Happy Birthday! You’re An Adult

I'm turning 28. 28! Can you believe it? Probably, because all of my tweets are about the Spice Girls or the Royal Baby. And while I'm not even sure what that means, I am sure that the older you get, the more laid-back your birthdays get to be. Remember the years of worrying nobody would show up? They're over! Now, as adults, we get to have one-on-one dinners, or patio nights, or costume things, but zero pressure. Yes, the days of pressure are behind us, and in celebration of that, here are some ideas for when you want to bask in the glory that is your age, while being surrounded by your friends, while also just hanging out and eating chips. The phrase "having it all" exists for this exclusively.

1. Hanging out
Simple, I know — but hear me out. You buy snacks. You exist at your home. And then your friends show up, who you feed with the aforementioned snacks. Maybe you add a few board games into the mix; maybe a DVD of The Bodyguard — the choice is yours. But what matters most is this: low maintainence, for everyone. For you, for them, for the cashier who rang in all those shrimp rings and bags of chips. This way, you get your pals into the same space, where you can bask in the glory of not having to pay for anything other than (affordable) food. And if they want to drink? Cool! They can walk or spend the night. You're all adults, after all.

2. An actual costume party
But on the flip side, we're at the age where we no longer have to worry about a party turning into that time a bunch of strangers trashed your home, and we can actually justify costumes that are creative over, well, the opposite of that. (Listen, guys, I was "Pamela Anderson" one Halloween when I was 19, and I wore just a really low cut tank top and an emormous pink hat — and like, jeans. It was really, really awful, and I'm sorry, everybody I dragged down with me.) So you want a theme party? You throw a theme party! And you demand that everyone abide by your theme rules or see themselves out before they even get to the door. One year, a friend had a movie characters themed soiree. The next, "heroes and villains." The year after: THE U.N. And yes, it was remarkable. (I went as France — someone else went as Hawaii. Yes, Hawaii.) Just remember, if they commit, you must as well.

3. The opposite of an actual costume party: sitting on a patio someplace
I'll be honest right now, though — I will never commit to throwing a costume party. Why? Because I'm a lazy person when it comes to socializing, and I would rather just sit in a location surrounded by people I like, and have people bring us fries and nachos. And do you want to know what? I, and you, have earned that. We have earned the right to chill out. We have earned the right not to have to clean apartments or homes, or buy any snacks, or wear anything that isn't an outfit we like. We are grown-ups. We are adults. And parties now are about who you hang out with, not how many people show up or who brought which kind of chips. So to this, I say "consider the following": a bowling alley, an outdoor patio, an indoor patio, a pub, a restaurant with the type of seating where people can just gather, and above all — never, ever karaoke. (It's fun for 20 minutes, and then everybody just wants to sit down, you know?) You can do this. I can do this. Together, we can have the greatest and laziest birthday there ever was.

Tags: adulthood, birthday parties, friends, growing up, parties

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