Right now there’s nothing I’m looking forward to more than Netflix dropping its new trashy reality dating show, Too Hot To Handle. Well, I’m also looking forward to the day I can leave my house and enjoy the company of another human person, but I don’t dare to dream that impossible dream. So reality TV it is! Earlier this week I watched the trailer and determined that Too Hot To Handle is going to be the successor to Love is Blind, only with more alcohol, a cash prize, and a robot named Lana who will shame the contestants when they try to get away with playing “just the tip”. She’s not mad, she’s just disappointed. So, who are these lucky contestants that get to keep it in their pants for cash? Let’s break them down!
Chloe Veitch, Essex, United Kingdom
Chloe is a model who is only 19. Wow, Netflix. Was this filmed on Jeffrey Epstein’s island? I’m calling the police. Anyway, since Chloe is so young, look for her to not be able to hold her liquor and slur profess her undying love for the first boy that carries around a skateboard and tells her he doesn’t subscribe to relationship labels. In fact, her bio says, “She once fell head over heels for someone and after only two weeks she got a tattoo on her collarbone of the date they met”. Let’s hope there are no tattoo artists on this island!
David Birtwistle, London, United Kingdom
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It’s rare I do this but more recently I’ve been looking back and looking forward because the right now isn’t too exciting . Being at home so much with less to do than normal, it’s given me time to reflect on what I love about life . 1) Freedom – to travel, to talk, to think, to create, to do. It is a great privilege to do all of them and something that brings me great joy. 2) Flexibility – monotony kills my happiness. I want the variety and the new. New experiences shape our beliefs and allow us to grow as people. Being stuck in the same environment provides no new stimulus to evolve. 3) Family – Riding solo is fun but lacks depth. The more I invest in people, show them my vulnerabilities, flaws and talk openly with them, the deeper our relationships go. . How many of the people you used to hang out with are actually checking in with you at the moment? . By taking this time of a slightly less fast paced life, I’m learning a lot about myself, that I can hopefully take into the future. . What have you learned about yourself recently? . #actionsreflectpriorities
David is, obviously, a personal trainer with a health and nutrition guide titled “Fat Loss Plan.” Well, I guess It’s always good to know they’re not creative right out of the gate, right? David also has the longest Instagram captions that I have ever seen, so I’m sure he will be mansplaining all the rules to the women like, “Now see that robot over there? A robot is a machine that can talk, by the way. The robot said that on this island we will not be able to do any sexual activity if we want to win money. Now, sexual activity includes kissing and sex, but she never specifically said that you couldn’t suck my dick so best to get on with it, then.”
Francesca Farago, British Columbia, Canada
Francesca eats plant-based so she is probably f*cking miserable to be around, but she definitely looks great in a bikini! And in lingerie. And topless. All of which are looks that Francesca models on her Instagram. According to her Netflix bio, Francesca is a “free spirit and a thrill-seeker” who is “not afraid to break the rules.” Uh-oh. So basically, Francesca ends up disobeying Lana on night one, and though she goes home early, she goes home satisfied.
Haley Cureton, Florida, United States
It looks like Netflix was smart enough to forage for contestants in a dumpster at the Jacksonville Hooters! Never say these casting directors don’t know what they’re doing. Haley is a business student and volunteers at an animal shelter in her free time. How sweet! Also, according to her bio, she “once got a tattoo done in an ‘unknown language’—to this day she still doesn’t know what it says.” I can’t make this up! Florida, you never fail to deliver. Haley is also open to exploring relationships with both men and women, which is going to make this game an awful lot harder for her. Best of luck to you Haley, you never even had a chance!
Harry Jowsey, Queensland, Australia
Damn, Harry already has almost 150k followers, and I can’t seem to figure out why. Maybe it’s because he’s 6’5”? He calls himself a “giraffe on ice” in his bio, so obviously he knows comedy. Netflix warns that he turns heads as soon as he walks onto the island, so look for Harry to lose the group a ton of money, but make a joke about it, and have everyone still patting him on the back as he turns their bank account red.
Kelechi Dyke, London, United Kingdom
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She said wow you got style, I just smiled like im proud. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . #party #yolo #livelife #fun #happy #instagood #twelveskip #instamood #statigram #iphonesia #igers #instadaily #tweegram #instagramhub #follow #bestoftheday #iphoneonly #igdaily #picstitch #followme #webstagram #jj #picoftheday #all_shots #instagood #instamood #statigram #iphonesia #twelveskip #igers #instadaily #tweegram #instagramhub #follow #bestoftheday #iphoneonly #igdaily #picstitch #followme #webstagram #jj #picoftheday
Kelechi is 6’6”. What is with this height listing? We get it! You all have big d*cks! I’m so happy for you! Now, if only you didn’t wear that Gucci crossbody bag everywhere, Kelechi, maybe I would care more. I swear if he brings that to the island, he’s the winner. That thing is a modern-day chastity belt.
Matthew Smith, Colorado, United States
Matthew has a man bun, competed for America’s Next Top Model, CARRIES A SKATEBOARD, and has many mottos, one of which is, “I skinny dip in every sea anywhere I go.” Oh, poor Chloe. He is going to neg you all season, sweetheart. Matty is 1,000% in this for the fame, so I’m sure we’ll see him displaying his range of emotions in the hopes of getting cast as Jesus in a Mel Gibson epic when this is over, but instead only landing bit parts like “dead carpenter #3” on Law & Order: SVU. Hey, he could do worse!
Nicole O’Brien, County Cork, Ireland
Too Hot To Handle has not even dropped yet, and Nicole has already set up a Cameo where you can book her for $35. A little rich for someone with less than 10k Instagram followers, no? She must be very confident in her edit. Which probably means she’s the villain who goes after everyone else’s man. She did, apparently, work on yachts “in Chicago for two years hosting Kanye West, Justin Bieber, and Jay-Z,” so if that doesn’t make you an expert in attention whore behavior, I don’t know what does. Oh, and she definitely speaks with a breathless sexy baby voice. Just a hunch, but man, she looks the type.
Rhonda Paul, Georgia, United States
In the trailer, Rhonda says she would rate herself a 10 out of 10, and it’s hard to disagree. Normally I hate people who are so arrogant, but they’re way more fun on a reality show than watching someone mumble into the mirror “you repulse me.” I already get enough of that at home! Rhonda claims she is “bored” with the dating scene in Atlanta. A girl that is bored with the dating scene is either me a girl who spends her Friday nights re-watching old Degrassi episodes on YouTube while wearing a shirt with three-day-old pizza sauce stains on it, or a girl who has banged her way through an entire city’s worth of men. I’ll let you guess which one Rhonda probably is.
