As a mature adult (LOL) I’ve attended my fair share of tailgates. I’ve tailgated sporting events, concerts, and even a funeral (but in my defense, my grandpa would’ve loved the fact that we were taking shots in a church parking lot for him). In my adventures and travels, I have had successes and failures, but above all, I have learned how to tailgate like a damn pro. At the end of the day, having a successful tailgate isn’t just about getting rip-roaringly drunk. It’s about having a lot of fun, avoiding negative consequences, and making some great bad decisions–all while being rip-roaringly drunk.
With free beer, slutty sundresses, and flirting with everyone who crosses your path, you can’t help but love this tailgating time of year.
1. Master the art of drinking.
When it comes down to it, I’m pretty sure this whole “football” business was created so college kids could turn an otherwise boring day into a dramatic, chaotic, binge-drinking filled day of fun. But there is a right and a wrong way to drink at a tailgate. First, be prepared. Don’t arrive expecting to mooch off of everyone else’s alcohol (even though you will). Have a mug or a flask in your hand (assuming you’re 21) so it at least looks like you brought your own. If you’re under 21, the ol’ soda can filled with wine trick works every time. And, of course, pace yourself. You want to be at the “happy” drunk level, not the sobbing in the corner telling your best friend you love her level. Drink liquor, switch to beer, and always remember to drink water. Or don’t, and pass out from dehydration and regret. Whatever.
2. Properly stalk the guys you like.
One of the best parts about tailgating is that everyone is running around, and they’re all filled with liquid courage and the desire to get laid. Including that guy who you have the absolute hots for. Problem is, you don’t want to seem clingy and hang around him the whole time, but you also don’t want to leave him up for grabs, where all of the other bitches can drunkenly snatch him. The key? Text him before the tailgate agreeing to meet up “at some point.” This indicates he knows you’re coming, he should expect you at some time, and he better be on his best behavior. Then you casually make your way over to his location at some point and stay until the game starts or the two of you leave to have a little contact activity of your own.
3. Run into guys you don’t like.
Seeing guys you don’t like is a very weird emotion. On one hand, running into an ex, an former casual hookup, or the guy who broke your friend’s heart kind of sucks. On the other hand, this dramatic run in is something most of us crave, whether we admit it or not. So, if doing the oh so casual bump into the old flame is on your agenda for the tailgate, learn to do it right. As with running into guys you like, there is an art. Don’t hover, arrive when things are in full swing, and don’t make a beeline directly for him. Let the flow of the social environment take you to him, and do a casual, “Oh, hi. How’s it been?” Chat for as little as possible, then head over to flirt with his friend and grab a beer. Trust me, you’ll need both.
4. Accept the fact that you’ll see girls you don’t like.
Unfortunately, as with most social events, there tend to be people there who you’d rather not see. Or be reminded that they exist. When you come across the bitch you hate, you only have two options. Avoid her like Ebola, while sending the occasional death look her way; or, pocket your shit, behave like a lady, and make nice with her. Whatever you do, do not drunkenly discuss the guys you both slept with, that those pants make her look fat, or ask her why she is, in fact, such a gapped-toothed bitch. Time and place, ladies. Time and place.
5. Don’t seek shelter in your sorority house.
Your sorority house, which was once a safe haven, could actually become a very dangerous place during a tailgate. For the most part, the house is empty, because your sisters know how to have a good time. Unfortunately, in every chapter, there are those few girls who don’t like happiness, and they stay home to do homework, be miserable, and destroy other people’s lives. Beware of these girls. Sure, running in the house and trying to hook up in the guest bathroom seems like a great idea after a day of chugging beer, but when you wake up to a killer headache, a letter from standards, and months of dirty looks from “do-gooders,” you’ll wish you would have avoided your “home away from home.”
6. Safety is key.
And, as always, safety first. Don’t pass out from heat exhaustion, alcohol poisoning, or from the bad decision to make out with your 60-year-old film professor. Make sure someone knows where you are at all times, but above all, live it the fuck up. While, you know, making choices that won’t ruin your entire future. Or liver..