This weekend I was lounging poolside with Grown-Up Party’s editor-at-large, Miss Lizzy Karp, and she was trying to convince me that and her and her handsome husband “don’t party”. With my jaw dropped I yelled a serious “AS IF”, as they are literally famous for drinking with pals till 4 am on a regular basis. Lizzy then admitted that they do that often, but “that isn’t partying”.
We then realized that as a society, we have not come to a consensus on how to ARTICULATE the many varying degrees of partying. And if we can learn to articulate these different party-types, (similar to how a few years back everyone was into identifying their “language of love“), then we will better be able to communicate to friends, loved-ones or partners WHAT KIND OF PARTY YOU NEED for that particular night.
SO, here is my best attempt to categorize the party archetypes (of course there will be sub-categories within these, but those will have to be for another time). And although these will be time-specific for their origin of when these party types are often formed, the beautiful thing is no matter how old you are, after you read these you will be able to request that kind of party type at any age:
1. HIGH SCHOOL PARTY
Overview: Sit in the corner (or parking lot, or park, or ANYWHERE really) and take a bunch of shots really fast, then go party. The main purpose here is to get drunk. FAST.
Music: Anything you can do a lot of “body rolls” to (here is a tutorial, and for the record – it is nothing like twerking)
Wear: CHOKER necklaces (based on the embarrassing photos below)
When to request this night out: usually after a break-up or significant loss
2. UNIVERSITY PARTY
Overview: identified by there being a DRESS-UP theme. Lots of drinking, but it’s over a whole night. The main factor here is that dressing up is super fun, and gives you a free pass to get crazy and lose all inhibition (because alcohol is not that free pass anymore – those were for high school parties when the thing known as “the sloppy drunk” was popular).
Music: Anything you can sing along to. LOUDLY. Whether you are around a campfire or not.
Wear: Whatever the dress-up theme is!
When to request this night out: as an adult we relive this party type every Halloween, but you can also request it when you just need a really good night out. One of my most memorable nights in my mid-20s is a famous dress-up party called “underwear and boots” at the China Cloud. It is now legend (and photo evidence below on the right).
3. SINGLE LADIES PARTY
Overview: You are out of college/university, making a little bit of money, and you go out DANCING ALL NIGHT. The other 6 out of 7 nights of the week you are losing your shit over “what you are doing with your degree and life”, but one night on the weekend you feel independent, empowered, and that you can just freaking dance till 6 am. Also the majority of friends you are going out with aren’t in relationships, so there are still crazy hook ups happening.
Wear: Whatever you feel sexy in. High Heels.
When to request this night out: Most ladies I know yearn for these night outs because they just want a night to let it all out on the d-floor, but are stumped when they can’t find a place with good music (that doesn’t have a long line, d-bags, or cover charge). My suggestion is to just turn your living room into the club.
4. GROWN-UP PARTY
Overview: Go out to dinner, or an event, or even to a party, but ultimately end up back at your friends house with just a few couples and end up boozing till 4 am while watching hilarious youtube videos.
Wear: Whatever you feel comfortable in. Flats.
Music: Rdio or Songza playlist, or whatever music is playing on the Youtube videos.
Why you have so many nights like this once you are over 25: this is a function of quite a few things – lots of people being in relationships, really just wanting to hang out with your closest friends, and not wanting to spend $15 on one cocktail because you are attempting to pay off a wedding or mortgage.
Now there are so many other kinds of parties I know I missed – weddings, bachelor/bachelorette parties, music shows, etc – but I think these 4 archetypes cover a lot of ground. And I as I previously mentioned, I think any of these nights can happen at any point of your life and be equally as memorable, but the key is to switch it up once in awhile. Try to have one of each archetype a year. And at the very least, take this “language of partying” and recognize to yourself, or your partner, what you need! Because I guarantee if you are feeling antsy for a night out of dancing, or a night in with your best friends, if you can recognize that and make it happen, you will be a happy soul.