Sharron Townsend, New Jersey, USA
And, because no trashy reality show is complete without a contestant from my very beautiful home state of New Jersey, we have Sharron. Sharron is a personal trainer and professional kids wrestling coach who likes hitting on the moms and is apparently incredibly comfortable with nudity. Expect him to be the exhibitionist who somehow never has a towel nearby when he gets out of the shower! Where could it have gone?? But in his defense, Sharron says he was born naked, and he’ll die naked. And you can’t die naked if you’re not ALWAYS naked. He won’t be taking the risk of wearing clothes, no thank you.
Bryce Hirschberg, California, USA
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Bryce lives in Marina del Rey. He looks like a male model and mediocre actor. And he could definitely hang a TV in seven minutes. I think we all know what that means. I predict that while Bryce is a loser on Too Hot To Handle, when he comes home, Scheana Shay slides into his DM’s and they become BEST FRIENDS. He has sex with her once. And then he spends the rest of his life unsuccessfully trying to extract himself from her death grip. The end!
Kori Sampson, Hertfordshire, United Kingdom
Kori is also a male model and personal trainer! Shocking! His guide is called “Lean Lifestyle”, for which I will award higher creativity points solely for the use of alliteration. I do wish all these contestants would stop shoving their healthy plans down my throat, though, because I will be binge-eating chocolate covered Oreos while binge-watching this show, and you can’t stop me!
Lydia Clyma, London, United Kingdom
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Isnt it crazy that we watch people get punched in the face for entertainment? 🥊 We spend money to watch, we get paid to work at events and we place bets on who can knock the other one out sooner? Humans will forever be a questionable species 🥴 but regardless, I love it! Working in boxing and MMA isnt just my job, but my hobby 💫
Lydia seems to be some kind of ring girl for boxing? Is that what it’s called? I’m more of a baseball fan and I don’t watch Total Bellas, so the breadth of my knowledge on this topic is v limited. But I think it means she likes watching grown men beat the sh*t out of each other, right? I assume this will help Lydia on the island very much, she’ll stir the pot just so the men fight over her and she can feel like she’s home again for a few beautiful seconds. Evil strategy, but I like it.
Madison Wyborny, California, USA
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For a girl that’s always on the move, I panicked at the thought of not being able to work or go anywhere at first for months. But now I sit here in my hometown, appreciating this time I’m able to decompress and just stop for a second. I’m sure many of us like myself never take time in our normal everyday lives to just slow down and be present. Wherever there’s negative you can find positive right next door. Your outlook inspires your output. The world may never stop for us again. x
Madison is a model who is quarantining in Bali. So, and I mean this with all my heart, f*ck you Madison, I hope you lose.
And those are our Too Hot To Handle contestants so far! May the odds be ever in their favor, and may they all make fools of themselves on tv for my entertainment.
Nineties babies, I hope you haven’t thrown out your Trapper Keeper bedazzled with “Mrs. Timberlake” just yet, because you might still have a shot! That’s right, your middle school crush Justin Timberlake was just caught getting touchy with a woman who was decidedly not Jessica Biel. The Sun exclusively reported on Saturday that Timberlake was out in New Orleans drinking heavily and holding hands with his costar Alisha Wainwright. They’re in town filming a football movie named Palmer, for which Timberlake will not win an Oscar. Call it a hunch. They have photos and video of the incident, which I did watch despite the fact that there was an ad every nine seconds. I do this for you. Based on the content of this evidence, I suspect someone is about to be in a lotttt of trouble back at home.
Let’s talk about what happens in this video. JT appears to be pretty drunk, and oddly he’s more attractive to me than he’s been in years. One has nothing to do with the other, I’m sure. He and Alisha are out drinking on a balcony together, and at one point Alisha sits next to JT, and he grabs her hand and puts it on his leg and SHE CARESSES IT. Now, I don’t know how you all interact with your married coworkers, but I usually just ask them to send me pictures of their home renovations, no caressing involved. There are also photos of him holding hands with Alisha under the table. And that’s not all! In the video he is grabbing hands and getting playful with another woman as well. All in all, not a good look for JT, but also not definitive proof he’s a cheater. I mean, it definitely proves he’s a douchebag, but I think we already knew that.
Another problem JT is going to have to deal with? He’s not wearing his wedding ring in this video. Now, this, along with his behavior, could be an indication that he and the most annoying Camden sibling (fight me) actually have broken up, he’s a single man, and they just haven’t announced it yet. Celebrities usually keep that sh*t on lock until they drop the news strategically on Friday night or right before a long weekend. We see you. And neither of the Timberlakes have posted about each other on Instagram since Halloween, which is not necessarily a long time, but like, Starbucks has already rolled out their Christmas drinks, so maybe it is?
On the other hand (not literally, the ring was on neither hand), maybe JT wasn’t wearing his ring because he just wanted to be like a regular married man looking to score and slid it right into his pocket before hitting on someone way too hot for him. Or, if you are not like me and prefer to give people the benefit of the doubt, maybe you think he just left it at home because he knew he’d be out drinking and didn’t want to lose it. That’s sweet.
People immediately followed up this report with one of their own, with a source claiming that it was “completely innocent,” and that Justin and Alisha are filming a movie together and “they’re cool.” And this source’s name was Shmustin Dimberlake. Timberlake himself is yet to make a statement about what happened, but he was caught having the decency to look mildly embarrassed the next day.
Regardless of whether he is a cheater or not, this is a pretty embarrassing situation for JT. He’s visibly drunk out in public, acting way too flirty with women who are not his wife, and let himself be photographed and videoed without anyone knowing! He’s super rich and super famous, he should know better than this—or should have at least surrounded himself with people who know better than this. It’s sloppy. I doubt he and Jessica are separated, but I do hope that she rips him a new one when he returns home. Maybe if we’re lucky she’ll ban him from being in that movie and none of us will be subjected to his terrible acting ever again. A girl can dream!
It’ll be disappointing if the cheating rumors turn out to be true, but Justin would be far from the first famous person to be caught in bed with someone who’s not their spouse. Just for old time’s sake, let’s reminisce about some of the messiest celeb cheating scandals. There are honestly way too many to choose from, but I’ve done the tough work of narrowing it down.
Tristan Thompson & Khloé Kardashian
Perhaps the most notorious cheater of the last couple years is none other than Tristan Thompson. Who could forget when he was spotted with another woman while Khloé Kardashian was in Cleveland, literally about to give birth to his baby? For whatever reason, Khloé stayed with him, until almost a year later, when the Jordyn Woods news hit the fan. He and Jordyn may not have slept together, but their inappropriate behavior was finally enough for Khloé to ditch his ass. Thank f*cking god.
Ben Affleck & Jennifer Garner
Even four years later, I’m still not quite over the way things went down with Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner. They seemed like a normal, happy couple, which is why it was so disheartening that Ben cheated on Jen with their nanny, Christine Ouzounian. Ben’s team tried to deny the rumors, but you know some shady sh*t is going down when the nanny gets fired one day after you announce your divorce. Jen is now dating a super normal guy, and Ben can kick rocks.
