My old nemesis, we meet again.
October 29, 2009 7:49 PM   Subscribe

How can I enjoy a frat party when I'm too old and lame to actually want to go?

I'm visiting my sister, who's in college. She's a sorority girl, and she wants me to go with her to some frat's Halloween party tomorrow night. This sounds just awful to me, but she's my little sister and I don't see her enough. (no offense to frats: I'm not in college any more, and even when I was, I didn't go to frat parties after the first semester of my freshman year. Not my scene.)

I could just refuse to go and entertain myself for the night, but I do want to spend time with my sister and it doesn't seem like she'll be talked out of going to this party with her friends [and me in tow]. So, MeFi, assuming I go, what are some things I can do to avoid seeming like a total Debbie Downer of a big sis? Tell me your tricks for making a generic frat party fun when you're a total square like me!

I will not: make out with anybody.
I will: drink.
Bonus: I will probably be coerced into going in some sort of cobbled-together sexy [fill in the blank] costume, so, uh, there's that.
posted by oinopaponton to Human Relations (27 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Get horrifically drunk. That's how everyone else, frats included, gets through frat parties.

Skimming $20 from naive freshmen with wealthy parents at the door to "defray" the cost of beer at a 10x replacement rate is fun too.
posted by Inspector.Gadget at 7:53 PM on October 29, 2009

Those parties were never my thing either, so I don't think you're being a downer at all. You shouldn't have to go to a frat party scantily clad to spend some quality time with your sister.

If she is dead set on attending, perhaps ask her if (for your sake, I mean YOU are going to visit HER after all) she'd be willing to stay at the party for an hour or two and then do some bar hopping to show you around.
posted by june made him a gemini at 8:01 PM on October 29, 2009

See if they'll let you bartend? When I get bored at parties I tend to start acting like the hostess. It's a good way of interacting with people.
posted by otherwordlyglow at 8:06 PM on October 29, 2009 [6 favorites]

take lots of embarrassing pictures and post them on facebook? :)

bring something actually worth drinking.
posted by canine epigram at 8:09 PM on October 29, 2009

Depending on how bold you're feeling, you could dress up as even older than you really are. As a really old lady. Should get you good laffs, and provides a sorta theme / precursor to the drunken rowdiness.
posted by krilli at 8:12 PM on October 29, 2009

Aw, don't think of it like "ugh I have to go to a college party". Think of yourself as being a kind of familial sentimental detective - you get to watch your beloved little sister interact with her friends and enjoy a time in her life that won't last long, and ain't coming back.
posted by moxiedoll at 8:27 PM on October 29, 2009 [6 favorites]

Take pictures. LOTS of pictures. They don't have to be flattering, it might even be better if they're not.
Fill a Jack Daniels bottle with iced tea and drink that instead.
posted by dunkadunc at 8:43 PM on October 29, 2009

Do what you will, but this is what I'd do:

*sigh* "Okay, sis; even though this totally isn't my scene, I'll go because I want to spend time with you and your friends. It'll be fun as long as we get to hang out a bit. But one condition – no crazy costumes, okay?"

Adjust condition to suit your parameters. I didn't know if the "bonus" bit was sarcastic or not (I can't stand it when people try to costume me, but your mileage may vary) so feel free to use your escape clause for an early end to the night, getting to sleep on the nicer bed, et cetera.
posted by koeselitz at 9:09 PM on October 29, 2009

Oh man, this sounds like something that would happen if I visited my little sister at college, so I feel for you. You could always have a fun sport in making the more assolish frat boys uncomfortable. It's really easy, and if you're a girl, you can get away with it. Just make sure you're around others.
posted by ishotjr at 9:16 PM on October 29, 2009

Go. Don't make special conditions or try to drag her away from the party she's really excited about early. Go, smile a lot, make small-talk with her friends, compliment people's costumes, drink at lot or just pretend to drink a lot, and don't complain to your sister once. The worst-case scenario is that you're bored out of your mind and your sister remembers for years how totally amazingly awesome you were.

So worth it.
posted by you're a kitty! at 9:17 PM on October 29, 2009 [9 favorites]

If you want to have an alright time, drink enough to talk to the stragglers. There are always people at frat parties that don't know what they are doing there or what they should be doing. These are often the most interesting people at the party. Find them and strike up a conversation, which won't be hard because they will probably be glad to talk to somebody.

If you want to have a really good time, pregame to the point where you are drunk, but not so drunk that they would not let you in the party (yes, some frats reject girls who are too drunk.) Then get drunk enough at the party to not care about the stuff that made you not like frat parties in the first place and just go with the flow.
posted by SouthCNorthNY at 9:38 PM on October 29, 2009

Nthing the 'go and have a good time' scene. Play the penis game (unless someone calls the game by a different name - shout out vulgar names to see what kind of reaction you get). Wait for the drunk frat boys to hit on you. Pour drinks with a flourish for tips. And so it goes.
posted by chrisinseoul at 11:24 PM on October 29, 2009

Bonus: I will probably be coerced into going in some sort of cobbled-together sexy [fill in the blank] costume, so, uh, there's that.

