Wednesday, February 10, 2010


If you are going out dancing, it is much more fun to gather all your friends at your apartment and have a little party beforehand. It doesn’t have to be elaborate of course, since it is not the main event, but if you take pride in your home and do something a little extra for your friends, the night will be that much more special.
Get the night off to a good start by implementing these THREE STEPS: 
1.) Proper Music
2.) Delicious Cocktails
3.) Open Closet + Powder Room Policy.

The first factor in setting any tone is the music. Going-out songs that get you feeling like you are in a Beyonce music video (see below) will boost confidence, pump adrenaline, and ready you to dance the night away. These rallying tunes are known as “jams”-- yes, as in “Oh hot damn, this is my jam”. Be forewarned, this is not your cool hipster moment. This is your let loose and dance moment.

The proper jams will make you think this is you. 
With a wind machine and backup dancers.

There are several good jams, but some remain classic or obtain sentimental meaning, and these will get your hips moving no matter what. And that is all you can ask for from jams. Music snobbery is beside the point here. Everyone is fully aware that autotune beats are not actual music and that rap lyrics are embarrassingly bad. But that is what makes it fun. You can’t argue that you nonetheless feel the urge to break it down when you hear these silly songs, and we can all go write analytical essays on Tchaikovsky appreciation later. 
Prepare to dominate the banquettes with some of the best pre-party jams:

                                                         - Beautiful Dirty Rich by Lady Gaga
                                                         - Circus by Britney Spears
                                                         - Disturbia by Rihanna
                                                         - Stunna Glasses by the Federation
                                                         - I'm Illi by Lil Wayne
                                                         - LaLaLa by Jay-Z
                                                         - Low by Flo Rida
                                                         - Naughty Girl Remix by Beyonce
                                                         - Run This Town by Jay-Z ft. Kanye West and Rihanna
                                                         - SexyBack by Justin Timberlake
                                                         - Whatever You Like by T.I.
                                                         - Encore by Jay-Z
                                                         - Hypnotize by Notorious B.I.G
The best way to execute this essential aspect of your pre-party is to have an iPod pre-equipped with a playlist entitled “Jams” that you can then plug into a dock in the powder room at full volume.

Elemental in setting a celebratory tone, cocktails in the home are also important because they curb alcohol consumption in the lounge / club / bar. This has a few advantages: 

                    1.) It's budget conscious and socially conscious: As a matter of principle, $15 for a
                          watered-down vodka tonic is lame (especially when consuming more than 
                          one) and letting a boy buy you one when you're just going to bail on him in 
                          favor of the dance floor is equally lame 

                    2.) You have no idea whether the tonic and other mixers will be the legit kind or                                         
                           laden with cheap kind laden high fructose corn syrup... gross.

                    3.) There may or may not be bacteria on the lime that the bartender / bottle 
                          girl just used her bare hands to stick in your drink 

                    4.) Decreased on-site boozing = decreased likelihood of becoming That Girl at
                           the party. Enough said.

In summary, Regina George’s mother is actually correct in this case.

So what do serve in your home? Well, at my apartment, it's always champagne. You can serve it alone or cocktail it up with a splash of gin and pure sparkling juice. Plus, it makes a glorious fun sound when opened that puts everyone in a great mood!  Lord Maynard Keynes claimed on his deathbed that his only regret was not drinking more of it, and Dom Perignon himself exclaimed that it is like “tasting stars”. 

Champagne is supposed to be celebratory, and that’s great, because every day IS a celebration! In the “Forever Young” words of Jay-Z, you should “Live life like a video, when the  champagne’s always cold and the music’s always good”. And now, you have both of those elements taken care of.

Dorothy Draper used to say that when her guests would start arriving to her party, she would still be slightly amiss to put them at ease. For example, she would not yet have her shoes on, or would still be wearing her apron. That way, you engage the guests in an activity of helping to get ready, which makes them feel useful and sets a more casual, inviting tone. I agree with Dorothy, it is much more fun when you aren’t totally ready. Encourage your girls to just come on over with their dress options, even if they aren’t totally ready, and let them know that they are welcome to go through your closet. Then you can all try on things together and consult each other, making everyone feel confident and beautiful in whatever they choose. (Plus you have just exponentially multiplied the dress options for everyone.) 

The same goes with your powder room. Tell your girls to bring their make-up if they haven’t finished, because you are no where near ready either. Grooming has been a bonding ritual between women throughout history, and coupled with the jams and champagne cocktails, it’s nearly as fun as going out itself. 
On a side note, it is completely understandable if you don’t feel comfortable loaning your dresses. But you know you have a million little $15 Forever 21 frocks that you are over but would look amazing on your friend. So hide the ones you aren’t willing to share and at least pretend to be generous, because it makes your friends feel closer to you and at home in your apartment. 

- Call the cab ten minutes before you want to leave, and listen for your phone so you know when they arrive and won’t leave you. Don’t forget your keys, ID or phone. You obviously want your compact, lipstick, and credit card as well, but the first three are no joke.
- Make sure you have four 5-dollar bills for the cab ride. If you only have large bills, you will probably be paying for the whole thing, and if you have none, you are a freeloader. Cards irritate the cabbies greatly, so it is best to avoid having to use them, unless you want to hear very bad things being said about you in a foreign language. 
- Always make eye contact, smile, and say good night to the gate guard at your complex. It lets him know that you are a nice girl and are still sober, and it will make him more likely to let you in if you don’t have keys, be lenient about noise complaints when you have cocktail parties, and keep your ex-boyfriend at bay when he shows up to profess his undying love for you.

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