Tiger Woods & Elin Nordegren
It’s been 10 years since the great Tiger Woods Cheating Scandal of 2009, but it’s no less crazy a decade later. After an initial tabloid report about Tiger having an affair, an avalanche of mistresses began coming forward, with nearly a dozen women accusing Tiger of sleeping with them. If you’re going to cheat, you should probably try to keep the number of mistresses to like, one hand at least. Tiger’s wife Elin divorced him the next year, and this year she gave birth to a son with former NFL player Jordan Cameron. Good for her.
LeAnn Rimes & Eddie Cibrian
This cheating scandal was M E S S Y, and there are so many layers here to unpack. LeAnn and Eddie were both married to other people in 2008, when they started hooking up while shooting a Lifetime movie together. Honestly, how all great relationships begin. They eventually went public and left their spouses to be together. They’re still together, so maybe this was for the best? Also, you might remember that Eddie Cibrian’s ex-wife is a woman by the name of Brandi Glanville, who would go on to be an iconic Real Housewife, and also one of the root causes of the drama that gave us Vanderpump Rules (because Scheana also slept with Eddie). This cheating scandal is so deep, and its ripple effects have greatly benefited my life, even years later.
What’s the craziest celeb cheating scandal you can remember? And do you believe that Justin Timberlake cheated on Jessica Biel? Let me know in the comments, because I need conspiracy theories about this.
Images: giphy, justintimberlakebelge,jessicabiel/Instagram
Presented by Moxy Hotels
Planning sucks, and bachelorette parties are a ton of work. So we’re taking all the guesswork out of planning a bachelorette party by breaking down top bachelorette destinations. Our guides will tell you where to stay, eat, party, how to get around, and give you a sample itinerary that you can follow. You’re welcome.
Bahstan really comes alive in the fall, and so will you, on an all-out bachelorette trip to B-Town. If you reside in Mass, are from the East Coast, or just looking to party it up on the cheap(er) side and not travel far, Beantown is a solid destination. It’s an easy year-round quick getaway. It’s a walkable metropolis packed with quality hotels, restaurants, bars, and adorable cobblestone streets made for impromptu photoshoots. Believe it or not, you can actually have a pretty epic girls trip in the “City of Champions”.
Boston’s really been stepping up their hospitality, culinary, and nightlife game, and they even have a Vegas-style club where you can order bottle service, dance on tables, and act like girls gone wild until you’re kicked out it’s time to go home. If you can avoid behaving like a total Masshole, or getting into any fights with the ones who live there, kudos to you. You’re not trying to get arrested on your last fling before the ring and have to dip into the wedding fund for bail money. With that being said, here’s our ultimate bachelorette guide to Boston.
How To Get There
Good news: Boston is a major city, so it’s not terribly hard to get to. The main airport is Logan if you happen to be flying from the South or the West Coast, but if you’re on the East Coast, you can also drive, train, or a take a boozy limo because it’s your bach and you do what you want! From NYC you’re looking at a 4+ hour drive and honestly around the same number of hours if you take Amtrak, but then you can pregame, so there’s that. Flying will get you to Beantown in closer to 2 hours from NYC, or approximately 5.5 hours from LA. Boston is wicked cheap to get to, though. Flights from the East Coast can be found for as low as $180 (or $130 from NYC), but pro tip—book on a Sunday. It’s the new Tuesday for bookings.
How To Get Around
Boston is a walking city, but obviously Uber, Lyft, and cabs work when your heels don’t. Another way to get around is the good ol’ T. The T isn’t as gross as the subway in NYC and for some places you go to, can take shorter than driving. Another option we love? Safr, which is ridesharing for women, by women. So if you don’t feel like dealing with some aggro Uber driver canceling on you when you’re just trying to find him when you’re blackout drunk, go with a local Boston lady who will probably compliment you on your outfit and give your squad tips on where to party all weekend. They’re friendly like that.
Where To Stay
The Moxy: The Moxy Boston Downtown just opened recently, and it’s already the place to stay if you want to take advantage of everything Boston has to offer. The location could not be more central, but tbh, you might not even want to leave the hotel. Between the industrial chic design and theatrical decor, the space is a perfect backdrop for your insta. There’s even a food-truck themed photo booth (because, why not?) if your phone is a dinosaur like mine. This is obviously ideal, because you know you’ll hate the pics you drunkenly decided would be so cute at the club after a few too many. Like all Moxy Hotels, the party starts as soon as you step into the lobby, with a video wall, games, and a free cocktail when you check-in.
The Moxy’s bar, appropriately named Bar Moxy, is the perfect spot to kick off your night with their signature “Got Moxy” cocktail. By the time you’re ready to hit the town, the hotel’s location is walking distance from all of the best food and drink in Downtown Boston. And the Moxy also has you covered when you come back at the end of the night, with 24-hour grab and go food inside the hotel. They even have a special “Curtain Call” menu, filled with dunchie delights, because the Moxy gets it. God bless. Combined with brand-new rooms with amazing floor-to-ceiling views, your bach group is going to be very happy with this hotel choice.
Hotel Commonwealth: This popular hotel is basically on top of Fenway Stadium, so it’s prime turf for taking in games and being in close proximity to all the Kenmore Square bars. It has a craft cocktail bar onsite, The Hawthorne, where you’ll start and end your nights. Two in-house restaurants (Eastern Standard and Island Creek Oyster Bar) also round out the list of perks, because when you’re hungover you need to be as close as humanly possible to mimosas and eggs Benedict. As for the digs, their posh 245 guest rooms, suites, and signature suites are spacious AF.
XV Beacon: The tone at XV Beacon Hotel is swankkky, so if you and your crew are some fancy betches, this is where you wanna check in. Important info to note: they allow pets for any four-legged friends looking to jump on the party bandwagon; they have a chic little roof where popping bottles of bubbly is a must; and in-house restaurant, Mooo, is next-level for group dinners.
The Godfrey Hotel Boston: The Godfrey is super cute and all, but let’s be serious—we check in here for the Bloody Mary bar cart that comes to your room at the press of a button. You can even request meeting rooms like the Blake and Amory as “get-ready” rooms, to blast single lady anthems and discuss life important outfit decisions before you hit the town. For dinner, there’s RUKA Restobar downstairs, which is a Peruvian-Japanese option that brings Nikkei cuisine to the forefront in Boston.
Where To Eat
Real talk: Bach’ing in Boston isn’t like bach’ing in the Hamptons, Miami, or on some tropical island where you have to be in a swimsuit 24/7, so get ready to eat. A lot.
Fox & The Knife: James Beard award-winning chef Karen Akunowicz of Myers+Chang fame just opened her first solo venture, and it’s pretty badass. It’s been named one of 2019’s Best New Restaurants by Food & Wine and Eater, so reserve in advance, if you want any shot in hell of getting in. As for the eats, there’s this cheese-stuffed focaccia situation on the menu that will make your life complete and pastas so good, you run the risk of getting into a fight with the bride over the last bite.
