How is it that I’ve happily been to dozens of parties that celebrate the result of two people fornicating, yet no one has once thrown me a bash for all the sex I’m having?!
Our calendars are consistently stacked with events dedicated to those procreating or creating a new life together, but what about those of us creating in other ways? Child-free and spouse-free people have already started to take matters into their own hands—registering for home goods for milestone birthdays or throwing themselves parties for career achievements—but what if we normalized invitation-worthy affairs, disconnected from marriage and children? Here’s a look at a long-overdue rebrand of beloved traditional celebrations (i.e. engagement parties, gender reveals, wedding receptions, etc.) into playful, poignant, plausible shindigs everyone can dig.
The Aunt-iversary Party
Everyone under 12 is obsessed with you. You bring the best gifts. You tell the best stories. You roll in ready to toast the 3-year-old’s sippy cup with a canned cocktail, and roll right out after 52 rounds of peek-a-boo. You’re a crucial pillar in any group’s dynamic—always prepared to entertain and protect. (Unless, of course, you’re hungover from the date with the Bumble match who also had a picture captioned “not my baby.”) The aunt-iversary party is a celebration of the cool, fun, wild aunt’s freelance commitment to all their nieces and nephews (honorary or hereditary), and the perfect pregame before your next date.
Party tip: Let your tiniest fans invite their friends, but only the ones with available single dads.
Sure, it’s better to give, but it’s also incredibly satisfying to receive. And look at that—you just received life-changing career news, an award, a degree, a raise, a promotion, an acceptance, a clean bill of health, a book deal, a giant check, or the best “yes” of your life, so it’s time to revel in your ascent to the next level at the coveted reception-reception. Order the champagne fountain, the queso fountain, the regular fountain—any kind of fountain, really—and tell the DJ to turn it up, because we’re celebrating you making moves on and off the dance floor.
Party tip: In the spirit of a classic reception activity, toss a copy of your latest achievement behind you, then watch as friends and family hurl their bodies in all directions to catch it, in hopes of being next.
The (Social Media) Engagement Party
Your latest selfie got 527 likes. Your tweet about happy hour went viral and six enemies from high school messaged you to say, “You’re famous!” A celeb shared your amusing article, emotional essay, tipsy TikTok, or poignant photo. All you can think is: This is what it must feel like when a Kardashian soft-launches a new boyfriend. Offline milestones are pleasing and paramount, but you’re crushing it online, so let’s crush some cocktails to memorialize your mentions. Send out the engagement announcements now!
Party tip: Register for a gift certificate to a relaxing, remote retreat for a brief respite from your retweets.
The Sex Reveal
Oh, boy—another gender reveal? No way, baby. This is a Tinder reveal! While married friends assume you’re having bad luck (because there hasn’t been a boyfriend reveal), you’re actually having a lot of bed luck. At this illuminating and risqué soirée, guests won’t find blue smoke from a monster-truck pipe or pink explosions that might set a small town aflame. You’ll simply be delivering a rousing report about your recent fruitful sexcapades, showcasing some of your brutally attractive, intimately-acquainted right-swipes, and eating cake while astonished attendees applaud your provocative prowess.
Party tip: Maybe don’t invite grandma to this one.
The Therapy Shower
You had a breakthrough, breakdown, or breakup. Your therapist declared you her funniest client. You finally did the challenging action the doc suggested—and it worked! You’ve been feeling yourself and feeling your feelings, and you deserve to feel appreciated and showered by your most trusted companions for the palpable progress. Fun games include: Guess My Co-Pay, Never Have I Ever (Told My Therapist…), Truth or Truth, and Attachment-Style Charades.
Party tip: Since you’ll be spilling some positive mental-health gossip (even though your therapist suggested you stop oversharing), the only reasonable theme is “tea party.”
The Literal Bachelorette Party
Why is it that soon-to-be-married people get to have bawdy bashes for being bachelors and bachelorettes when that’s kind of your thing? It’s time for your crew to celebrate you saying, “I do!” to… well, you. Get on board the party bus, fill up your Solo cup, and secure the novelty dick straws, because you’re feeling cocky about unmarried bliss. Being single? In this economy?! Truly a feat that deserves a fête.
Party tip: Update traditional bachelorette signage like LAST FLING BEFORE THE RING and ONE PENIS FOREVER to JUST AN AVERAGE SATURDAY NIGHT and AS MANY PENISES AS YOU WANT.
Image: Lucas Ottone /Stocksy.com
Bridal showers are outdated and tacky. I’m sorry (I’m not), but throwing yourself a party meant to stock your home with sheets, towels, and Tupperware seems a little outdated these days. First of all, who isn’t living with their significant other before they’re engaged? Like, and even if you aren’t, are you a home schooled jungle freak that hasn’t broken out of mom and dad’s house yet? If not, you probably aren’t ready to get married. But I digress.
The absolute worst part of any bridal shower is the games. These were likely dreamt up in the 1950s when women were super psyched about staying in a kitchen all day and rubbing their husband’s feet when he came home (not). So, to say we feel they’re outdated and tacky is an understatement. Please stop playing these bridal shower games, or at least let me know the itinerary in advance so I can make sure to not be there.
1. Anything Involving The Big Hat
You’ve seen it before. This isn’t necessarily a game, but more a terrible tradition. Basically, your aunt or mom or future mother-in-law or someone else who wants to embarrass you creates a giant hat out of ribbons from gifts and a paper plate. The bride is then required to wear it. Everyone laughs and takes pictures. Fuck that.
2. What’s In The Bag?
Just like WHAT’S IN THE BOX, this game is fucking traumatizing and terrible. The hostess takes a bunch of brown paper bags and fills them each with some kind of household item. Guests are then blindfolded and asked to “sniff” the bag. Alright fam, unless there’s some coke in one of these, count me out (lol not rly but srsly). The official rules say you can add anything from powdered detergent to ground mustard to sawdust. What sheltered Victorian betch came up with this shit? “Oh this party sucks, LET’S MAKE MARGARET SNIFF CAYENNE AND SEE WHAT HAPPENS!” Jesus Christ.
Hard pass. Unless you and your guests are over 65, this is probably going to be a real shitty time.
4. Toilet Paper Gown
This game is shitty (LOL). Guests wrap the bride in toilet paper creations after splitting into teams. Sorry I’m not super into being wrapped in the same material used in area where I do my top secret business.
5. The Newlywed Game
If, somehow, your fiancé has come to the shower with you (BIG ETIQUETTE NO-NO unless it’s a WEDDING shower and not a bridal shower), please do not play the newlywed game. Nobody wants to see the super cute responses you come up with and no one wants to see you get a question wrong and yell at your fiancé for it later.