Don’t tell me why you can’t come to my party :D

Memo: from the desk of Sami

emotion-sensor-sad-pink-hairOk, I am nervous about posting this. Maybe I am a terrible person for not wanting to know you can’t come to my party because you are having a bad day (but you hope I have fun anyway). Or! Maybe! Maybe you are a terrible person for making me evaluate your excuse — AND during the tender emotional time of preparing for a kickback with friends. “That’s ok,” I text back. “Take care of yourself!” I text back. Oh, yeah, why don’t I make you feel better for ditching me? Why don’t I tell you it’s okay and we’re still besties and I still love you even though you are abandoning me in my time of need?

Ms. Manners or your mother or that pre-printed invitation you got in 3rd grade told you to RSVP, yes. But are you really all such polite little angels that you just think it’s the right thing to do, to send me a personalized regret? Or (hmmmm) do you think the party will crumple like my resolve not to eat another Reese’s Mini out of my Halloween score-bag next week, if you don’t show up? Or do you just WISH it would? Hmm hmm are you trying to SABOTAGE my party with your depressing laments??

I am NOT talking about those of you who ghost my invite, then text a day or two later with a sweet, “Sorry I never made it! I actually fell asleep lololol.” You are exemplary human beings. You get that the only humane thing to do is 1. Quietly not show up  2. Fluff me later by tricking me into thinking you rue missing my shindig (so that you could stay in bed and eat bagel bites and binge-watch the L Word). I adore you. You understand me.

And yes! Yes there are exceptions. Maybe if I wanted to bang you and you are kindly letting me know not to expect your lovely presence, I’ll miss you, xoxo, feel free to have fun without me, wink.

Or, a head-count is useful (hmmm Facebook has that covered if you just click the “can’t go” option…) if I’m serving dinner or if I’m meticulously crafting favors for each attendee. BUT THINK ABOUT IT. I have moved on from such laborious methods of revelry. I have streamlined my socializations such that I can name my theme “Messy House Party” and I don’t even have to vacuum for you fools!! HA I trick YOU into making all the crafty favors and the dinners AND YOU LOVE IT.

Ahem. The following is a generalized example that happens every single time, yet you will think it is specifically about the time you *did the thing* — because it IS this predictable:

I send out an invitation, via Facebook for once (normally I text), to 40 or so friends.

Blow #1: You post on the party wall (where everyone can see!) that there are too many parties this weekend. Implying that you won’t come to mine. Implying that you are going to a better party.

I make a joke and you make a joke so it is funny so it’s worth it. For the Sake of All Things Party, I allow this. Then my nice friend tells me I am still popular and I feel OK.

Blow to my fragile ego #2: In the tender hours post-official-start-time, while I am waiting to see if other people will arrive or I will just be drinking Popsicle & Malibus with Kevin this fine evening, I get 2-4 text messages from wont-shows. The reason is they are tired and sad, although they give me other reasons. I know you are just tired and sad. I should probably respond “Noooooooo please come my happiness depends on youuuuuuuuu!!!1!” and maybe you will rouse your butt on over…but I can’t pressure you into making good decisions; I am not your Party Mom. I am your Party Teacher. Read the blog, learn the lesson, or flunk out.

Blow #3 K.O. You text me that you can’t come to my party tonight because your dog died. Your. Dog. Died. This is the most depressing thing. I do not need to hear this right now! I am trying make Party! Now all I can think about is dead puppies and I want to get drunk in a sad way and not a fun way :( :( :(

So now I am on the floor pathetically calling for Kevin to refill my disgustingly sweet yet fabulously novel drink made of melted dessert and that one bottle of liquor that no one wants to drink. The spirit of Party is skewered. This show can’t go on…

Except, honestly, it does. Worse case scenario, I am getting drunk on Friday night with Kevin. It’s really, really, not a rough deal.

kevin-is-the-improbable-pinata

Advertisements

How to Get Rid of People

1. How to get rid of people I want to hang out with

Depression!

2. How to get rid of people I don’t want to hang out withfrazzled post burning man

A friend I’ve been close to since the fourth grade (and want to hang out with 5ever) moved back to San Diego recently (because you can neverrrr leave this place! told you!) and, as we mused over our life events in the duration of her separation from our finest city, she observed that she’d, surprisingly, not yet been to Burning Man.