Uni: If you’ve ever wanted to nom on crazy good sushi while listening to old-school rap, go here. It doesn’t get any better than Uni in Boston, and they offer a private dining room so you can be as debaucherous as you want. JK, keep it together—you want to be semi-sober to enjoy this. P.S. There’s late-night ramen on the menu, so keep that knowledge in your back pocket when the munchies strike.
Peregrine: Peregrine is the new kid on the block—the Beacon Hill block, to be exact—in The Whitney Hotel. It’s basically a love letter to the Italian islands of Sardinia and Sicily and their ever-changing seasonal menu highlights include: pappardelle with braised chicken, steak with addictive rosemary garlic potatoes, and Catalonian tomato bread—just like nonna used to make. Oh, and you’ll want to get dressed up.
Myers+Chang: This upscale Chinese, Taiwanese, Korean, Asian-ish restaurant is uberrrrr famous and has a million dim sum-y things on the menu that you’ll dream about long after you crawl back home in a post-bender state. Word to the wise, though: maybe save this one for last and wear stretchy pants unless you want to be in a food coma after.
Bistro du Midi: The posh 10-year-old French bistro overlooks the Boston Public Gardens and has Le Bernardin alum chef Robert Sisca manning the kitchen, so you know it’s legit. Go for a ladies who boozy brunch moment when you want to #roséallday and devour platters of charcuterie, flatbread, and pommes frites. I mean, a bachelorette party is technically a food tour, right?
Committee Ouzeri + Bar: Nestled in the middle of the Seaport district is Committee, a modern Greek ouzeria GEM that’s become a go-to hang in the past few years. It’s spacious (aka good for groups), has delish mezze, and some of the most insane craft cocktails in the city. Evidence below.
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SMOOTHER THAN A FRESH JAR OF SKIPPY🥜🍇 Peanut Butter Jelly Time🍌peanut butter washed Redemption Rye, raisin syrup, orange & Angostura bitters @skippybrand @brunomars @alizmeszesi . . . . #committee #thebaratcommittee #keepitreal #keepitcommittee #smooth #uptownfunk #funk #peanutbutter #peanutbutterjellytime #brunomars 📷 @heathosaurusrex
Toro Boston: This big deal Boston tapas restaurant brings the Barcelona vibes HARD, thanks to celeb chefs Ken Oringer and Jamie Biss. And seriously, what’s better than bonding over a massive pan of paella? Not a whole lot TBH.
SRV: Come for the cicchetti (Venetian-style) bar snacks; stay for the $45 tasting menu that’s one of the best in the city. You’ll feel like you’re in Italy, only you’re in Boston, most likely on your 4th glass of vino, licking your plate clean.
Barking Crab: This place is an institution in Boston, parked below The Envoy Hotel, smack dab on the waterfront. An “urban seafood shack”, if you will. Slam a few oyster shooters, then order the New England-style clambake, plus all the lobster rolls, chowdah, and fried fish sandwiches that will fit on the table.
Where To Party
Boston loves themselves some moody, brooding, speakeasy lairs. Among the winners are Wink & Nod, Yvonne’s, and Lion’s Tail, so be sure to allow yourself plenty of time to hit them all before passing out. Then there are the other tried-and-true fan favorites and one very Vegas-y club.
Alibi at The Liberty Hotel: Any bar that looks like a jail cell, is housed in a former prison, and has mug shots of Lindsay Lohan and Frank Sinatra hanging on the walls is our kind of place.
The Pour House: The Pour House is literally the greatest place on earth—when you’re in Boston. In fact, Rihanna visited THREE f-ing times on her last trip to Boston! The Po Ho is as neighborhood watering hole as it gets, but in that special “I can’t wait to go back” kind of way.
Lookout Rooftop and Bar: Their catch phrase says it all: Today’s forecast: 100% chance of cocktails. The best rooftop views in Boston, a cool kids kinda crowd, and heated igloos (in the winter) made for imbibing, while getting that high-performing content for the ‘gram. Need we say more?
Yvonne’s: You can’t go to Boston and not go to Yvonne’s. It’s a rite of passage. Located in the former Locke-Ober space, this sexy supper club flows from dinner, to drinks, to lounging and their menu is all about the sharable plates. Prepare to spend all night here and LOVE IT.
The Hawthorne: The Hawthorne’s curated cocktail menu is filled with wild concoctions, thanks to mixologist wizard Jackson Cannon. So getting the bride toasted from off-the-cuff libations and rare cognacs, mezcals, and well-aged rums is par for the course. Be sure to hit up Swizzle Sundays or Sunday Sips, depending on the season. It gets lit.
The Grand: The Grand is Boston’s version of a Vegas nightclub. Drawing international DJ talent and names like Tiësto, Aoki, Hardwell, R3HAB, Marshmello, etc., it’s worth a stop on your bach weekend. Grab your girls and get yourself a table because once the bottle service starts following, you’re going to want to keep partying all night. Or at least until 2am. when the bars shut down. COME ON, BOSTON.
Friday, Day 1
Pro Tip: Make Friday your city day for shopping, doing touristy stuff, etc. You ain’t got time for that on Sat.
- Swing by the hotel, drop your stuff off, and hit the bar at the Moxy for the first of many rounds of the weekend. Pro tip: Bar Moxy’s “French Spritz” is super tasty and light enough to fend off any mini-hangovers in the afternoon.
- Make your way over to the Newbs (Newbury Street)/Boylston St. for shopping with a side of lunch. Top spots include: Parish Cafe, Stephanie’s On Newbury, Pour House DUH (Rih loves the wings), and Lolita Back Bay.
- Get the bride toasted at lunch, then go drive an amphibious vehicle through the water. No really, this is a thing here. Boston Duck Tours are land-meets-water historical tours of Boston in replica World War II vehicles that look (sorta) like ducks. And they’re basically asking for wasted bachelorette groups to be on board, since all you do is scream QUACK QUACK at innocent people the whole time.
- Chill at the hotel, try to nap, then pop bottles and let the glam begin.
- Work the Seaport circuit via dinner/drinks at Committee and Lookout Rooftop.
- Party at Grand like it’s your job, then collapse in your bed.
Saturday, Day 2
Pro Tip: Grab coffee to go from your hotel (and maybe chug a mimosa or three), then head over to Charles St., the cutest street in all of Boston, for group pics on The Hill before you spend the rest of the day getting schwasty-faced.
- Brunch on Charles at The Paramount (if your crew is small) or at Scampo at The Liberty Hotel, or back over by the park at Bistro du Midi.
- Proceed to eat and drink all the things.
- If your squad is the spa type, book afternoon treatments at Exhale Boston in Back Bay or Battery Wharf.
- Or book the Bridal Dash Boston scavenger hunt where you’ll
try not to go madhave a good time because you’re a good friend, damnit.
