Since we were in seventh grade, wearing bras we didn’t need, putting blush on our eyelids (don’t tell me you never mistook it for eye shadow), and hitting up our crushes on AIM before the school dance, we have held a fixation with the getting ready process. This isn’t news. You’ve likely been more or less aware of it for years. For some reason, when you dump your makeup from its bag to your friend’s bathroom counter, you’re transported right back to junior high. All of a sudden there are butterflies in your stomach, and you can’t help but imagine the possibilities that the night could hold. The coming hours bear nothing but potential, and as Selena Gomez bumps through the speakers, it’s impossible not to feel a little giddy.
The getting ready process is straight up magic. You stand in a line in front of the designated ‘getting ready’ mirror with your best friends, gossiping casually and assuring one another that you all look hot AF. Eventually, you emerge from the bathroom looking like you know you’re getting laid. You’re ready for the next stage. Ten times out of ten, you’ve already started to lowkey pregame the pregame. Maybe you’ve had a glass of wine in the shower, or a vodka soda while you curled your hair. Whatever. The point is — you’re slowly creeping up on the sweet spot of the night.
Honestly, it needs to be said. For every one party I’ve attended that was truly unmissable, I’ve been to at least twenty pregames. Maybe it’s just me, but the parties usually kind of suck compared to pregames.
Think about it for a second. When you roll up five girls deep to the pregame, you’re greeted by hugs from all your best friends (both girl and guy), along with happy squeals and the practically instantaneous sound of shots being poured. When you get to a party with the same squad, it’s a whole different story. The place is packed, hot, and the alcohol is across the room and usually hoarded by some bitches who got there earlier than you. You almost never see all the people that you meant to and even if you know someone with booze, you’d better be three sheets to the wind before you even show up.
At the pregame, everyone is close to, or getting close to, the perfect level of drunk. You’re still sober enough to be a little shy around the guy that you’ve been eyeing, but you’re tipsy enough that you could be the one who initiates the convo. If it goes well, the two of you can team up for beer pong or be on the same team for flip cup. Plus, the music and talking are quiet enough that you’re able to carry on a coherent conversation with little effort.
Let’s say you run into the same boy after the pregame at the party. You spot him from across the room. He’s fucked up, you’re fucked up — it’s awesome. You somehow found some game at the bottom of your fifth shot of tequila and the next thing you know, he’s yelling in your ear. You’re nodding and smiling because it’s the third time he’s tried to say the same sentence but you just can’t fucking hear over the Ty Dolla $ign thumping. Well, it turns out that you just nodded and smiled to him asking what you think about this season’s Bachelor so far. Great. Now you’ve not only missed out on a chance to comment on Amber’s abnormally large mouth AND this kid thinks you’re a little off. He’s probably the only straight dude who watches The Bachelor and now he’s walking toward that freshman.
At the pregame, you have control over the vibe in the room. Chances are you have a friend who always has the best party music, and another friend who is the queen of throwbacks. Put whoever has the best playlist on DJ duty, and bring your attention back to where it belongs — your friends. No one ever shows up to the pregame who isn’t on pal-level with the majority of people who are there. It’s science. If the mood strikes, you can hold an impromptu dance on the coffee table with your main partner in crime, or you can coerce the group into playing shot roulette. The semi-cramped apartment is familiar territory and you’ve crowned yourself HBIC.
At a party, you’re usually on someone else’s turf. If you walk straight up to the DJ and hand him your iPhone 6 with Justin Bieber already cued up, you’re going to look like an asshole. If the dude wants to play EDM followed by Norah Jones followed by Buckcherry, there’s not a thing you can do. Let’s say that you suddenly get an urge to jump on a table and break it down. I’m willing to bet that there are at least four other friend groups with the same compulsion, and they might have even beaten you to it. For arguments sake, you score a tabletop AND a T-Pain throwback. You’re about to lose your mind with happiness when across the room you spot your number one frenemy. The one who stole your Rush Crush. The room is about to get that much hotter thanks to the fire bolts shooting from your well-lined eyes. Unless you can dance like Jenna Dewan Tatum, I suggest holding off on challenging her to a dance-off and just hitting Taco Bell like a normal person.
It is 2016, and the time has come to just say NO to parties, pulls, and DFMO’s. Let’s make this the year of pregames, mixed drinks, and buzzed kisses. Unless, like, it’s Thursday, or Friday, or Saturday, or Sunday-Funday, or there’s a formal, or it’s someone’s birthday, or it’s Groundhogs Day or you just aced a test or Lambda is doing something fun. Uh, yeah. Actually, I’m still definitely going to go to parties. But, like, if you see me out just know that I’d rather still be at the pregame. Probably. .