Five Party Ideas for the Busy Young Professional

Listen to “Pleased To Meet You” From Beginning to End

With “download culture” cutting a swathe through our arts, and “cherry-picking” behaviour rife among the sorts of people who don’t really appreciate music properly, the humble art of listening to whole albums is on the decline. Why not invite some like-minded friends over to nestle smugly in the arc of this dwindling pastime’s foetal curl? What could be better than sitting in the comfort of your living room listening intently to an album from start to finish, interrupted only by interval as someone flips from side one to side two?

You may have to go back a way to find an album truly worthy of the name, as so many modern “artists” are compromising the integrity of their product to assemble what are little more than hit single compilations held together by filler. The format hasn’t really been shown due respect since the mid-90s, so you can start there. Remember, being too obvious with your album choice may expose you to the ridicule of your peers, so until you build confidence, we recommend going with a difficult or less-well-known third or fourth album. “Pleased To Meet You” by Sleeper is a good first choice. Don’t let yourself down by going with an album that people will want to sing along to. This isn’t low rent karaoke.

Food and alcohol can be distracting, so warn your friends that only coffee and cigarettes will be available on the night. They will be grateful of the “no talking during the music” rule, as small-talk can be so draining.

Have A Slumber Party

As you know, the working day can be draining, and sometimes the last thing any of your friends and acquaintances will want to do is expose themselves to more socialising, and the pretence of enjoying food they didn’t choose, and wine they wouldn’t have bought. But without the dinner party, what are our options? Without the social events around which we shape our personal lives, we might be reduced to sitting in front of the television, mindlessly absorbing broadcast television in an un-ironic way.

So how do we solve these two problems – the malaise and exhaustion of constant society, and the inevitable decay of a life of lazy relaxation?

The perfect solution is the fast-growing trend of the adult slumber party!

Invite your friends over as usual, but instead of laying the dining table with plates and cutlery, place a pillow at each place setting. Some of you might like to provide blankets and mugs of hot milk or cocoa, though the minimalists among you might prefer to keep it simple.

This is the perfect event for those people who sometimes struggle to remain conscious during the same old anecdotes, and removes some of the stigma from social napping. Create a comfortable environment in which your guests can just slumber away, heads on the table.

You may want to enforce some form of dress code, to prevent social awkwardness – not everybody means the same thing by night-clothes – and make sure at least one of the hosts has some skill at massage, as back pain can occur.

Hold A Key Party

Who doesn’t want to shake up the humdrum, day-in-day-out mediocrity of their lives every now and then? How does a man cope with the existential grind of waking up in the same bed, eating breakfast with the same person, and driving the same car to the same job, every single day?

By going to a key party, that’s how!

When organising a key party, endeavour to only invite couples – the odd single person here or there is manageable, but can spoil the proceedings or disrupt the balance. For a little extra frisson and unpredictability, you might want to suggest that the primary invitees don’t explain to their partners what sort of an event they are attending!

Own transport is a must!

The rules are simple: on arrival, each couple must put their car keys into a bag or bowl. Then, after a couple of hours of good food and fine drink to loosen everybody up, and calm their inhibitions, each couple retrieves a random set of keys. Whichever keys they pull out of the bag, they now own that car!

What else can break up the monotony of a life than the sudden acquisition of a new car? Watch, as the couple who arrived in a people-carrier leave with a Porsche! Or as the prime mover in the city finds his BMW swapped out for a classic VW Beetle that only starts four out of every seven mornings!

And if the wives and girlfriends didn’t know that this was about to happen, the proceedings can sometimes take a turn for the hilarious!

Play Spin The Bottle

We all know how to play Spin The Bottle, so we won’t patronise you with a long explanation of this party game, except to tell you that you may have discarded it to the dark and spinning days of teendom, but it has just as dynamic and exciting an impact on the average adult gathering as it did on the drunken excesses of your youth.

In fact, as mature individuals, it is possible to streamline the process for a similar effect. We can already bypass the elements of validation and physical relief presented by the youthful game, because most in attendance, if they are socialites worth their salt, will already be present with their partners!

This means that all the contemporary adult game requires is that all attendees sit in a circle, or around a room, and the bottle spun in the middle once. When it lands upon someone, for the rest of the gathering all attended will contrive to ignore, manipulate, isolate or otherwise socially cuckold that person.

The adult version of the game serves an important function in any social group, because while most urges burn themselves out toward the end of one’s teens, the desire to dominate or hurt never really dwindles. And the best thing about this game is that it may keep on giving long after the party ends, with slights inflicted and vestigial resentment aired during it continuing to carry weight for days, weeks or years!

Talk Loudly About Nothing

The difference between normal people and you is that while normal people chit-chat, gossip, or otherwise waste their lives with small-talk, you have more important things to do with your time, so instead you speak, talk, and discuss. These two activities are not defined by the subject matter, which can be the same, so much as the ways in which the activities are carried out.

The first thing that it’s important to remember is that listening isn’t important. In fact, in some circles it can be seen to undermine your point of view, because a smart person already knows what they think, and doesn’t need to consider other outlooks. Also, you need to walk a tightrope between volume and timbre that suggests gravity and authority, but physical mannerisms that speak of indifference and boredom. If you appear to consider what you are saying to be both tedious and obvious, other people will find you incredibly charismatic.

The absolute best thing about this final suggestion is that it can be combined with almost any other social setting or activity, including most of the ones on this page, and in fact the experienced practitioner will manage to perform even at times that many would consider inappropriate, such as during a film at the local independent cinema, at a funeral service while the speeches are being read, or at an album listening or slumber party.

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Nicolas Papaconstantinou
Nicolas Papaconstantinou is an enthusiastic amateur creative type, and the chap behind Elephant Words. Be nice to him. He growed up kinda wrong.

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