- Another option for later: Keep drinking on a booze cruise around the harbor. The Boatonian has DJs, dancing, and all the cape codders you can handle (without vom’ing) for $30 per person (NOT including the cost of drinks, ugh). Country Saturdays features the best live country bands in New England—if you’re into that sort of thing—and they start boarding at 8:30pm and shove off at 9pm sharp. Contact Matt at (617) 306-3347 for the group discount hookup.
- Do a late dinner (Fox & The Knife, Toro Boston, Uni, Yvonne’s), then hit the speakeasies for a few, before ending at the Boylston bars for last call.
Sunday, Day 3
Pro Tip: Ask for a late check-out in advance (some hotels let you pay more) so you can capitalize on Sunday Funday.
- Wake up, raid the mini bar for all the water in the room (and maybe more champagne), pop some Tylenol and get ready for brunch! It’s a marathon, not a sprint!
- Go out with a bang at Dim Sum Brunch at Meyers+Chang.
- Pass out on your flight, bus, train, car ride home—unless you’re the driver. Don’t do that.
Until next time, Boston!
Images: todd kent / Unsplash; hotelcommonwealth (2), xvbeaconhotel, godfreyboston, foxandknife, uni_boston, whitneyhotelboston, myersandchang, bistrodumidi, committeeboston, toroboston, srvboston, barkingcrab, alibiboston, thepourhouseboston, lookoutrooftop, yvonnesboston, bar500a, thegrandboston / Instagram
Everyone does something they don’t realize is annoying AF. And honestly, college only brings out these habits even more (often because alcohol is involved). Living in ignorance can truly be bliss, but we’d all be better off if someone would call us out for our bad habits so we can all stop being so f*cking annoying! Thankfully, I’m here to do just that. Hopefully by the end of this, we’ll all learn to stop stealing people’s booze and get off our goddamn high horses about our majors.
The Obnoxiously Late
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Being late to class is one thing, but making a big show out of it is just obnoxious (and a display of your complete lack of self-awareness). Just come in, sit the f*ck down, and make as little noise as possible. You really think everyone wants to hear about your alarm “not going off” and how there were “actually zero parking spots” and all your other bullsh*t excuses? Literally no one cares. And if you think you’re in the clear because you don’t spit out a litany of excuses as you rush to your seat, think again. The performative dumping of your backpack onto your desk, typing aggressively on your laptop, and flipping through your notebook as fast as possible needs to stop, too. We geeeet ittt. You’re late. Tragic. But the dramatic display of trying to prove how stressed you are about it doesn’t make me hate you less, or make you any less late.
The “Busy” Bitches
Oh, you’re taking a full course load, are involved in extracurriculars AND have a job? Crazy how absolutely no one else does. There’s not a single person on the planet who’s ever done as much as you. I bet your schedule rivals that of an influencer during fashion week! *Cue eye roll*
First of all, you’re not the busiest person in the world (or at your school, for that matter) just because you color-code your planner. Secondly, “busy” is not a personality trait or a badge of honor. Literally everyone can tell that when you complain about how you “basically live in the library” or “just have so much going on right now,” you’re not-so-subtly trying to say you think it makes you better than others. Hot take: being busy doesn’t make you important.
The People Who Sh*t-Talk Your Major
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Listen, I’m a theatre major, so I know how “useless” and “easy” it seems to all you pre-med and engineering majors. But would YOU like to stay up until 4am figuring out how to attach a life-sized puppet to your body while someone nearly drills a screw into your collarbone!? No? Didn’t think so. Just like I don’t want to spend an entire afternoon staring into a microscope watching cells do…whatever it is cells do. Everyone has different skills and interests, because duh, everyone’s different. Quit sh*tting on everyone else’s major just because it’s different than yours.
The Greedy GroupMe Girl
Dorm GroupMes are totally fair game for sourcing uncommon items, like a vacuum or mouse ears for whatever trashy themed party you’re going to this weekend (but honestly, if you don’t have a pair of animal ears, you’re not prepared for college). But there’s a line. It’s one thing if you need to borrow my clothing iron, but I’m sorry, now you need me to spare you some toothpaste, laundry detergent, and alcohol? The line has to be drawn somewhere. Asking your hall mates for a favor should be a last-resort solution, not your go-to way of avoiding going to the grocery store for the fifth week in a row. No one likes a moocher.
The Devil’s Advocates
Passing along this tweet…
“We were talking about the holocaust in my history class today and this white guy raises his hand and goes, “if I could play the devils advocate?” and my professor said, “no you may not.” And went on lecturing.”
— Richard Sugarman (@sugman) November 3, 2019
You know them. You probably hate them. And you dread any time they raise their hand in class. I’m talking about those people who are inclined to disagree with every argument just for “discussion’s sake.” Bull! Sh*t! More often than not, devil’s advocates either have some need to prove they have a ~unique~ way of thinking, or just don’t have the balls to actually admit it’s their real opinion. Instead, they hide behind the pretense that it’s just something someone else might say. Either admit your clearly unpopular opinion is what you really believe, or just shut the f*ck up. Please. Class is miserable enough without your input.
The Venmo Ghost
We all know someone who shows up to every pregame empty handed, and apparently “completely broke” too. They manage to polish off the entire bottle of your favorite alcohol, and leave with the promise they’ll pay you back. Nevertheless, days and even weeks will pass without them completing your Venmo request, and you swear on your
fake Gucci belt you’ll never let them get away with it again.
Now, I’m not saying I’ve never forgotten to pay someone back, especially in the old days when Venmo didn’t exist. We’re all probably guilty of forgetting (or blacking out and not even knowing you needed to), but after the third Venmo reminder, you better pay up.
Those Ones Who “Never Sleep”
Now, this is the hill I am prepared to die on. If I hear one more person try to compete to be the one who gets the least amount of sleep, I might do something drastic. You know, like make a TikTok calling them out. I’ve never understood why people think not sleeping is cute or something to be proud of. Congrats, you’re not good at taking care of yourself, I guess? Here’s hoping this is something you just grow out of, but I know people have been doing this since high school and it still hasn’t stopped. When will they learn that lying about how little you’ve slept (because let’s be real guys, everyone who does this is exaggerating) to prove you’re the one who studied the most for an exam doesn’t actually increase the amount that you really studied for that exam? Probably never, tbh. Sad.
Listen, nobody’s perfect. No, not even Gigi Hadid. And college is the perfect time for self-improvement. While we probably can’t completely kick all of our bad habits for good (as much as I wish my roommate would stop throwing her used contacts on the floor… nasty), a little self-awareness can go a long way! If you think you’re the exception and don’t do anything bothersome, just ask your roommate. Chances are they could do an entire Ted Talk ranting about all the annoying sh*t you do.
