Today is July 4th, that big, stupid celebration of everything that makes Americans Americans, and most of you will be celebrating with some kind of holiday-appropriate party. That means fireworks, charred meats, and pool parties are in order. Other times of the year, it’s bunny ears, buckled hats, or green anything. Regardless of the time of year, there are six things you can find at nearly every holiday party: alcohol, and the following five people....
1. Costume Guy
“Happy Independence Day! What, these sunglasses? Oh, I forgot I was wearing these blinking light up sunglasses and this t-shirt that plays the National Anthem today! Just kidding, I bought these three months ago for the express purpose of wearing them to this party. Aren’t I enthusiastic? What a great holiday! Your burgers look great, I’m just going to set my own grill up over here and get to work on my Signature Pulled Pork BBQ Freedom Sliders. No, your hot dogs look great! What are those, Ballparks? Awesome. I got my meat from a Halal/Kosher/Organic butcher out on Long Island. But your way of celebrating is just as good, too. Check out my apron! ‘Kiss The Cook’ written in fireworks!”
MAN, does this guy love holidays. Whenever your party happens to be, he’s got some piece (or pieces) of clothing that show that he’s way more into this day than you or anyone else could hope to be. Today, it’ll be something like American flag sunglasses or a fireworks t-shirt. On St. Paddy’s, he’s decked out entirely in green and may even extend his wardrobe to non-standard articles, like boas or plastic horns. You can find him wearing a Santa outfit on a day in December that isn’t even Christmas.
But don’t think for a second that Costume Guy is limited to costume-appropriate holidays. He’ll justify wearing a luchador mask on Cinco de Mayo, and might even dress up for holidays not officially on anyone’s calendar. The guy will even make up holidays to dress up for. He doesn’t know a good costume store – he has a favorite costume store. He brings extra pieces for the people at the party not dressed up enough. And woe is you if you’re found to not be appropriately dressed. Oh, you weren’t planning on dressing up? Too bad, someone has to wear these leis, and he’s already got three around his neck.
“You’re wearing jeans to a beach party?? Cut those bad boys above the knee, at least! I don’t care what you’ll wear tomorrow, the next three hours are all that counts!”
Which brings us to Costume Guy’s simultaneous nemesis and target...
2. Whatever Guy
“Wow, you guys are nuts, with your green beer and ‘Kiss Me I’m Irish’ pins. Haha, have fun, you crazy kids! Me? Oh, I don’t need an excuse to drink Guinness, I’ll just have a ... Blue Moon or something. Yeah, sure, Guinness is great, I drink it all the time. I just don’t want a Guinness – No, this black t-shirt was just what I picked up first today – OK, great, fine, your heritage. No, I’m not Irish, not today or any day. Whatever, I’ve got to get to work – no, I didn’t take off today, why would I do that? Whatever.”
Oh, was there a holiday today? Whatever Guy wasn’t thinking about it. He’s not really into calendars, man. He was just invited to “Super Awesome-American 4th of July Party Extravaganza Let’s Go!” and thought it was a normal party. He’s wearing what he normally wears. If he wanted to wear red, white, and blue, he would have, but he didn’t want to, so he didn’t. Whatever Guy thinks it’s cute the way you all step in line to this particular day’s festivities. If you wanted to set off fireworks in October, would you stop yourself?
Today, he’ll be in the corner of the yard, doing his own thing. Oh, you’re having burgers and hot dogs? That’s cool. He’s eating turkey and cranberry sauce and washing it down with eggnog today because that’s what he wants to eat. He’s got to leave early, though, one of his favorite shows is premiering tonight. Fireworks? Shoot, sorry, he’ll have to miss them.
3. The Retired Professional
“I used to celebrate New Years’ Eve, but after a while I was just sick of dealing with the amateurs, you know? Wow, great, you put on your nice coat and drank too much champagne. Now I have to walk home through puddles of vomit and police frisks. Thanks for ruining something nice, everybody. I’m staying in next year.”
This guy is The Retired Professional not because he considers himself the best in the holiday game, but because he’s just sick of dealing with the amateurs, you know? He’s used up all the enthusiasm he ever had for this holiday back in his 20s, now it’s all he can manage to stay up late enough to watch the ball drop on TV, drink a glass of champagne, and tell his kids how much better Dick Clark was than this punk, Seacrest.