“Well, why don’t you go to the San Diego regional?” I said.

Tickets sold out the next day, hers among them. (I’m so excited she’s coming!) She’s now been asking prudent questions in preparation for her first “burn,” including this adorable inquiry:

“How do I get rid of people I don’t want to hang out with?”

Um, well, you…

  1. have to pee
    Or
  2. insist “wait here,” leave them, and never come back!

Well, we discussed the obvious “have to pee” trick first. Then, my friend pointed out that the kind of person who involves you in an unwanted conversation will often be the same kind of person who will follow you to the port-o. Wanting to avoid a potty entourage is precisely why I ghosted out of conversation circles in middle school. Good practice for my later life, I’ll say.

shark-costume-sami-burning-manIn a prolonged “camping vegas” experience that is a burn, often you may enthusiastically promise your new “friend” that you will return, and you absolutely positively must have them wait in place. Whereupon, they will be swiftly distracted by some magical adventure such as discovering a space-time fracture in a dilapidated tent, or meeting a giraffe. And if they, perchance, wonder whereabouts you wander, they will assume you also found camp art or introduced yourself to a furry.

Or…

“I’ll come with you!” they might shout. Oh no, oh no it’s time for serious survival tactics.

  • Use your superior local knowledge of Poison Oak to dart quickly through the bordering chaparral until they are so dissuaded by the many leaves of three that they just let it be
  • Sit down on the ground and lock your face in your arms until they quit prodding you and go for help
  • Stop saying anything except for, “Charmander”

Or, and this is merely a hypothesis, you might say, “I’m so sorry, I’m not enjoying myself right now. I need to go. Take care!”

Of course, I can’t confirm the efficacy of this theory because no one on the history of the planet has ever done this; it’s too terrifying.

Wait!

I’ll be back, I promise.

;)

 

How to Throw a Passive Aggressive Notes Party

10153710_10203537055131676_771742438_nIt’s nearing the second anniversary of the Passive Aggressive Notes Party (actually, it’s almost exactly two months late for that but it turns out no one cares) and boy am I excited. Last year, my ma and pop were out of town and I wanted to use their sweet digs to throw a rager. They didn’t exactly say I couldn’t, but they didn’t say I could, either. I recalled the helpful notes around the warm and welcoming home of the Pu’uhonua family during one of their Splash Up events, and I wanted to the theme I chose to incorporate instructive notes on how to not trash my parents’ house. With an evil chortle, I went over to www.passiveaggressivenotes.com for inspiration.

1173803_10203537246096450_1083177518_nThis theme is not only a delightful excuse to encourage your friends to be mean to each other, but it is also convenient to organize. For supplies, you will only need sticky notes and/or construction paper with tape (painter’s, as to not take off the house paint — your guests are going to leave cheerful little messages in the strangest places, which you will not discover for many days), and markers/pens. I also got a lot of joy out of a stack of self-stick name-tags. My friends gave out charming monickers such as “Jizz Wizard,” and “Unwitting Hipster.”

I enjoyed posting notes on the proper use of the stereo, such as reminders that household pets might not appreciate loud music the way we do (It’s ok, the birds don’t mind if you increase the volume to INHUMANE levels <3) or not to play music that I hate (You know what this party NEEDS? Some top 40s bullshit!!). My guests delighted me with a note on the mirror that read, “That used to look so good on you!” and a thank you note written on a card stolen from my mom’s stationary set: “Thank you for sending your parents out of town, but instilling so many rules it feels like they never left anyway…”

thank-you-passive-aggressive-note

Many of my friends, however, struggled with the concept. Adorably, these kind kids could not grasp how to mimic passive aggression. We discussed formulas to generate notes. One consistent combo is to tell someone to do something you obviously don’t want to them do, and add “please,” hearts, or both. “Please throw your trash all over the floor, thank you.”  Another pattern is to explain a simple concept as you would to a three-year-old. “GUESS WHAT? It turns out if you tap on the glass it stresses out this pet snake and she doesn’t want you to do that. Let’s be nice to the snake, ok? :)” You may also just rely on the passive aggression inherent in leaving a note rather than confronting someone about a problem. Extra points for anonymizing yourself or your target. For example, we kept a ledger on the fridge of money owed by friends to others.

