I prefer cereal without milk and biting directly into string cheese; I think the Beatles are only okay. I lead a controversial life! But the quality that invites the most scorn and debate from my friends and loved ones is my abiding affection for throwing parties during the day.
“alanna can you please do a night party,” a coworker wrote on the Facebook event wall for my upcoming birthday, which is slated to take place at a bar on a Sunday afternoon. Last year he wrote “can this be on a saturday instead,” arguing that if I insisted on asking people to day-drink, they’d be more inclined when they don’t have work the following morning.
And he’s not wrong! There are many reasons why historically, human beings have chosen to funnel alcohol into their bodies and rub up against each other in the nighttime rather than during the day. It’s more convenient; everyone looks better; the things you say don’t sound quite as stupid. There is a hazy, expansive possibility built into a weekend night that the sober obligations of afternoon don't leave room for. It’s just how things are done.
But that’s exactly why you should try having a party in daylight. Take a chunk of time that’s usually earmarked for running errands or watching Felicity or trying to shake the consequences (physical and emotional) of the previous night, and convert it into a time of celebration. How often have you spent your Saturday or Sunday afternoons on your bed, watching hours slip by as the tasks pile up?
I can’t shower until after I’ve worked out, you tell yourself, but I can’t work out when I’m this hungry. And what’s in the fridge right now? Nothing but condiments and emptiness. But I can’t leave the house to go to the store when I smell like this. And so you sit, and you scroll through your phone, and you wait until it becomes too late to do any of the small but significant things that help ground you in your life. Some people call this phenomenon the “Sunday Scaries,” but I’ve found that it can crop up on Saturday too.
A party, too, is a small but significant puncture in the balloon of that paralysis. It’s something to look forward to, and to busy yourself with. It means there’s less competition from other throwers of other parties. It’s easier to combine with an activity, like card games or crafting, and it’s an excuse to go to bed early. It’s a reminder that your friends love you, that they’re willing to rearrange their brunch plans and dog-walking schedules to come sit by you, despite your weird foibles about cereal. It’s a reminder that we can carve out chunks of spiritual lightness for ourselves when we so choose.
Besides, the beauty of a day party (“darty,” I have heard but can't entirely get behind) is that it can BECOME a night party. Last year my birthday, slated to run from 3 to 6, extended itself all the way until 11 on the backs of a few core friends and a few surprising then-newcomers, now-pals. On a school night, no less! And yes, we were sleepy the next day, and I spent too much money on Brussels sprouts and nighttime Bloody Marys*, and not everyone could make it. But isn’t that the case with even the best parties, day or otherwise? Might as well dance what (and when) you feel.
*Another item, like parties and breakfast, that should be unstuck from its culturally appointed timeframe for maximum enjoyment.