Partying with the grownups, sans funnels and Jell-O shots

Amy Durazo

Just when I thought it couldn’t get any worse than “What are you doing after graduation?!” it happened.

Earlier that day, my mom and dad had guilted me into accompanying them to a friendly social gathering. In other, more appropriate words, a parents’ party.


“Amy! Let me introduce you to my friend’s son. He goes to Cornell!” I shuddered at the attempted hook-up by parents, who by the way, never have good taste.

Glancing casually over my shoulder, I spied a decent-enough Ivy Leaguer perched miserably on the arm of a couch, looking pale and queasy as well as just a bit annoyed and desperate. The face of someone who has half-heartedly answered way too many questions about his future tossed out by forty-somethings.

I immediately contemplated lying about my relationship status to the bubbly mother of three before deciding that this boy seriously needed a friend his own age and I seriously needed a drink. After dragging him away from his own personal hell, we wandered through the crowd in search of alcohol, chips, and our sanity.

So this is how the other half lives.

We overheard portions of conversations-fathers arguing about the incompetence of the high school basketball coach, mothers drawing conclusions about which colors they had chosen for their master bathrooms. They joked about their jobs and laughed about their kids, sharing stories over glasses of wine and fine lagers.

There was no Natty Light in sight.

No ice luges, no flip cup, no card games. People were simply enjoying each others’ company without feeling the need to crowd around a keg and yell over loud, bumping music. There were no public hook-ups, with the exception of hand-on-hand contact every now and then.

How is that even possible!?

In the midst of power hours, case races, and keg stands, when do we become grownups? When exactly do we stop letting our childish desires overshadow our inescapable responsibilities and switch from blacked-out to businesslike?

Maybe, when we reach a certain age, we realize that we can socialize without booze flowing freely through our veins, that waking up without a hangover feels pretty damn amazing, and that the great big world out there has a lot more to offer than a few knockout parties.

Maybe we just realize that no one actually wants to be Frank the Tank, let alone date him, no matter how friggin’ awesome he seems to us at this point in our lives.

For most of us, the acquisition of our first, full-time, ohmygosh-this-is-for-real job secures our identities as adults. For others, a new pet or relationship marks the momentous conversion. And for a few (usually male) individuals, the transition may never occur at all.

“Want a tequila shot?” my dad cried as he ran over to me and my new friend, before draining one alongside many other reliable, mature parents, one of whom took a few chugs straight from the bottle.

In twenty years, when I’ve grown up and produced a few offspring, I’m sure I’ll look down upon those invalids, scorning them for their lack of morals and motivation. But for now, yes I do, and grab the salt while you’re up.