10003451_10203537047091475_458141519_n

If you didn’t get an invite, don’t worry. You don’t have to miss out on the fun. Simply leave me a passive aggressive message in the comments!

(P.S. Ok, jokes aside, if you didn’t get an invite, it’s because I hit the population limit. Out of respect to the people I live with, I’m going to have to wait for some more “no” RSVPs to come through before inviting additional people. For some reason, people think it’s hilarious to say “maybe” instead of “yes” so it is making it a bit difficult to do my party math this time around…)

4 Party Life Hacks I Have Actually Used

Slow the fuck down. Relax. Take the time necessary to fix your party emergency. You can sneak off to a side yard, a car, or, depending on the demand, chill out in the bathroom. The benefit of having an ‘emergency’ at a party is that most people will be too distracted to notice you. So, get yourself to calm down so that you don’t make matters worse.

Stinky Pits

stinky-pits

(I forgot to put on deodorant because I forgot my normally non-sweaty body can produce smell.) Lock yourself in the bathroom, take off your top, and use hydrogen peroxide on your pits — it kills the smelly bacteria. If it’s your clothes that smell, you might be SOL, not only because you don’t want to be walking around with soggy pits but also because hydrogen peroxide can bleach clothing.

Bloodstains

hydrogen-peroxide-doodle

(I also forgot my body does that monthly thing it does.) Hydrogen peroxide again is good for getting these out, as well as spit.

Panic / Anxiety

anxiety-cartoon

(I also forgot I do this sometimes.) Compression is an effective way to stop panic in its tracks, at least for me. It’s best if you’re prepared for this by training a friend or two, but I find in general if I just go up to someone I’m on hugging terms with and demand, “Squeeze me!” they’ll give me the tight embrace I need. If I’m lucky, I can get some group hug action. Full body squishes are even better…climb into a cuddle puddle? If you want to learn more about the science of why this works, look up “parasympathetic vs. sympathetic response.” Anyway, I know this can seem counterintuitive if you have social anxiety, but I like to think I’m just using the science and people just happen to make decent substitutes for a compression machine.

We Forgot To Put Out the Recycling…Again

trash-can-monster

(The blue bins are full from last weeks kickback, and I just invited 20 people over.)  Invert a box over the recycling bin and cut a hole in it just big enough to fit crushed cans (and glass bottles). Decorate it to look like a monster, including a thought bubble that reads “YUMMMM CRUSHED CANS.” (This has become a permanent fixture at my house because it’s the only way to get people to crush their cans. If I simply tape a sign to the bin, it gets ignored.)

For more, read 6 Party Coping Mechanisms.

Festival Packing List

A festival must-bring: tuna salad with crackers. Looks like sparkling cat barf, tastes like home sweet home.

A festival must-bring: tuna salad with crackers. Looks like sparkling cat barf; tastes like home sweet home.

Things You Bring But Never Use

  • 4 extra friggin shirts
  • 2 extra friggin blue jeans
  • Book for “downtime”
  • Pee funnel
  • Towel

Things That Prove You’re THE MOST Prepared

  • Toilet paper
  • Extra headlamp
  • Hot pink duct tape
  • “Portable bowl” (sandwich box from dollar store) and spork
  • Parasol
  • All of the sunscreen
  • All of the zip ties
  • Like 17 carabiners
  • Magnets to put up decorations / MOOP bags on your tent walls
  • Solar powered string lights from Amazon so you can find your tent at night
  • Hand sanitizer AND
  • Wet wipes AND
  • Mini spray bottle full of rubbing alcohol

Things You Took Out of Your Duffel at the Last Second (and Wish You Didn’t)

  • Dust goggles because this isn’t Burning Man
  • Dust mask because this isn’t Burning Man
  • Your extra zebra-print furry coat that you could have totally loaned to the shivering cutie you met at Ego Trip

Things You Forgot

  • Re-usable drinking cup. Shoot.
  • Scissors. Dammit.
  • Earplugs. FUCK.
  • Air mattress. FUCK FUCK.
  • Your super comfy galaxy-print leggings. 3X THE FUCK.

Things You Say You’re Going To Bring Next Year

  • More mixers. Way more mixers.

