3. Bridal/baby showers
Having never been to either form of shower personally, I wasn’t sure where to rank this type of grown-up party. So I asked a friend of mine, who has been to a bunch. She told me the following: “The food is never that good, the conversation is prying (when are you getting married/having a baby?), the games are fucking wretched, and the entire time, you have to pretend you’re having the BEST time, while in reality, you want to die. The worst part is, if you’re good friends with the mother-/bride-to-be, you probably helped plan this whole circus.” So I think showers belong right here.
Obviously, it’s no fun when someone you care about dies. Grief is painful, arrangements are expensive, considering your own mortality is terrifying, and so forth. That’s why funerals are ranked so high. On the other hand, there’s a good chance you didn’t know the person too well, in which case funeral receptions are just another reason to wear dark clothes and eat casserole with tipsy strangers. Not the best.... but not the worst, either.
1. Cash-bar weddings
That’s right. The worst type of party you’ll experience as a grown-up is a wedding whose bar has not been bought & paid for by someone else. The critical role of free-flowing booze to a successful wedding is so direct, so obvious, and so fundamental that its absence can more or less ruin the nuptials. When you’re at a cash-bar wedding, you will discover several things: that your friends (both the ones getting married, and the ones at Table 6 with you, who won’t buy you a round even though you already got one earlier!!!!) are cheap; that weddings and receptions are actually pretty damn long; and that dancing to "Shout!" is shockingly unenjoyable when you're not full of free Scotch. No one of sound mind and reasonable financial means wants to attend a cash-bar wedding; you go because you have to. As such, it's our indisputable champion of this bleak-ass ranking. Godspeed, my fellow grown-ups.
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Dave Infante is a writer-at-large for Thrillist. Follow @dinfontay on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.