That tingle when ya mingle

Dear party-goers,

Mingling, social anxiety, speaking big-kid words, orienting your abnormal and lanky limbs, oh my! Parties are a hotspot where everyone is trying to bask in the limelight. Social climbing via get-togethers and other gatherings is certainly a specialized art. The following advice could be incredibly inaccurate, considering that my social skills can be characterized by mumbling and internal crying, but most of it is based off of the very valid film “Party Monster” (2003). And with the upcoming holiday season, the infamous “Ugly Christmas Sweater Party” will be our designated example.

First off is attire. It is true that the most important part of successful party socialization starts before you even arrive at the venue. The peacock approach is the best bet: flaunt your feathers, show all the plebes what you got. Maybe even wear peacock patterned pants, shoes or a studded fanny pack. Nothing is too much. But, returning to our Christmas party example, all previous expectations must be completely surpassed. One may believe that a crusty, slightly ironic Goodwill “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” turtleneck sweater with a light-up nose would take the cake. But nope, not enough. The best approach would be to wear a full-body tinsel suit crafted out of scraps of velvet and haphazardly placed brown corduroy patches. While hanging off of a Christmas tree. That’s right. Everyone will be astonished by your craft abilities. “The ornaments in that Christmas tree are so unique and slightly upsetting!” they will whisper, horrified yet inexplicably fulfilled. But no sir, it’s you and three of your closest friends, dangling from the branches, twisting the concepts of reality like they’re clockwork.

The next tenet of correctly climbing the social ladder at a party is your arrival. As recommended by “Party Monster,” the best tactic is to separate yourself from your posse upon the moment of arrival at the venue. Each person flees to a separate part of the room to cover his or her bases. Then, the real action happens. You ask every person in an appropriate radius if they have seen your friend around. Of course, you actually know where they are, but the point is to spread your influence and establish a slightly irritating yet amiable presence. This tactic allows for introductions that seem unintentional, maybe even completely random. The ultimate goal is that you show that you can comfortably participate in the social environment without requiring the attention of anyone else there. And when you actually “find” each other in the end, make sure to make it a huge occurrence while yelling something completely false and vaguely shocking to ensue panic. “Kourtney and Khole are Taking Anchorage next season?” or “Fantasia and Ruben Studdard are embarking on a worldwide tour in the fall?” should do the trick. Afterward, dance the night away. You have the crowd’s attention, so show them the right way to get crunk and krump to “Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer” (2000).

But after all of that work, one cannot simply let the social attention he or she has procured go to waste. The last and probably most significant step is the follow-up. The next party will have to top the previous. Bigger Christmas-themed costumes will be expected. Oh, it’s a Mr. and Mrs. Santa Claus dress-up theme? Go ahead and defy every stereotype in your costumes. That’s right: curvy but not obese, same-sex couplings, dressing “scandalously” to promote your distaste for slut shaming and a menorah for cultural inclusion. Create an even stronger aura during your next arrival. You’ve made it to the top of the ladder, and there’s no slipping down. Take a bow, but more importantly, make them bow down to you.

Glitter and gauchos,

Henry


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