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Last weekend while having dinner with a friend, I overheard a couple arguing about what kind of booze the two of them should be bringing to another couple’s “stock the bar” party. The man was suggesting scotch because he wanted to bring them something a little bit out of the ordinary while the woman was insisting that they get a high-end tequila because it’s more universally loved. As so often happens in romantic relationships, the man and woman met in the middle, mutually compromising and opting for the high-end tequila.
Unfamiliar with what this whole argument was over, I leaned over to my friend across the table so as not to give away that I was eavesdropping and asked him what the hell they were going on about.
I mean, I understood from the self-explanatory name that this was an event where people showed up and stocked someone else’s bar, but he went on to tell me that a stock the bar party is done for a myriad of reasons – it could be a housewarming event, it might be used as a replacement for an open bar at an upcoming wedding, or it could be for a bridal shower (although, in this particular case, it was most likely not because men do not attend bridal showers).
Typically, guests are asked to bring two bottles of liquor or wine – one to consume while at the bar and another to put on the host’s shelf to drink at a later date. My friend also explained that sometimes, instead of booze, a guest will bring new stemware or something alcohol-centric, but the main idea behind one of these events is to get the host a bunch of booze.
I leaned back in my chair at the restaurant with what I can only describe as “stank face.” You know when John Mayer is absolutely wailing on his guitar during a solo and he’s so into whatever it is that he’s playing that he forgets what his face is doing? I was making that face, except it was because I was utterly disgusted by this entire premise.
You really can’t get any more tacky than throwing yourself a stock the bar party. This sounds like an event where invitations have to be made and a final headcount needs to be determined in advance. Planning goes into this and I’m assuming a guest list is created much like it is for a wedding.
But how anyone has the gall to make up invitations for a party where you ask others to bring booze to YOUR house that YOU keep for future events is beyond me. I know that stock the bar events have become ingrained in our culture so it doesn’t seem all that weird, but think about how ridiculous the premise of the entire thing is.
Yes, the hosts have the onus of providing some snacks and, of course, they’ll have people traipsing in and out of their new place, but in return for hosting they get couples and single people alike bringing them not one, but two bottles of booze?
And it’s not like you’re finishing every single bottle of alcohol that is meant to be drank that night. If you’re hosting a stock the bar party, it’s because you just moved into a nice place with your significant other meaning that you’re at an age where you can’t drink like you used to. They’re also (more than likely) well into their careers in a chosen field, meaning that they can afford to buy their own fucking wine and liquor. The hosts of these parties are getting away with highway robbery and we’re all just supposed to sit back and pretend like it’s hunky dory?
“Stock the bar” sounds more like something an incredibly cheap low-life down to his last dime would put on so that they can get a year’s worth (or more) of alcohol for the low, low price of free. I simultaneously hate anyone who does this but I also respect the hell out of them because it’s so patently absurd. And I really shouldn’t even be talking shit because I know that in probably two years time I’m going to be attending at least a few of these things with a smile on my face as I hand off two bottles of top-shelf liquor to an undeserving prick and his stupid fucking girlfriend.
Getting things for free is fun. Getting those same things for free under the guise that you’re somehow doing someone else a favor is really fun. I can’t do anything but tip my cap to anyone who throws a stock the bar party. You people are true legends in the scamming universe. .