Images: Eliot Reyna / Unsplash; offcampus / Instagram (2)
I go to a university, like many, where roommates are completely random your freshman year, so I didn’t have the luxury of scrolling through a Facebook group to shop for someone who had the same degenerate tendencies as me. I was lucky in that the worst I had to deal with was a snoring Wisconsinite with good intentions and poor taste in decor, but this also means that I have little to show for any spicy roommate drama. I thus have to live vicariously through others when it comes to terrible roommate experiences, and my best friend from home provides the perfect example. I was constantly receiving text messages about the absolute barbarian she called a roommate, so strap in thots, it’s story time.
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My friend showed up to school freshman year after her roommate had already moved in, and given, like, the rules of college, this means that she got the sh*ttier room situation. Yes, you read that correctly. ROOM. Apparently her school is a f*cking resort, because not only did she have her own room, but she also had a built-in kitchenette and bathroom. Would I ever use said kitchen? No, absolutely not. But would I also love the opportunity to pretend that I’d cook more than a literal Dorito for myself every once in a while? Hell yes. Anyway, enough about me.
The storage in their suite was complete with two built-in drawer/walk-in closet combos, presumably one for each roommate (I know, like they live in the f*cking Ritz or something). Given this built-in/walk-in situation, the beds, and other pieces of furniture, there was little room left for any extra storage in the suite. My friend finally makes it to campus to move in, and while unpacking, she slowly starts to realize her roommate has put her clothes in literally every single storage space; both closets and all the bathroom storage are completely filled with her sh*t. Not just any sh*t, we’re talking designer everything: a fugly Gucci tracksuit à la Jeffree Star, Balenciaga sneakers, Hermès belts, the works.
My friend texts this girl to let her know she’ll be moving some of her things, because you know, she needs to have clothes accessible like a normal human being. This girl responds saying, “Don’t! I left you storage in the KITCHEN CABINETS.” Bitch what!? My friend understandably gives the girl a heads up and tells her won’t be using the spice rack as a closet, and is planning to move some of her roommate’s things out of the walk-in and onto her bed. My friend claims to have laid everything out nicely, but the way this girl reacted would make you think that my friend flushed this girl’s LV bag down the toilet.
My friend notices her roommate didn’t come back for the night, but decides to chalk it up to her wanting to spend more time with her mom before orientation in the morning. The next day my friend leaves her room for orientation, having not seen her roommate all day, and when she gets home, there’s a 50-something-year-old woman sitting on her bed. I’m not trying to be dramatic, but this is the point where I’m calling the RA.
Turns out the woman is the roommate’s mom, who begins to lecture my friend by explaining how my friend, and I QUOTE, “does not understand the price nor value” of the things she “treated so recklessly” and how she’s willing to forgive her for her actions because she, “would not expect her or someone of her background to understand.” Ugh, what a saint! I’m so thankful that she was so understanding—I hate when the middle class touches my things too. She really went out with a bang, however, by telling my friend if she ever “assaulted” her daughter again, she would call the cops, get her scholarship revoked, AND get her tossed out of the university. Lol. Ok, Nancy, how about you watch one episode of SVU and get back to me with some more substantive charges?
Needless to say, my friend decided to GTFO and is now living with two amazing girls in an apartment off campus. Personally, I would’ve stuck around a little longer to see if I could cop some designer items, but to each their own. Just remember, if you think your roommate is crazy, at least you don’t have a psychotic, entitled mother in your bed threatening to call the cops on you! Or, if you do—submit that sh*t to [email protected]!
Images: giphy (2)
Lisa Schwartz is a Los Angeles native, actress, and YouTube sensation whose channel Lisbug has over 2.2 million subscribers. Her book, THIRTY-LIFE CRISIS: Navigating My Thirties, One Drunk Baby Shower at a Time, out now, is a collection of comedic personal essays in which she shares stories and musings about being an ambitious, modern day woman in her thirties.
Dear Stranger On The Internet,
Before you decide to have a gender reveal party, I ask you to reconsider. Don’t get me wrong—I want the best for you. You have absolutely every right to do whatever your sweet pregnant heart desires; after all, you are brewing a baby and that’s no easy feat.
I have watched my friends struggle to get pregnant and then finally push through the pukes, the poops, and the swollen feet. You should be celebrated, you should be cherished, and you should have pink or blue sh*t shoot out of some extravagant device purchased solely to ensure that your baby’s genital unveiling goes viral. However, I ask that you take a beat to consider the people around you who have dedicated many weekends to you.
The ones who have dug into their bank accounts to get you that bread maker for your wedding that you have yet to unwrap. The friends who held your hair back at your bachelorette weekend because drinking out of penis straws for only one night didn’t seem like enough. Think of those, near and dear, who carried on mind-numbing conversations with your weird aunt at your engagement party, and then again at your bridal shower. The lifetime bestie who kept note of who got you which boob-milking accoutrement at your baby shower, and then played that horrific diaper sniffing game at the second shower your mother-in-law insisted on throwing to impress her friends. Consider your peers who are having trouble reconciling that everyone in their social circle is getting married and having kids. Keep in mind the ones who feel a million steps behind, emotionally challenged by change, and/or struggling to keep their heads above water. Think of those who have been told time and time again—not only by medical professionals, but from family members alike—that they ought to freeze their eggs regardless of the fact that they can’t even complete a dating app profile.
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And please remind yourself what it felt like when you were single, tasked with attending an event that made looking into a mirror more than just a “is there sh*t in my teeth?” check, but rather a deep dive into a “what the f*ck am I doing with my life?” spiral. I urge you—take a beat, and rethink having this party.
I am not saying it’s your responsibility to take care of everyone. You certainly have enough on your plate tending to your wellbeing as well as your little bundle of joy. But ignorance is not bliss; it’s actually pure hell for a single 30-something-year-old who just discovered another wrinkle along with a thick black chin hair that miraculously popped up overnight. Won’t you consider throwing us a bone and keep the private-part discovery between you and your loved one?
If you’re annoyed by this plea, and proceeding with your celebration anyway, may I at least suggest three things that are bound to lessen the discomfort of those going through a thirty-life-crisis:
1. Have A Bar
Even if it’s just some kitschy Pinterest-inspired mimosa table that your former sorority sister spent all night making little tags for (oh thank you, Stacey. I almost mistook the orange juice for cranberry juice). A cheap Champagne buzz is better than a sober conversation with people you haven’t seen since high school who are insistent that there is a guy at their CrossFit that would be “perfect for you.” Kill me. Or similarly, make me go to CrossFit.
2. Don’t Have A Dress Code
Not like you’re going to throw a black-tie event (although I wouldn’t put it past some cummerbund-loving Richie Rich to enforce such a thing). But please, don’t make everyone wear blue or pink according to what gender they think this little thing is going to be. It’s hard enough to find something I feel comfortable wearing without having a complete meltdown that ends with me naked on the closet floor, alongside every item of clothing I own. F*ck you, I’m wearing black.