 

I Need A Man

Edit: I forgot to mention that I was inspired to share this personal story after the North Park attacks on women made me start thinking critically about my own safety. It was a depressing reminder that it’s easy to get lulled into a sense of false safety, but that horrible things happen to women even in my own neighborhoods.

You catch those predators, San Diego, and you work hard to make this an environment where such things happen less and less and hopefully, someday, never.

——————

I am brazen, compared to most. I am not afraid to say mean things, when mean things need to be said. I am also a skilled diplomat, disguising my vitriol as obliviousness, couching my barbs in pseudo-flirtation. I ended up using the latter strategy for this party.

A good friend of mine, along with two female friends of his, wanted to find a darker, couch-ier place to pass around a bottle of whip-cream vodka. We did find a couch, in a dark room, with very loud music and an open dance floor, though no dancers. I’m noticing a trend at these burner types of parties that alcohol is scarce; perhaps we’re all skilled consumers, and by the midnight hour the beer is gone. So, when my good friend left (me with the bottle in my lap) to go to the bathroom, a man immediately approached to take his place in the center of the couch. I will call this man “Caveman.”

I don’t know if I was protective of the bottle only at this point, or the women already, but I defended my place. “I’m saving this spot for my friend,” I shrugged with a grin. I clutched the bottle.

“Oh, so you’re going to be 2nd grade about this?” Caveman said.

“Yeah,” I was.

He sat at the end instead, by who I will call “Blotted” — as she was. The way he stroked her arms made me uncomfortable. She periodically flailed them, proclaiming, “Everything is so nice.” I was not sure if she evaded his grasp or celebrated it, but at least my good friend came back and we passed the whip-cream bottle for awhile.

Between dizzy swigs I peered at Blotted. My good friend noticed my glances and began to share my uneasy expression. I leaned over to my good friend, “I think I’m going to diffuse the situation a little.” It was Blotted’s first time partying with the burner community and I wanted to make sure she felt safe and happy. She was also only 21, and not so experienced with being so blotted.

I pulled Caveman away from the couch. He was easily led. “It’s Blotted’s first time at a party like this,” I said over the music.

“She’s beautiful.”

“Yes.” I nodded.

“But you, you are even more beautiful.”

Instead of retorting in my head like I might normally, I said these words aloud, “That’s a terrible compliment.” After all, I looked fierce as fuck in a half-undone Spyro the Dragon Kigurumi and a black sports bra, so why hold back?

“What?”

“I like women. I don’t want you to put them down to raise me up. A better compliment would be…. you are also beautiful.”

As we talked, I bobbed and danced around him so his hands could never quite land on me. He seemed to, at least, understand that much — that I didn’t want him to touch me.

“What’s his secret?” he said.

“Who, him?” I looked over at my good friend where he still sat on the couch with his friends. “We’re not intimate. I’m gay. He’s my really good friend.”

“No. You’re not gay. Like all the way gay?”

Oh fuck you, too, Caveman. Just question me immediately — it’s not like I don’t get that reaction every time. “Ummm…. Welllllllll. Yes.” All the way gay, it is. He did not deserve a nuanced explanation of my complicated sexuality.

I spun and I stomped to the beat, and then said to Caveman, “His secret is he knows how to interact with women non-sexually. So I can feel comfortable with him, and they can feel comfortable with him. Your problem is that you exude sexual intent. I’m immune of course.”

“No, no you’re not. I can tell you have a heart.” Caveman. I don’t have a heart if it doesn’t beat for you/your penis? You’re killing me, Caveman.

“Yes, yes I am.” 100% immune and heartless.

I think introductions finally happened here. I think a half-naked gal started to walk up to us for some group dancin’ but smelled his desperation and pivoted away. Then he said:

“How old do you think I am?”

Looked 42, so I guessed 38. He was 50.

After his dismissal of my sexuality and this tidbit, I came to a swift conclusion: this man is a predator. He goes to parties, he finds young, inebriated things (I’m 24, but look younger, and of course Blotted is 21), and he eases himself into grope-central. Like, age is just a number but he wasn’t staring into her old soul through her young eyes. She didn’t even know his name and he was kissing her whenever her face was pointing in the right direction.

