Posted by: CJ | August 10, 2011

Towards a General Theory of Partying

I’ve been living in one of America’s top party cities for almost two months. I’ve been ignoring most of it since I’m busy, I have to wake up early in the morning, I’m not around people that are going out, and the people I am around generally just want to hang out at a fairly low key bar. (It helps that I don’t particularly like loud music.)

Even so, I’ve regularly wandered through some of the major party areas because that’s where my job’s office building is located, as well as the bar that’s my co-workers unofficial hang-out spot. So I see people wandering around any day I work late or hang-out with co-workers.

This has left me with many questions about this partying stuff people are doing.

In no particular order..

  • The girls dress up. A lot, compared to my baseline. (They wear short skirts and heels and have unwieldy purses.) Who are they dressing up for? Themselves? Who they’re going with? The people that see them while they’re out? If it’s a combination, can it be broken down by percentage contribution?
  • Do those answers stay the same when instead it’s about the guys’ attire?
  • Does anyone actually like the overly muscled guys wearing too-tight shirts with too-short sleeves? I see guys wandering around that way and it always looks really stupid. Like the gigantic sun-glasses that were trendy 3-5 years ago.
  • I don’t have a good feel for what sorts of groupings of people head out. Do only groups of friends go out? Are they generally groups of couples or groups of all-guys or all-girls? Do people head off to party on their own? What are the differing goals/motivations depending on what group of people you go out with?
  • Overall, what are the people going out hoping to do? Just have fun? Socialize with friends? Try to feel fabulous, or some such? Get laid? For the first one, just general ‘having fun’, what makes going out to bar hop/dance club seem like a fun thing? Is it just a phase, some sort of mode of socializing that is more accepted/embraced in some areas/professions/social strata than others, etc.?
Anyways, those are the basis of the things I’ve been wondering. Feel free to suggest answers to any/all of the above.


  1. I’m going to answer this. Just trying to decide where to start. And have you considered asking Gary these questions? Yes, you might need a universal translator for that discussion, I know–but my “partying” experience like you mean it is limited; I think he has some expertise. I know a couple girls I may ask these questions to, also.

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