No one wants to admit they’re old. Unfortunately, most of us are. That means we are adults and we go to adult parties. Although the word “party” is pretty misleading.
When you were in high school and college (and hell, even your early 20s) the word “party” meant an insane sex-fest where wild amounts of alcohol (and possibly drugs) were consumed until just about everybody in attendance did something they regretted. An adult party involves hummus. So much fucking hummus.
To make matters worse, adult parties include people you are familiar with but not necessarily friends with – that, or people who you used to be really close with but you now only see every couple of months thanks to kids/your job/general adult terribleness. That means a lot of small talk about topics that absolutely nobody cares about. Here is a guide to all of the terrible conversations you have at adult parties.
Ugh. Nobody gives a shit about your job. You don’t even give a shit about your job. And yet here we are, holding tiny paper plates with tiny carrots rolling off of them discussing that big project you’re spearheading. The only thing worse than a boring job is trying to explain what you do at your boring job to a complete stranger, especially when both of you are wearing the same weekend-casual blue button-down shirt with matching brown sweaters.
You better hope your shitty adult party is taking place somewhere you’ve visited before, otherwise, prepare to get the 20-minute grand tour that delays your first beer for an interminable amount of time. “Here’s the new counter top in the kitchen. Here’s the renovated shower. Here’s the unfinished basement that has all the fixings for the perfect man cave, just as soon as my schedule opens. Which reminds me, have I told you about the latest crisis at work? Here’s what happened …” Oh god, why won’t it end?
“It sure has been nice lately, huh? We really haven’t had a fall this gorgeous in a while. It’s such a treat to be able to just turn off the AC and open up the windows. And the weatherman totally blew it this week. I brought an umbrella to work with me every day and didn’t use it once! Can you imagine?” It can, and it will, go on so much longer. If you find yourself trapped in one of these talks with three or more adults, loudly farting to clear the group is totally worth the embarrassment and lecture from your wife on the ride home.
Full disclosure: I don’t have kids, so maybe I’m a stone-hearted monster. Still, there’s no possible way you can honestly think I care about that goal your angel scored at this morning’s soccer game. Oh, you have wobbly iPhone video of the entire game? Great, let’s sit here in the corner uncomfortably close to each other huddled around your phone screen watching 6-year-olds run in circles on a soccer field while the main course is served and I miss out on Barbara’s Swedish meatballs, which is really the only highlight I had to look forward to tonight.
The Food at the Party
Speaking of Barbara’s meatballs, when the conversation well runs dry – which it will, and quickly – prepare to talk puff pastries. No doubt you’ll run out of things to say and immediately start recommending the pepper jack cheese cubes to Tom. This is when the hosts appear in the huddle of hunched over adults stuffing their faces to brag about how they got it all at Costco and it was so easy to prepare, you just pop it in the oven and it’s ready to go. When they are done, you will go get more food because really, that’s your only chance at happiness for the next two hours.
Someone’s Bold New Look
Can you believe how fantastic Jenny’s new bangs look? Tom’s trying out a different pair of glasses, what do you think? Doesn’t Barry look great with a beard? Every party, someone’s totally pointless fashion change dominates the conversation. If you’re like most people, you only care about yourself and didn’t notice but trust me, by the end of the party it will be brought to your attention. Once you’re in a long-term adult relationship, changing your look significantly means two things. For women, it means you haven’t had a kid yet and need something to get some attention away from all of your more pregnant and parental friends. If you’re a man, it means the female barista at your morning coffee spot just called you “sir” and you suddenly realized you are super old and seen as ancient outside of your circle of friends. Either way, it’s a cry for help that I am not answering.
Things You Used to Do
As we’ve already established, we are all old and boring now. Bringing up old road trips and pub crawls and weekend-long music festivals just hammers home that point. Living in the past almost always comes up after the second beer and inevitably leads to a promise to hang out more. As you leave that evening, you are sure you will get the gang back together every week at your favorite bar. Of course, all that really happens is an endless game of phone tag that gets rehashed the next time you’re all hanging out again at another terrible couples’ get-together.
Oh no, you’re stuck talking to the person who just discovered BuzzFeed: “Have you seen the one with the cat and the thing and oh, it’s just so cute you just have to see it right now.” Great. Now I’m in front of a bunch of out-of-touch strangers preparing my best fake smile and laugh as Laura fumbles with her phone to pull up the cat video I saw six months ago. When I try to one-up her with my hilarious video of a toddler getting kicked in the face by a goat, suddenly I’m the one without a sense of humor.
Wives and girlfriends love to shove two male strangers in the corner and say something along the lines of, “Ralph plays fantasy football just like you, honey …” before scampering off to go hold someone else’s baby. The problem is, too many busy adults know nothing about sports outside of what SportsCenter tells them in the morning as they get ready for work. I don’t want to hear Skip Bayless preach about the greatness of Johnny Manziel and I definitely don’t want to hear that same spiel regurgitated by a fat stranger with a dollop of ranch dressing dangling from the corner of his mouth. Sadly, given all of the other topics on this list, I still think is your best option.
We spend so much time staring at our phones these days that we actually think it’s a worthy conversation piece when we get a new one. Shit, just a new operating system on your phone seems to merit a 15-minute discussion on the pros and cons of the new color scheme of the text screen. At this point in the night, I usually just start texting my real friends instead of talking about texting with people I hate. This will make my wife mad at me which, in turn, will facilitate our exit. Finally, happiness.