Today, he’ll be sitting on the patio at the family BBQ because his wife made him come. If it were up to him, he’d be home finishing putting up the siding on the garage. This is just a waste of time, but whatever, family’s family, right? But for all of this guy’s jadedness, there lurks a memory in all your older aunts’ and uncles’ minds of the parties this guy used to throw. They don’t talk about it too much around the cousins, but as you get older, you can see that grin for a second when you complain to them about how much of a grump Uncle Grumpus is at parties. Because whether he wants to admit it or not, The Retired Professional is the evolution of the Costume Guy, if Costume Guy ever decides to evolve.
4. The Host
“Hey, Merry Christmas, welcome to the party! I’m so glad you came. I can take your coats, and there’s drinks and snacks over there. Have a seat! Watch out for the mistletoe, you two might have to kiss! Where’s your White Elephant gift? … Oh, no, don’t worry about it, I... I’m sure I’ve got something laying around upstairs you can use. ...Have you met my friends from work? Doug, Terry, this is the guy I was telling you about! The guy with the great hair! Yeah, that’s kind of how I introduce you, my friend with the great hair. Anyway, Terry’s hilarious. Terry, tell him the one about the refrigerator!”
Oh man, The Host is just so happy you’re here! He was afraid you might not come after you told him four times you would and responded Yes to the invite (see yesterday's post). But here you are after all! The Host planned the hell out of this party. There are seasonal snacks and drinks, and he’s had a haunch of meat slow-roasting in the oven for the past four days. Did you think you can throw a party? Because you can’t throw a party the way The Host can throw a party. No one can throw a party the way The Host can throw a party.
The Host’s Fourth of July party is going to be nuts this year. He’s got everything a Fourth of July party should have: a pool, BBQ, grumpy uncles, fireworks – and not the fireworks you can get with 500 tickets at a carnival, either. The Host rented out an abandoned lot two blocks away and is going to blow your mind clear out the back of your skull at dusk. Looks like rain later? Not a problem. The Host doesn’t even think about rain dates, he just plans an indoor party along with his outdoor party. He’s got a backup party ready to go, if needed. And hey, while you’re here, be sure to set aside October 30th! Halloween’s only just around the corner.
5. Someone’s Friend
“I’m friends with Dave. Dave? He’s the one with the ponytail. He came with Rebecca, who came with Scott. Yeah, you and I actually met at Scott’s poker night last year.”
...What?! I’ve only heard of one of those people before, and I’m pretty sure I’ve never seen you in the same vicinity as him. Wouldn’t I notice a dude with a ponytail? Anyway. Well, nice to meet you the second time, man! Oh, this isn’t the second time? You said we met at Scott’s poker night – Oh, we met for the second time at Scott’s poker night? Wait, the second second time? How many times have I met you? ...Crap. Well, I’m sorry, this is really embarrassing. I promise I’ll remember next time. You know what? Give me your phone number, and if I enter in your name, I’ll remember it better – What? No, I would have remembered doing that last time – damn it, there you are. “Todd Cell.”
...WELP, anyway, I better go refresh this beer. See you around, Ted. TODD. Right, of course. See you next time, Todd.
Scott, who the hell is that guy? No, I’ve never met him before! Well, you always bring new people around, how am I supposed to keep track of them all?
Someone’s Friend is going to be at The Host’s BBQ today, whether you like it or not. Don’t bother running through a list of all of Scott’s friends you’ve ever met, because I guarantee Someone’s Friend isn’t imprinted on any neuron anywhere in your brain. He’ll be there, making ten minutes of your time at the party awkward as hell. And just don’t bother saying goodbye. You’re going to get his name wrong again. Seriously, don’t. Stop it! Don’t walk up to him! Just be “no goodbye” rude, it’s better than “forgetting his name again” rude! Stop! STOP! STOP –
Yeah, good to see you again, Scott. And Dave! I didn’t see you earlier! Man, that hair looks better and better with each passing year. And... you, buddy! Good to see you again, too. ...Really, you’re just going to call me out like that? Alright, fine. It’s Eric, isn’t it? Damn it. Well, I was close. They both have four letters. Oh come on, who spells it “Toddd”?!