The only way to survive the work week is by giving yourself something to look forward to along the way. Having to wear business casual and stay on task from 9-5 every Monday through Friday is devastatingly soul-crushing. It only gets worse when you start to think about how many years you’ll spend doing the same thing. Suddenly, you start to understand the appeal of gold digging and Holly Madison doesn’t seem like she was so dumb after all. (I mean, Hugh Hefner isn’t completely unattractive and he’s so old he’d prob never want to have sex anyway). Then you consider his geriatric state and realize changing his diapers might not be worth the millions. So, what’s a post-grad working girl to do to escape the pains of mundane, everyday life? Happy hour…fucking duh.
Whoever invented happy hour is has got to be the smartest person to ever walk the Earth and I owe them my life. The fact that places give you cheaper drinks, affordable snacks and a stress-free atmosphere is proof that the universe hasn’t completely gone to shit. I’m not one to throw around words like “happy” (mainly due to Pharrell’s desecration of the word), but at happy hour, that’s exactly what I am…happy.
When happy hour is the only thing getting you through the work day, you have to know a few tricks. Some happy hours are better than others: some places have shitty hours, some places have weak drinks, and some places are filled with Russian men who keep trying to get you to smoke hookah. You definitely need to be smart about where you choose to spend your happiest hour(s) of the week.
First of all, Yelp is your best friend. People take happy hour seriously and will have no qualms about posting a scathing review if it doesn’t live up to their expectations. You can see pictures of daily menus (most places don’t put their happy hour on their websites…sneaky assholes), read about the atmosphere, and you also get a pretty good idea of the clientele.
You definitely want to go with a place that has decent times. If you get off work at 5, you don’t want to bother with a place that has happy hour from 3:00-5:30. Who wants a margarita at 3 pm anyway? Well, that doesn’t sound too bad…but that’s not the point. Look for places that go until at least 6:30. Finally getting off work only to be rushed by a bartender to get your happy hour drinks in is that last thing you need after a long day. You need to be able to take a minute to gather your thoughts…and then proceed to get shit faced.
Also, you want to be careful with your days. Some places have happy hour all week, some only on Thursdays, and some places switch it up completely. One of the biggest disappointments of my life to date was showing up to my favorite HH spot on a Tuesday only to find out their sangria was now $12. I could only have three as opposed to my habitual seven just because I came a day early. This may work in your favor occasionally, though. Every now and then you’ll find a place with endless happy hour once a week, and that is something to be revered. The only problem is knowing when to stop; having to be carried out by your co-workers isn’t a good look.
If you do get cut off (whether by happy hour time or your inability to speak without slurring) and you still want to keep the party going, go bar hopping. The best nights are started with happy hour and ended with reverse happy hour. These usually start at nine, which is pretty ideal. You have about two hours between happy hour #1 to get dinner, go home and fix your smudged mascara, work out, etc. before heading to happy hour #2.
Another great thing about happy hour is the food. Eating may not be your favorite thing (if calories are consumed, you would prefer them to be in the form of alcohol), but happy hour food is legit. The portions are smaller, too, so you don’t have to feel like a fat ass who went crazy at Denny’s or anything. Also, due to the lower prices, this is your time to go ape shit on the apps. Queso? Yes. Ceviche? Duh. Goat cheese balls? Fuck yeah.
The last piece of advice is that you choose your company wisely. Happy hour typically involves co-workers, but if that means drinking white wine spritzers with cardigan-clad, upper middle-aged weirdos, you may to keep social interactions with them at a minimum. There isn’t any amount of alcohol that is going to make their cats sound interesting. If no one in your office is worth drinking with, call up your friends who also need a break from their monotonous work week and together you can reap the benefits of happy hours around town.
By adopting the right happy hour routine, you will find that your work days will fly by, you’re in a better mood throughout the week, and the weekend will show up before you know it. Until then, feel free to indulge in your own personal happy hour at home. All you need is a couch, unlimited supply of wine and/or other preferred alcoholic beverages and a packed DVR. There’s no shame in that game.