I remember it well: sticky floors, solo cups everywhere, halfway finished cases of Natty strewn around the dance floor. Any table or door became an impromptu beer pong or flip cup table. The music was so loud, everyone was yelling. Several tubs of icy/watery mixture held the beer and whatever punch someone made of pure grain alcohol flowed from their respective 5 gallon orange Gatorade spigot. Whiskey pulls from Evan Williams bottles were everywhere, every girl has a Burnett’s bottle. Just thinking about it makes me long for a good ol’ fashioned Frat Castle rager.
While not glamorous, it was what we knew and what we did. Day drinking was an all-day affair and being able to manage oneself and not cash out early was an art form. It was not unlikely for people to find their love for the day, bang wherever possible and no one was any the wiser. For some, the puke and rally was a way of life. For those with lesser constitutions, an Adderall infused bender was just what the doctor ordered. Sometimes I wish I could turn back time and live the good life once again.
I feel bad for people that never got to experience a full blown rager. A lot of people went to small private schools and never once partook in a College Gameday, went to a party with 20+ kegs, burn furniture after a big win or have the campus police kick them out of their room with a lady.
Alas, all good things come to an end, since the reason for going to college was to prepare for the adult life of death and taxes. The hay day drinkathons are all but a memory (besides bachelor parties and guys weekends), but having a good party as a postgrad is a solid skill to have.
Now, parties I attend are funded with larger budgets, better food and higher quality booze. A tradeoff, and one that I am happily willing to make. I lived the life, had a great time and met a lot of great people, but it is not a sustainable life unless you subscribe to the “better to burn out than to fade away” lifestyle.
For one, my old man passed down his grillmanship to me. There is nothing better than firing up your Weber (I can charcoal or enjoy the clean burn of propane) and slapping on some well marinated flank steak, Thuman’s deli dog or slow cook a pork shoulder. While cheap, light beer still has its purpose to keep the BAC at a solid level, mixing in a nice Brown ale, seasonal or IPA is a nice touch. The ever-important side Bourbon is my go to when manning the grill.
People now take pride in bringing something to the party, rather than sneaking in, taking beer and leaving. I am usually the one that hosts parties for my group of friends. They always ask, “What should I bring” and “should I bring beer?” Everyone has a dish they make best, and they aren’t afraid to showcase it. There is a hubris about one’s ability to contribute that seems to be unshakeable, rather than the party weasel in the days of yore.
Chances are, no one is going to call the cops on you for having an adult rager. Someone always used to break or blow out our house speakers, but here, you are the master and commander. You can even have a Will deFries specialty playlist in the comfort of your own home, as loud as you (aka your homeowner’s association) want. Throw some logs on the fire in your fire pit, hit up the Marg station. Hell, make that mint julip or that specialty basil lemonade drink you saw on Pinterest. You’ll find the booze in my liquor cabinet, all medium grade stuff purchased with my middle class wages.
Many times, people over serve themselves and crash wherever. Rather than having Hitler mustaches painted on them, people respect a guy that took it to the limit. He or she worked all week, why not let the hair down a bit? Those warriors that manage to fight the urge to crash are often rewarded with wonderful conversations that range from politics to how shitty all the other kids are in their respective kid’s class.
Adult parties are pretty great. I used to fear getting old, and maybe I’m still getting used to it. Having a strong adult party rage game elevates your status and gives you something to look forward to in between adult league sports. Everybody respects those that facilitate a good time. This skill translates well into tailgates, 4th of July events and Super Bowl parties. We worked hard to cultivate our drinking muscles in college and like every old dog, we love to show that there’s still some fight left in us. Stay thirsty my friends..
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