“Can I ask you something?”  This is, of course, an omen that something offensive is about to come out of someone’s mouth. “And if you want you can break my heart, you can stab me right through the solar plexus….”

Warning. Trap: I am going to confess my undying love/lust for you and if you don’t like it, it will cost your guilt and discomfort as I throw myself on the sword. He trailed off before completing his sentence and his emotional trap, unable to finish his thought, so transfixed was he by my fierce sports bra.

“I’m up here.” I actually fucking said it. I actually fucking said those words for the first fucking time in my flat-chested, itty-bitty-titty-committee fucking life. If this dude was going to be old school, this dude was going to get some old school sass to make him understand I am a human being, not a walking sex doll.

He sputtered, probably some excuse but I missed a lot of what he said due to the loud music and my blind-white shock that a guy like him got into a party like that (a very cool party, btw), and was still bothering me.

Actually, actually I remember now, at some point he told me his name was Pan. This is obviously his burner/community name, but still, he could be recognized. I don’t care at all. Hey Pan, this girl talkin’ shit over here on her blog about you. Take that in your solar plexus.

I was beginning to feel like I needed a diffusion, myself. I’m at a party to have fun, not explain to men like Pan that lesbians are actually lesbians and quit staring at my chest. I went back to the couch. He resumed his post next to Blotted.

Through an unfortunate miscommunication, I was left by my good friend and our other friend to be Blotted’s babysitter for the rest of the foreseeable night. Normally I would be happy to let her wander around in such a community on her own, and perhaps that is what my good friend expected, too. This particular crowd is very loving and enlightened and take good care of fucked-up 21-year-olds. Nevertheless, I could not bear to leave her alone on the couch with Pan.

“Want to go on an adventure?” I tried to suggest as she struggled to figure out which way was up, let alone how to end Pan’s creepy kisses. She didn’t know me, I didn’t know her. Perhaps she couldn’t process my invitation for an escape or perhaps she really didn’t mind, because she said, “Uhmmm…… I don’t know. I’m okay.”

Lucky break, he had to pee. Not a moment later I said, “Want to go on an adventure?” She agreed immediately. This, and, the fact that she never once asked, “Hey where’s that guy I was making out with earlier?” makes me certain she wasn’t interested in making out with that guy.

I was very happy to tote her along for a bit. She’s sweet and played fun blotted party games, like let’s gather a circle of people and give them new names because I can’t remember their names anyway. They smiled, like, “isn’t she adorable?” when she named them Jason, and Richard, and Amazon. I got Dory, “like that fish from Finding Nemo.”

After awhile I became uneasy, because I wanted to go in the hot tub with Katelyn and I couldn’t leave poor Blotted alone, not when Pan was still lurking. I looked and looked for my good friend to relieve me from my babysitting shift, but it seemed like he was never coming back to find me, from wherever he went.

Eventually I found one of the party hosts, a genial, tall and wiry man with a great smile. I explained my predicament, that I didn’t want to leave her unattended only because I wasn’t sure just how predatory this other guy was. The host offered a confrontation session, but honestly even if we could have found Pan (and I hadn’t remembered his name yet) I wouldn’t have wanted to talk to him for another second. The host incorporated Blotted into a circle of new friends and I felt like she was safe again.

I had a good night, a very good night, and before I left I saw Pan again. I had since remembered his name, but I wanted to call out to him just to be sure I got it right. I would say, “Pan?” I would see his head turn, and say, “Nevermind.” But in that twisted staircase, even though all the lights were on, my mind was as blank and foreboding as his big, bare chest and I coudn’t say a thing at all. I knew nothing was going to happen to me, not realistically, but I still felt something like fear. I don’t know what kind of confused glare I gave him as I tried to memorize his features — to know if they were really his, all the while the gut of panic behind my eyes knowing, yes, it is him. There’s sirens blaring in your head that it is him.

And after that overwhelming moment in the staircase, I thought, “I can’t do it. I can’t speak up. I can’t rely on myself.” I remember feeling helpless — that even after all the empowerment I’ve experienced as a woman, I can still be held to the flames of fear. That to be safe, I need to call on the help of others, even when I would rather stand strong on my own. That to be safe, I needed a man.