3. Let Your Friends Off The Hook
In recent years, I have come to realize the power of saying “no.” If I don’t want to do something, I don’t have to. The power of “no” is a strong and empowering thing. The power of obligation and guilt due to years of friendship, however, is stronger. Do your longtime pals a favor and give them an out. If this party is seemingly more appropriate for your family and new “mommy group,” give your old friends the “no pressure” text. Those two words go a long f*cking way. Chances are they’re going to attend, but at least they are coming because they chose to, and not because they had to.
Or screw my unsolicited advice and do it the way you want. You are an incredibly strong woman who is doing an extraordinary thing here. Have the f*cking gender reveal party of your dreams. Just keep in mind that there may be people in your orbit who are in a less-than-celebratory headspace. Don’t be surprised if there are some eye rolls or no-shows; that’s how this pink and blue cookie crumbles. As long as you stay true to you and your heart, the rest will work itself out. I can’t guarantee your epic reveal is going to be on Ellen, but if you upload it to Facebook, I’m sure my grandma will repost it. She loves that sh*t.
Whatever you end up doing, here’s to you and a happy, healthy pregnancy. Regardless of what gender your baby is.
A Retired Gender Reveal Partygoer
Lisa Schwartz is a Los Angeles native, actress, and YouTube sensation whose channel Lisbug has over 2.2 million subscribers. Her book, THIRTY-LIFE CRISIS: Navigating My Thirties, One Drunk Baby Shower at a Time, out now, is a collection of comedic personal essays in which she shares stories and musings about being an ambitious, modern day woman in her thirties.
Images: betches/Instagram; Sirio/Unsplash
It was a short week, fam, and thank God, because we’re now hurtling headlong into a short but welcome weekend. What do the stars have in store for us? We’ve got Venus and the moon merging on Friday, plus Saturn and Pluto making moves that’ll affect everyone in some weird but clarifying ways. Maybe we’ll all finally realize we have to get off the couch in order to tone up. Maybe we’ll collectively join a spin class then hate ourselves. Or maybe this weekend will give us the much needed mental capacity to tackle the guest room closet—home to an old TV, Vitamix box, broken clothing rack, and garbage bag of stuffed animals that mom INSISTED we couldn’t throw away and needed to keep indefinitely. Only one way to find out which!
Things are getting f*cking complicated, Gemini. If you’ve been quiet about wtf your status is with that guy you’re sort of seeing, don’t feel like you need to explain the mess to anyone now. It’s all coming out in the next few days, so prepare for a lot of questions and judgey looks from your besties. On the flip side, if you haven’t been seeing anyone (because you’re a strong independent woman who don’t need no man), don’t be scared to sit out of the dating game for a bit. You’ll go in feeling more confident in a few weeks (and after you’ve had some time to yourself). The good news is that a bunch of natural influencers will be pushing you, friends, and family together this weekend, so Sunday will be a great day for catching up and brunching with bottomless mimosas.
You’ve been in a romance fog of confusion all week, Cancer, and that’s about to change. Venus in Taurus will have you seeing things a lot more clearly when it comes to your romantic status come Friday. Weirdly, a friend or group of friends may play a part in bringing some romance into your day to day, so don’t completely distrust your besties if they say they know what’s good for you. Already got a lovah? Head out on a double date this weekend to send sparks flying and start a steamy weekend of reconnecting.
Your sense of style is finally paying off, Leo. People are paying attention to you, especially at work, and you can use that newfound clout to jump off on a new idea or project (like summer Fridays or jeans every day). Outside work, this weekend is offering clarity on your love life thanks to someone you respect. Schedule a social outing (or night in) with an old friend to really give yourself a good sounding board.
GTFO of town with your boo for the weekend, Virgo. A road trip somewhere cute with your long-time partner is just what you need to relax and reset. Drag him around some antique stores to test his love for you, or go on a hike with him to remind yourself how much you hate the outdoors but love this bro. If you’re newly dating someone, plan a sexy date that’ll leave you feeling powerful and as hot as you were in college (if only). Single? Good news: the planets are playing right into your trap and are perfectly aligned to help you meet a hot stranger. Maybe you’ll be smooshed against him on the subway. Maybe he’ll slide into your DMs at the perfect moment. Expand your horizons and open your eyes.
Get snuggly at home, Libra, and embrace the couch. A romantic night in with your SO is the perfect way to relax after this week. If you’re single, invite friends over and tell them to bring single strangers so you can mix and mingle. Just make sure you’ve embraced tidying up. Nobody can relax in a space full of old laundry and takeout containers.
You’re all about the truth, Scorpio. We get it – you say what you mean at all times without backing down. You’re a psycho and we love you for it. Telling truths seems to also apply to your love life this weekend, and a long convo with a lover this weekend could set the stage for, well, the rest of your relationship. Be diplomatic, but be honest. You deserve the best, but remember that you’re no picnic 24/7, either. If you’re single, be totally up-front about what you’re looking for with all the idiots you date. If you don’t want them playing games, you should hold yourself to the same set of rules. Good news, though: a potential mate this weekend could find your frankness quite refreshing.
You’re such a good person, Sagittarius, and it’s finally going to pay off. The planets are aligned this weekend to potentially help you make bank after you’ve poured your heart into something you really love. Maybe bedazzling all those cat sweatshirts is finally going to pay off. Maybe that home decor blog is finally going to get you noticed (probably not, tho). Or maybe your Etsy shop selling hand-crocheted underwear is going to hit the big time. Who f*cking knows.
You may also reap the emotional rewards of helping out your community in an act or service. Maybe you decided to head to Virginia Beach for a cleanup after the white trash and redneck triathlon came through over Memorial Day. Think how good you’ll feel to know you’re better than all those people!
Seize the f*cking weekend, Capricorn. You’re totally into the idea of seizing the moment and living in the present this weekend, which is great considering Monday at work will probably blow, and that spin class next week is giving you hella anxiety. If you’re one of a couple, you’ll have some tender feels with your partner and remember why you first decided to start dating. How presh! If you’re single, your complete maturity (not applicable to dank memes) may attract someone interesting. Either way, live in the moment and be you, Capri-Sun. Kisses.
Get that fairy tale ending, Aquarius. You’ve never shied away from the idea of having it all, and this weekend you’ll double down on that promise to yourself. Your end game around a romance might seem vague to the casual onlooker, but the truth is that you’re steadily working behind the scenes to orchestrate your happy ending. The plan is so stealthy that sometimes you’re not even aware of how your subtle moves are turning the dial in your favor. Whether you’re coupled or single, the story remains the same. There’s something that you’re after and you’re busy working behind closed doors to make it happen.
You’re loyal AF, Pisces, and everybody knows it. This weekend, your ability to be more loyal than an AKC-winning Golden Retriever will be on full display, and everyone will think you’re rad. Whether it’s a friend hoping you do the right thing (like not tell everyone they got diarrhea in Barnes & Noble) or your unwavering ability to never miss your bestie’s yoga class even though you f*cking hate yoga, your true allegiance will earn you some goddamn respect and help you bend others to your will. Yay.