So it's a costume party. Cool. Two things come to mind:

1. best damned costume anyone's ever seen. OWN the party.

2. tell the truth; wear a "THIS TOO SHALL PASS" placard and wander around with a disappointed look on your face (while getting increasingly drunk)
posted by philip-random at 11:30 PM on October 29, 2009

Wear whatever costume you feel most comfortable in. If you're going to feel awkward being in some sort of "Slutty *insert occupation*" outfit, don't do it. If you're going to feel more awkward and out of place in a "cool nerd chick" outfit, then maybe go with something that fits in a little more.

And I agree with what SouthCNorthNY said. Once upon a time, you were at a frat party. A lot of us were. Until we realized this wasn't where our kind of people liked to hang out. So find someone at that party who hasn't realized that yet.
posted by JauntyFedora at 12:45 AM on October 30, 2009

P.S. I'm also curious about other responses to this. I'll be visiting my frat boy little brother pretty soon and he wants me to go to a house party...ugh.
posted by JauntyFedora at 12:47 AM on October 30, 2009

How are you at improvisation? Are you funny? I think it would be wonderful fun and greatly entertaining to go and do wacky/insult-y palm readings... Bring a ballpoint pen and draw the lines you are "reading" as you explain them. For example...

"Well, here I see an "M" created by the intersection of the life line and the love line (draw the "M"); now this usually indicates Money or Marriage in your future... but in this case, because of the French Fry line over here (draw a line), I'm afraid it signifies a profession at McDonalds..."

"Okay, a star in the middle of the palm usually means psychic powers, or perhaps spirit helpers... but *this* (draw X) is actually an 'unfinished' star, or an 'X', that when repeated over here (draw another, smaller X), quite definitely foretells a career in porn... (pause)... or perhaps you need porn as a 'helper' of some kind?"

If you can have a few zingers ready, and are good at making up as you go along, you'll probably be the hit of the party - and have fun, too. :)
posted by taz at 1:38 AM on October 30, 2009

Go as you and bring a six pack of a good microbrew. When asked what you are, reply "an adult."
posted by The Michael The at 4:27 AM on October 30, 2009 [7 favorites]

Tell your sister you'll go if she supplies you with a joint beforehand.
posted by sickinthehead at 5:28 AM on October 30, 2009

After I was well out of college, I bought my first house in a neighborhood that was half owner-occupied and half college student rentals. The girls a couple doors down invited me to a keg party. I figured what the hell, and went. At which point I realized I had never been to a keg party, even when in college, and wasn't even sure how to work the keg. But I actually ended up having a lot of fun, and got some good stories to tell. Reactions ranged from "good to see you're still partying at your age" to college boys hitting on me (so, what's your major? you should come to with us sometime). Really, the people watching was enough to keep me busy, and the stupid games weren't so bad after I was pretty drunk.

So I would say bring something you actually like to drink, laugh at the stupid college kids, and have a good time. If you're dreading it and expecting to hate it, you will. But if you go in with a good attitude it may be a lot better than you think.

posted by thejanna at 5:30 AM on October 30, 2009 [1 favorite]

I too am a square! And I may be the squarest person here because I'm about to go ALL wet-blanket: being a frat party, what are the odds that there will be underage drinkers in attendance? If the answer is anything above 0%, you should absolutely NOT bartend, and for chrissake don't bring alcohol, unless you are the only one drinking it and you are hugging it to your chest all night. I, personally, would not be caught dead at a function where I knew there would be under-21's imbibing, because I am paranoid as all hell and to me the risks, however slim they may appear to be, are not worth taking for a frat party. But YMMV, so if you go, mostly just don't bring anything or hand anyone anything while you're there.

posted by hegemone at 5:56 AM on October 30, 2009

Gorgot the how-to-have-fun part: Find some mom jeans, loafers, and a heavily appliqued, Christmas-themed sweater from a thrift store. Hit on EVERY guy there. You are a Country Christmas Cougar.
posted by hegemone at 6:23 AM on October 30, 2009 [3 favorites]

And, of course, Gorgot = Forgot, as you might imagine...
posted by hegemone at 6:24 AM on October 30, 2009

ask various party-goers if they want to hear a really scary story. Come in real close, use your best scary eyes, and say "not long after you graduate, you'll be unable to find a job, crippled by self-doubt, and kicking yourself for spending all your time going to frat parties and chasing tail rather than trying to actually LEARN something in college..." or you know, something like that.
posted by Jon_Evil at 10:01 AM on October 30, 2009

Get really loaded. For serious. That seems like the easiest way to make anything a lot of fun. Just don't get so loaded you're sick. You're an adult, i'm sure you can figure that out.
posted by chunking express at 10:50 AM on October 30, 2009

Get loaded but bring your own drink/drinks or drink right from the keg, and watch them carefully. Not to be a paranoid fun-wrecker but your drinks.
posted by kathrineg at 9:01 PM on October 30, 2009

Response by poster: It sucked sooooo muuuuch.
posted by oinopaponton at 9:32 PM on October 30, 2009 [6 favorites]

Well, at least you tried.
posted by chunking express at 10:21 PM on October 30, 2009 [1 favorite]

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