drunk with your professors, office Christmas parties, remaining super-sober and upright at a rager) is the best.

The function of a party is to provide a temporary parallel world that fulfills what the regular world does not and cannot. In its most basic structure, a party—drinks, enforced intimacy, soft crushes of humans-on-humans, the democracy of being in a position to interact with everyone, not just your Chosen People of text fervors and @ music, the dark – is just a fake-out. A nice one. This is why people who party too much are so fucking proud of themselves: They think they invented/discovered the parallel world but haven’t been outside of it long enough to see its cardboard edges. Also, it’s why everyone else is like “I’m over parties. I’m staying home. Who needs this shit?” for a while before they start going to parties again.

There’s no girl-pretending that you weren’t sloring with someone else’s boyfriend or prospect because of cooooourse you were (do some vocal fry here) but that’s a-ok because during party tymes it’s perfectly acceptable, under cover of both the endorphin-charging festivities and the alcohol, to rub up on whomever you want. Going to a second location with a boy is where it gets serious. In the meantime, all that nice-nice is just getting to say and do what you want because a party context lets you.


This extends beyond our collective slutting. Like, dancing. Dancing at parties is the ultimate expression of humanity because it requires an overturning of reason, and risks upsetting your mirror-face version of your own attractiveness.

Sexytexting (I do not feel the word “sext”) is super-fun. But you know, when you’re by yourself? At night? And waiting around for some cock-tales (HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA) to come at you on your phone so you can get off and fall asleep? Dumb! Sexytexing while you’re drunk at a party, when it’s your little secret sub-activity, is better.

For my party dollar, a thing in the woods where you pee-pee on your jean-jeans and are alerted to your friends’ arrival by backpack-bottle clinking and the hushedness is punctuated by someone screamrunning with lit sparklers and their shirt off, is the best value.

I’ve spent all morning (four hours) recapping what I did last night and now I’m going to go get highlights byeeeeee!

Follow Kate on Twitter @KateCarraway

Previously – Girls and Sadness