DO accept that the weather is getting colder. I’m going to direct this one to all the (mostly ladies, let’s be honest) out there who deem it acceptable to stand outside of a club/bar for hours on end, chattering your teeth to nubs as you refuse to deal with the coat check. Look, the coat check is 10 dollars maximum. I will send you those 10 dollars if you promise not to freeze your nipples off while waiting to get rejected by a bouncer on a power trip. We all had our “let’s wear this inappropriately light costume on this cold-ass night because it’s Halloween” moment, time to get back to reality.
DON’T drink bottles of incredibly cheap wine/”champagne.” I would hope that we’re all at the point in our respective lives to have accepted that Boones, Andre, Two Buck Chuck, Carlo Rossi, and anything of the like are literally just crushing hangovers and despair in a bottle. There was a time at which chugging these abominations at length was acceptable and even manageable for your poor, tortured body. Let’s all collectively move past this time, and invest in wine that is at least four dollars per bottle.
DO remember there are fun things to do outside of drinking. While it’s undeniable that a huge percentage of adult events center around being tipsy, that shouldn’t prevent us from engaging in activities that don’t rely so heavily on abusing our bodies. Why not go bowling? Go for a long stroll? Do some shopping? Watch movies and eat candy with friends in your jammies? (Okay, I’m not saying these wouldn’t be slightly more fun with a slight buzz on, but still. We should at least try.)
DON’T finish the evening with a seven-course meal of junk food. We all know that nothing tops of a night of partying and bad decisions with one of the worst decisions of all: raiding your kitchen for any and all things unhealthy and proceeding to eat them as you slouch back into your bed/couch (let’s be real, bed) and watch funny videos on YouTube. Choose between the mozzarella sticks, the pizza rolls, and the pint of butter pecan ice cream. You do not need all three, no matter what those hateful vodka sodas are whispering in your ear.
DO dress like individual humans, and not some gross pack of club rats. This one goes out to the bros who, at least in my imagination, get ready in some tribal dance ritual centered around a mirror in which they all methodically don their polo shirts (with collar crisply flipped up) or button-down, jeans, and dress shoes whilst high-fiving one another and grunting. I am not sure if this is some vague attempt at confusing potential prey later on in the evening, or just a security blanket of similarly-boring conservative outfits, but either way, please stop. Please.
DON’T get sloppy wasted. There is a fine line between being the life of the party and being the hot mess that everyone has to take care of/awkwardly avoid eye contact with — and we tend to fall down on that line and flop around like a dying fish. Know your limits, and try your best to keep within them, even if that means turning down that last free shot that both you and your poor, battered liver know you don’t need.
DO make your evening budget-friendly. There is no shame in a little pre-gaming. There is no shame in joining people after the restaurant portion of the evening is over and they’re onto drinks. There is no shame in sticking to beer. There is shame, however, in waking up the next morning and realizing that you cannot pay your rent because you wanted to keep up with the shots of Grey Goose and liquid diamonds that everyone else was doing the night before. Spare yourself the agony.
DON’T feel compelled to do anything if you don’t feel like going out. Wanting to stay home and have a precious, tender moment cuddling up with your laptop and watching movies while occasionally browsing Facebook or gchatting with friends is nothing short of a magical evening, and don’t you ever let someone tell you otherwise. If “going out” for you this weekend implies walking to the corner store to stock up on Pringles and/or a bottle of (NON-BOONE’S) wine for one, more power to you.
DO leave at least one day for recovery. The weekend is not a race to see who can be the most unreasonably belligerent for the longest consecutive period. We are not rushing a fraternity, and we do not live in central Florida. Let’s keep it classy. No matter what you end up doing this weekend, make sure to leave at least one day-long period in which to dry out, calm down, and allow your crumpled-up little cells to regenerate for a while. Just drink some tea and watch something soothing/mature, like a BBC documentary. You’ll thank yourself when you finally come to a Monday that doesn’t make you feel like the entire world is spitting in your hungover face.