About a month ago I attended an adult party with my parents that was buzzing with successful and beautiful couples. They were primarily middle-aged guests, and being on the brink of 20 made me the youngest and most unsuccessful attendee.
Because of this, I knew I had to sophisticate myself so I could at least try to blend in. I painted my toenails for the event which only took a minute because since last May I’ve just been painting over the same chipped, old nail polish with more nail polish. I am resourceful and excellent with time management. I just copied and pasted that nail polish example into my résumé. (I’m 110% kidding. I haven’t even thought about starting a résumé.)
Anyway, so my toenails were super painted and I only got out of the lines a little bit, so as far as I was concerned, I was ready. The night went pretty well for me, so for every young person attending a legitimate adult party, I have put together some helpful tips based on my experience.
1. Smile a lot. I’m not saying this because smiles are warm and inviting. I’m saying this because when you smile it makes the corners of your eyes crinkle up which reminds adults of their crows feet. This is your white flag. It’s letting them know that you have no intentions of flaunting your beautiful, youthful skin; you’re just here to have fun and talk politics like everyone else.
2. If the adult says something that you don’t quite understand/don’t know how to respond to, don’t panic. Just give them a thumbs up. DON’T smile when you do this. If you smile, the adult will think you’re not taking it seriously and it will get offended and leave you.
3. ALWAYS have the stocks app up on your phone. Glance at it SO, SO MUCH and then pinch the bridge of your nose. This shows that not only are you interested in stocks, but you’re passionate about them, too, as all real adults are. Make sure people actually see your performance so it’ll spark mature conversation. I made my parents cut the power and shine a spotlight on me, but you can choose something more low-key like a flashlight.
4. Don’t worry about knowing how stocks actually work. All you need to know is that some guy named Dow Jones who lives on Wall Street runs the show and there are a lot of numbers that constantly fluctuate and somehow you buy stuff. Just be happy that you’re a part of something.
5. Take a lot of calls. This makes it look like you’re important and you’re not just waiting for someone to engage you in conversation. “I’m sorry, I need to take this” should be your most-used catch phrase of the night, even if you’re not actually receiving calls. Fortunately for me, the American Red Cross has called me every day since 2011 when I donated blood and gave them my contact information, so I was able to pick up some real calls. When you take the calls, don’t walk away from the adult you’re talking to. If you walk away you can’t look at the adult, roll your eyes, and make exasperated facial expressions followed by a fake smile while pointing to your phone— the pinnacle of sophistication. Also if you walk away, the adult will get offended and it will put back up the brick wall that you’ve fought so hard to bring down for the past seven minutes.
6. Swirl your nonalcoholic beverage (consuming alcohol before the age of 21 is a sin) and say things like, “Wow, great legs.” When the adult says, “…You’re drinking orange soda,” look up, pause for 7-10 business seconds and say, “I wasn’t talking about the Fanta.”
7. When things get weird after tip number six, “take” a call. Look at the adult and say, “I’m sorry, I have to take this. It’s Dow Jones.” Nailed it. Welcome to adulthood.