Have some f*cking confidence, Aries. The end of the week sees you THIIIIS close to sealing a deal at work—be it a big project, career change, or long-sought goal. Turn on your charm and seal the deal. In the love department, Venus in Taurus is doin’ a dance with Saturn, which translates to your weekend giving you super amazing self perception which will help your love life in the long run. Don’t undercut or undervalue yourself. You deserve to have it all, a partner just as comfortable with your stained hoodie collection as they are with your ability to class it up at a gala after downing a bucket of fried chicken.
With the moon and Venus merging on Friday, love is in your near future, Taurus. Pluto has you easily weeding out the bullsh*t which, if you’re single, can help you spot f*ckboys and douchers a mile away. That’ll help you avoid terrible dates in future. Elsewhere this weekend, embrace your inner bull, and don’t shy away from truly being yourself. If you wanna go to the clerb and dance on strangers, go for it. If you’re into re-watching all of seasons 1 and 2 of A Handmaid’s Tale, that sounds depressing, but you do you. Demand respect from long-time romantic partners who may judge your shenanigans or new loves that aren’t sure about your current career path (or lack thereof).
Images: Giphy (12)
If you know me, you know that there are a few things I like in this world above all else: contemporary R&B, cheese, and partying. One of my favorite pastimes lately is day drinking. Does that sound concerning when I type it out? Yes, moderately. Cool, charging onward. I also love going to music festivals—I typically go to three or more a year. I know, I’m insane. How do I do it? No idea. I think it’s a lethal combo of loving live music and hating myself, in order to willingly spend my money and PTO days getting f*cked up in a field, standing so close to speakers that the bass makes my insides vibrate. Hey, everybody’s got their idea of a good time.
So I was surprised as anyone to find myself, at 10pm on Friday night at Shaky Beats festival in Atlanta, as Rüfüs Du Sol closed out day one, dead-ass sober.
*Record scratch* Yeah, that’s me. I bet you’re wondering how I found myself in this position. I’m about to tell you.
I guess, in order to really get the full picture, I have to back up a bit. The year was 2018. The weekend was Labor Day. The festival was Electric Zoo, one of my favorite festivals that I have been going to for the past three or four years. (I have lost count at this point.) Every year, I tell myself that I’m not going to do too many interviews and I’m just going to enjoy the festival, and every year, all three days, I get sucked into doing an interview at like, 7pm, which is prime festival time. Seriously, all the best acts start playing right at 7pm! Don’t get me wrong, doing interviews is great; I get to meet and talk to artists like Alesso, Alan Walker, and Troyboi. But it also takes what should be a fun and relatively relaxing experience (going to a festival and writing about it after the fact) and makes it stressful: coordinating interviews, plus making it to the acts I want to see, plus simply giving myself enough time to maneuver through the crowds and make it to my interview slot in time.
And when you factor drinking into all of that, what should be a simple activity gains so many moving parts that it becomes like solving the Da Vinci code. Because I can’t be drunk during my interview, but ideally I’d like to be a little lubricated so I’m not super self-conscious and awkward, but I can’t pregame too hard, but drinks at the festival are absurdly expensive, and you can’t pay for anything in cash, because the festival is cashless, so now I gotta make sure I have enough money on my wristband for a drink, and if I don’t have enough I need to go to another kiosk to add money to my wristband, and…
You see what I mean? After everything was said and done, of course I had a great time at the festival, but I spent so much time running around, getting to my interviews, figuring out if I was too sober or too drunk, waiting on line to get a drink, etc. etc. etc-f*cking cetera, that I forgot to actually appreciate the fact that I was at Ezoo. It’s funny, many people will regret how much they drank during the weekend (which I have done in the past and will likely continue to do in life, don’t get me wrong), but after that weekend, I regretted how much mental energy I spent worrying about how much I was drinking and when I’d have another drink and from where I would procure said drink. To this day, I feel dumb and a little ashamed about it.
So when I found myself back at Shaky Beats, another one of my favorite festivals, in Atlanta this year, I didn’t want that sh*t to happen again. I’ve become a little tired of drinking in general—the taste of most types of alcohol, the way beer makes my nose stuffy (which I suspect is some sort of allergy or intolerance but I’m too afraid of the consequences to get it checked out by a doctor), the way it zaps me of all productivity and energy the next day.
I didn’t set out to be sober the first day of the festival, but found myself that way half on purpose, half by accident. I didn’t pregame, which was by design. Drinking plus Atlanta heat equals total exhaustion, so I didn’t want to drink until the sun went down anyway. Second of all, I told myself going into Shaky Beats that I was going to have a good time, and not worry about getting drunk or anything. I just took a “if it happens, it happens” type of approach towards drinking at the festival (one I should take to my love life as well, instead of this death grip I currently have on trying to control every interaction I have with a member of the opposite sex, but that’s neither here nor there), rather than a “I will be bored if I don’t have a consistent buzz the entire time” approach.
And you know what? At around 8pm, I still hadn’t had a drink, and I really wasn’t missing anything. I was, seriously, totally sober (not even uppers or weed!), and having a great time. Not to mention, I was 100% alert. And, like, why wouldn’t I be having a great time? I genuinely enjoy the music (it’s the whole reason I was at the festival), and could say I saw some of my favorite acts, like Big Gigantic, What So Not, and San Holo—and remembered their entire set. At that point, since the festival ended at 10:30pm (my only gripe with it, tbh), I just didn’t see the point in drinking. Sure, I could have a $11 beer or whatever, but what would it do for me that I wasn’t already currently experiencing? Nothing.
Contrast that to the next day, when I did decide to have a couple of drinks. Why? I don’t know; I felt like it. And honestly? I just felt kind of off. Once the sun went down, I was like, two Mike’s Harders deep and just overall in a weird mood. I can’t describe it. It was maybe a mix of the alcohol and the knowledge that the festival was ending soon and I’d have to get on a plane the next day and go back to work that just had me feeling a little bummed out, in a way I couldn’t put a finger on. Yeah, I still had a great time—I saw Party Favor, hands down my favorite act of the weekend; discovered Clozee, a French DJ who is getting added to my pregame playlist immediately; and got showered by glow sticks and confetti during Martin Garrix’s headlining set—but I left the festival feeling kind of dampened. Drinking wasn’t even really worth it.
Am I going to be sober forever? Probably not—recently, I was on day eight of a ten-day course of antibiotics and itching for a glass of wine at the end of a long day. But, as f*cking dumb and cliche as it sounds, I know for a fact now that I don’t need alcohol to have a good time. Does it help sometimes? Yes, especially if I’m forced into a situation I don’t like (see: birthday parties where I only know the birthday girl or boy). But at a place like Shaky Beats, when I’m with people I like, doing something I genuinely enjoy anyway? Except for the vague sense of ennui, it didn’t add anything to the experience, and knowing that for the future feels kind of empowering.
Images: Katrina Barber