1. Thou Shalt Only Bring Cash.
We can sit here and pretend that bringing an ATM card on a night out is a good idea, and that we’re all just incredibly responsible adults who reach a certain point in the evening and turn down every offer with a firm but polite, “No, thank you, I’m staying on budget tonight” — but we all know that’s not the case. There is going to come a moment at which suddenly you are a turn-of-the-century oil tycoon who is only too happy to pay for everyone’s next round, cab ride, and upcoming wedding after you get finished shining your monocle. Better to not let Millionaire You come out and set yourself an unchangeable budget when you leave at the beginning of the evening.
2. Thou Shalt Help Your Friends Puke Safely.
No one likes throwing up. It’s the part of the night where, aside from losing all that precious, precious alcohol you spent all that money on, you finally have to admit that you actually are that drunk, you guys. Nobody wants to be Pukey Patty in the corner heaving his/her dignity off in the toilet/yard/street/closet, and yet, like death, that moment comes to us all. When the Drinking Gods have spared us this round and allowed us to finish our night vomit-free, though, it is our job to comfort those of us who were not so lucky, no matter what that entails. If someone needs their hair held, you’re holding hair. If the lock on the bathroom door is broken, you’re acting as the impenetrable bouncer to Club Ralph. If they just need moral support, you be the inspirational high school basketball coach they never had. You help your friend puke, and you do it with a smile.
3. Thou Shalt Keep Your Phone At A Safe Distance.
There is no legitimate reason that an otherwise prosperous, fun, adventurous night needs to end with you texting your completely indifferent ex with something the lines of “I can’t stop thinking about you.” That is just something that no one needs in their life. To avoid this, it’s best to either keep your phone with a trusted friend who will not bend to the will of even the most insistent “It’s just to check my email, please, bro,” or to change your wallpaper to the words, “DON’T DO IT, YOU DRUNK DUMBASS.”
4. Thou Shalt Only Wear Heels You Can Walk In.
Society is going to keep trying to sell us ladies heels that have absolutely no business existing, and we are going to keep having to resist the temptation to wear them on a hardy night out. No matter how sexy your legs look in seven-inch platform wedges, you are going to finish the night looking like a bloated duck on stilts, wobbling and hiccuping down the street with all the poise and elegance of a meth head. Even if it means you sacrifice a little something on the fashion front, it’s better to sport footwear that ensures you will arrive home with both ankles intact.
5. Thou Shalt Not Leave Your Friends With Sketchballs.
If you see one of your friends being wooed off in the corner by the guy wearing the jogging set and Kangol hat, who keeps mentioning how his studio is just a few subway stops away, and how does she like Hot Pockets because he has a freezer full of them — it is your job to swoop in and block that cock with the Hammer of Thor. There is no reason to let our friends who are too many Long Islands in to recognize a Grade D Skeezeball when they see one suffer by themselves. Break that nonsense up, and she will thank you later.
6. Thou Shalt Warn The Next Person In Line If There’s No Toilet Paper Left.
Don’t be that guy — do the right thing and tell the next person that they’re going to have to wipe with their own tears of frustration if they use this stall.
7. Thou Shalt Dance To MJ.
No matter where you are, no matter who you are, even if you are that one guy who constantly remains pancaked against the wall in insistence that “you don’t dance,” when Michael Jackson comes on, you get on the floor and you don’t ask questions. You could be at a dubstep concert, a hoedown, a drag show, a high-society cotillion, or your cousin’s bar mitzvah — “Thriller” is always the perfect reason to come out and socialize like a real live human being. If the opening notes of “Billie Jean” don’t make you just kind of want to let loose and hold your drink in the air like the Statue of Liberty, you have no business going out in the first place.
8. Thou Shalt Not Cry.
Though it may feel like the release you’ve been needing all your life, the bottled-up emotions and Pure Truths you’ve been keeping inside you like some invisible fire of honesty, you probably shouldn’t cry. Not while everyone’s out having a good time. And yes, we’ve all had our moments where we were just so consumed by feeling and just oh my god isn’t everyone so beautiful and we’re all together again tonight and I just love you guys so much, but looking back on that crap the next morning is more shameful than discovering you’ve murdered someone in your drunken stupor. Don’t be Crying Cathy. Be It’s-All-Good Gertrude — everyone’s favorite drinking buddy!
9. Thou Shalt Drink Water.
Between every drink. Like a grown up. And before you go to bed. Like a grown up. Like a goddamn grown up.
10. Thou Shalt Not Get Online When You Get Home.
As much as the world is all holding its breath waiting to see what incomprehensible gem of a Facebook status you are going to bestow on them after seven gin and tonics, perhaps its better to leave yourself a good night’s sleep to collect your thoughts. That way, not only will your grammar and punctuation be above third-grade level, you might prevent yourself from accidentally revealing all of those humiliating feelings you have towards your ex/your crush/your frenemy. God forbid you should post a Death Cab lyric or engage in drunken Photobooth — the descent of any night into certified Sad Territory — you don’t want to have to live with these results in the harsh, sober light of morning. Better you just keep your hands off the keyboard altogether and go scroll through gay porn on Tumblr, the way God intended.