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You heard about this party from a friend of a friend that you just happened to run into the day of. Sure they were beating around the bush when you asked about their plans, but the way they uttered, "You should, uh, stop by," sounded like a sincere invitation, right? Who cares if you only met the host once while at another party you weren't invited to, at this point you'll take anything.

 

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You just know a party's going to be off the chain (people still say that, right?) when there's a Facebook page for it, especially if this group was made weeks in advance. Of course, you weren't even invited to join the FB event page, but you're just glad it's public and not private. Study the names of everyone attending and check out their profile pages. "Accidentally" add several of these people. This is called "Pre-Alienation". 

 

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By 5pm the day of you should be sitting on your couch, showered and dressed, waiting for the perfect time to leave for the party. Glance at your watch every three seconds to notice how excruciatingly slow time is passing. You have nothing else to do on a Friday night but wait for this party you weren't even invited to. Once it's 5:30pm, you're ready to head out. If the party is at a house, make sure to park in the driveway, at an angle. When you're at the front door, wait around for a second. Count to 100 or sing the happy birthday song. Are you scared? You should be, you weren't even invited, yet here you are. Once you've sang the birthday song seven times, ring the doorbell as fast as your trembling finger can. Maybe knock a few times, too. 

(Note: If the host of the party doesn't answer the door in a towel and shampoo in their hair, then you're not early enough.)

 

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When your sort-of friend sort-of invited you, he explicitly exclaimed that tonight's par-tay (still a thing, right?) was BYOB. But you forgot what that meant, because of your crippling social anxiety and lack of experience attending parties. It crossed your mind to swing by the local grocery store to pick up a six-pack or a bottle of wine, but that's like, eleven bucks, man. Besides, there'll be booze at the party.

 

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See, there is booze at this party. Make sure to help yourself to whatever you want. Want a beer? Don't grab that watered down crap in the ice tub, help yourself to the craft beer that the host explicitly put in the fridge so that guests wouldn't drink them. Remember, though, those bad boys aren't twist offs, so bother party guests one by one until someone has a bottle opener they can lend you. Be sure to fail pathetically at opening the bottle so that they'll pity you and do it themselves. Now you can enjoy your beer. Gross, it's all dark! Drink half of your beer and leave it dangerously close to the DJ set.

 

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Sit on the couch. The couch is your friend. Pretend to text someone. When your butt gets tired, stand up and stretch your legs. Stand outside groups of people and pretend to be a part of their conversation. Laugh awkwardly before the punch line--I cannot stress that enough. Pray there's a bookshelf you can browse through. See a book you like? Fuck it, pull that bad boy off the shelf and go on a literary adventure. 

 

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The hallway bathroom is probably all gross from people using it all night, so help yourself to the one in the master bedroom. What's that? There's something of the sexual nature going on and they haven't noticed you? Exclaim you didn't see anything (even though you totally saw some butt, doesn't matter if it was guy or girl) and head straight into the bathroom. Go through the medicine cabinet. Sample some of that cologne you can't afford, maybe rub some of that lotion on your dry, yet oily skin. And don't you dare think of flushing the toilet. 

 

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Well, it's 10:45pm and you've been here for an alarmingly uncomfortable five hours. It's about time you head home, or "bounce" as people say, because you have work tomorrow (work on a Saturday? Good god). Don't forget to put your shoes back on, because you were the only one at the party considerate enough to take them off in the first place. As you open the door, say "Goodbye everyone!" with a wave of your hand. The three people that heard you will awkwardly wave back.

And now you've successfully alienated yourself at a party. But you didn't get any good pictures to show to your mother! That's alright, browse your Facebook feed Saturday morning, there's bound to be a photo or two with you in the background reading the movie tie-in edition of The Fault in Our Stars.

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