Why We Go To Parties

I’m hearing the party while going up the stairs. Oh my god, there are so many stairs. They’re playing “Party In The USA” and singing along. “And the Jay-Z song was on…” I’m two hours late obviously. Like I would ever show up at the time they asked on the Facebook invite. Please.

The host answers the door. “HEEEYYYYY YOU GUYS! THANKS FOR COMING! Welcome to my apartment!” She’s drunk already and I’m jealous. I only had time to squeeze in one glass of wine beforehand. Thank God I brought my own bottle of wine. I don’t trust it when they say they’ll have alcohol. You always end up with rum or crappy vodka, which you’ll of course end up drinking out of desperation.

It’s so hot in here. I’m so glad I came with my best friend because even though I do know a lot of people here, I wouldn’t feel secure enough just going by myself, you know? Like these are all people I’m medium friends with so I need a best friend to be there in between conversations.

Okay, everyone here is super cute. Duh. Twentysomethings are usually babes. It’s hard to screw that up. All of the girls are dressed like Rayanne Graff and three of them are Karen Carpenter thin. Some of the boys aren’t chic and look like they’re bike messengers but I would still probably have sex with them. Wait, I think most of the people here are straight. I need a drink.

I drink fast, which is hard to do with wine but I don’t like anything else these days. Someone calls my name and I don’t know who they are. This happens to me on an almost daily basis. It’s not because I don’t think people are worth remembering. I just honestly forget faces. It’s actually rather embarrassing. They’re coming over to talk to me and I am desperately trying to place them. They see my confused expression and remind me who they are and I say “Duh, of course!” We then talk about our connection to one another, which is usually weak and runs out of steam quickly. I tell this person I’m going to get another drink even though I’m clutching a bottle of wine. They don’t question it and we say good-bye.

“Juicy” by The Notorious B.I.G. comes on and I’m on my third glass of wine when I start to wonder if I will find my future boyfriend tonight. “Honey, is that you in the short shorts and polo? Damn, you’re fine in the summertime. I want to have sex with you but the whole thing seems impossible and tiring. You’re probably straight anyway.” I go to my friends who I haven’t seen since the last party I attended and we talk about jobs and the summer heat. I think we all hate talking about these things but we just do it because we feel like we have to, because we need to connect to each other in some way. I look around the room and feel like I’ve seen all of this before. I’ve seen the party dresses, the drunken posture, heard this playlist, the anecdotal jokes, the beer spilling, the apologizes, the drunken laughter. Everyone came here clean and they’re all going to leave dirty.

I like this party because it makes me feel young. It gives me a good excuse to get silly and weird and judge people and kiss people and talk shit. Most parties are the same, most will be like watching a reel of someone else’s life, but there are some that you will never forget and that’s why we keep going to them. We hope that it will be a party where everyone is equal amounts of wasted. We hope we will be kissing someone in the bathroom and having that perfect dance party that will make us feel close to each other. We want someone to be drawing face paint and deciding to leave at six am drunk and giggling. We want our outfits to fall apart to say we had party scars and we want to see someone falling down the stars and being too drunk to get hurt. Every party has the potential to be The Best Party and until it doesn’t, until we lose faith and become disenchanted, we will keep clicking “Attend.” TC mark

Ryan O'Connell

I'm a brat.


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  • foreverdrone

    I thought I was the only person who honestly forgets faces as well as names. 

    • Miranda

      I remember names perfectly but forget most faces. When one of my sort-of-aquaintancey friends gets a drastic haircut it’s a nightmare.

      • foreverdrone

        You ever ask yourself, “wait, do I actually know this person, or have I just seen them around?”

      • foreverdrone

        You ever ask yourself, “wait, do I actually know this person, or have I just seen them around?”

  • Josh

    cheap vodka is a godsend for social awkwardness 

    • Diddly

      Aristocrat has gotten me into some pants.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=612928768 Samie Rose

    This felt kind of rushed. I dunno.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=707272007 Alex Thayer

    i haven’t been to a party in a while

    i need to go to a party

    • klaus


      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=707272007 Alex Thayer

        pants party

  • Honey

    “Everyone came here clean and they’re all going to leave dirty.” What a great sentence. 

  • Friendly


  • http://twitter.com/kelvin_lee Kelvin Lee

    This one, this is great. Parties are like an experiential social lottery. You go, knowing 99% of the time you’d rather be in bed watching YouTube cat videos but there’s that 1%, that minscule chance that something spectacular will happen. And 20 years later when we’re all old and parties consist of table settings and mortgage rates, you’ll have that jackpot memory of fond times.

  • klaus

    How can I find a party to go to?

  • habitualtruth

    I have to leave for school next week

  • http://twitter.com/galette_rois Julian Galette

    Last time I went to a party it was a total sausage fest (plus two fat girls) then I went upstairs, got reeeeeally stoned with the host, came back down and woahmg the party was filled with hot bitches. 

    It was a good night after I got over that awkward “I’m too high to meet new people” stage

  • dunzZA

    I drink wine because I’m so mature and beyond my college years. Did you hear that everyone? I DRINK WINE!! 

  • christine

    this is amazing i wamt more RYAN make your essays longer!

  • stefyania

    fucking medium friends. 

  • Brandon h

    I could go to that party, but OMG all 7 season of Golden Girls is on Netflix and I just ordered Thai food.

    Parties have always been a nessisary social evil for me to get laid/meet people who I don’t want to throw battery acid at. In and of themselves they are not my idea of a good time.

    • Guest

      i get the feeling that 1. you couldnt go to that party and 2. you dont get laid a lot

      • Brandon h

        Your not exactly helping your argument here. As for my sex life, well, you think what ever you like, it’s not like your getting any.

  • klaus

    Will someone please invite me to a party?

    • http://www.twitter.com/mexifrida Frida

      me too.

  • Megan Do

    I go to parties so I can meet my future wife. I’m Ted Mosby, everyone.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=501878782 Alex Forsyth

    This is the best thing you’ve written in a while. 

  • Anonymous


  • Stefan

    I thought this was pretty “meh,” but the one thing I want to take issue with is comparing skinny girls to a female musician who died from complications of an eating disorder. I never thought the whole “ugh those skinny bitches are so anno-chic, jealous!” routine was clever or funny to begin with, but at this point it has to be more than tired and past its expiration date. And it’s especially irritating coming from someone who takes pride in his identity as a “feminist,” enough to offer a definition of the concept.

    Also, though, I just want to say that I think you could be a decent writer, but your articles feel rushed and shallow and one-note; it’s all quantity over quality and cultural-reference showboating over thoughtful critique/analysis/opinions.

    • Typical Bitch

      that last sentence was exactly what I have been trying to say for months. i’m done; i’ll never post a negative comment on one of ryan o’connell’s entries again. 

  • http://www.tariqwest.com/ Tariq West

    Right on. I’ve long suspected that the majority of people don’t have fun at the majority of parties, whether they be of the house, bar or club variety. We’re caught up in this collective lie. Twenty percent of party goers have 80% of the fun, and everybody else just pretends. And cheap digital photography and ubiquitous sharing media allow us to reconstruct reality from conspicuously staged photographs and tweets and check-ins, convincing ourselves and each other that we had a good time. I wrote on the subject a while back: http://j.mp/ddWAJO

  • http://www.tariqwest.com/ Tariq West

    Ooops, duplicate.

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    […] am on a train on a Friday night going to some house party. I spent two hours getting ready because I enjoy the ritual of it. Sipping gingerly from a glass of […]

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    […] am on a train on a Friday night going to some house party. I spent two hours getting ready because I enjoy the ritual of it. Sipping gingerly from a glass of […]

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