Related:
Women Hurt Women, Too
Patriarchy Hurts Men, Too

A Primer on Concealable Flasks and 2 Alternatives

height-profile-alternatives-to-classic-concealable-flask-liquor-alcohol-shots

Disclaimer: I’m not really one to let moralism get in the way of partying, but I do have to say that if you can’t afford to buy a couple drinks at your local bars (and tip!) then, please, stay home on facebook and “like” pictures of all the people you wish would have sex with you.

On the other hand, I am not going to wager $20 cover on an event of dubious potential, expensive drinks, and no-reentry.  If the music sucks, at least let me spike your weak fucking $9 cocktails with the whiskey I hid in my socks. Bonus for you, my sweet venue: if I look like I’m having fun, maybe other people will be tricked into thinking they are also having fun.

Anyway.

classic-flask

First, we have our classic bootleggers flask. This one has been vandalized with a sticker. If you are wearing actual boots, and I mean big, badass boots with buckles and shit, you may be able to get away with this one. Most likely, however, you will be caught and this will be confiscated, and you will be sad because it is made of actual metal and you probably paid some dollars for it.

disposa-flask-disposable-plastic-flask

The next logical step is the plastic flask. This one is black, so it can hide in a very dark corner of your purse. It is a little bit smaller, perhaps because the makers know you want to hide it. The advertising on the front claims it can hold 5 shots.

disposable-flask-disposaflask-claims-to-hold-5-shots

However, the makers of DisposaFlask are lying liars or else they are in cahoots with the people who pour weak fucking cocktails, because I’m counting a shot as a plastic liquor mini bottle, and it don’t add up. Technically, a shot in this country is measured at 44ml, but it’s much easier to divide by 50. The DisposaFlask is not labeled in ml or even oz so I did a quick science for you:

disposaflask-holds-150ml

I’m rounding down to 150ml as a penalty for lying liar behavior. Also, and I’m just throwing this out there: look at that meniscus. (I just wanted to say meniscus in my head. Meniscus.)

disposable-flask-disposaflask-actually-holds-3-shots

That gives us 3 shots. This explains why I always finish off this flask feeling vaguely not drunk enough.

1-flask-equals-almost-5-shots

An 8oz flask does in fact hold nearly 5 shots.

pocket-shot-whiskey

Now, neither of the hardbody flasks are easy to hide on us squishy-body people, which is why the makers of Pocket Shot invented this delightful little packet.

pocket-shot-equals-1-liquor-mini-bottle-shot

The Pocket Shot is exactly the size of a regulation liquor mini, and it is definitely squishy. It will snuggle up to your skin and/or skivvies in all sorts of places. Squirrel away a few of these, and if security finds the one in your shoe at least they won’t find your nut-stash. P.S. they are fun for hookup partners to discover in your bra (true story).

The downside is that these guys are a little expensive, and of limited variety. I mean, I’m not against putting a plastic-encased mystery “W H I S K E Y” in my body, but you might want a flavor you can trust.

And so that brings us to… the DIY disposable concealable flask

infantino-squeeze-pouch-for-babies-freshly-squeezed-feeding-line

What is that? Why, it’s a squeeze pouch. For babies.

Infantino makes a squeeze pouch “feeding line” (are they children or are they livestock??) so that yuppie parents can package up custom applesauces, vegetable purrée, and other goo for their toddlers to quaff. It will set you back about $15 for a box of 50 pouches. I will demonstrate in pictures how to alter this fine product to smuggle liquor in your underwear.

photo-grid-concealable-flask-diy

Wow. This photo grid is exciting. Isn’t it just ready to go up on a Pinterest board? This is How I Spend My Summer. But the branch clipper photo kind of says it all:

turn-infantino-squeeze-pouch-into-concealable-disposable-flask

The elegant minimalism. The textures: pristine factory plastic, rusty blade, raw clipped edges. So much narrative implied in one photograph, and yet, the mystery. Congratulations, parents; I’m using my art degree to teach my friends and internet strangers how to repurpose baby products to get drunk cheaply at concerts.

infantino-squeeze-pouch-for-babies-holds-2-shots

Your DIY concealable disposable flask holds two minis. My confidential expert consultant says she can hide 4 of them in the crotch of her jean shorts. Impressive.

alternatives-to-classic-concealable-flask-liquor-alcohol-shotsA final photo for your comparison. Enjoy.