IT’S A REFLECTIVE TIME of year—and not just because everyone is covered in sequins. I recently realized, in the midst of party season, that my favourite thing about going out is getting ready. I love the anticipation and the preparation ritual. I clear all the other inhabitants of my home out of my space so I can prepare for the evening without interruption (kids, husband) or judgment (cat). I hit up my closet like Cher in Clueless while considering all the factors: dress code, guest list, weather, transportation—even whether I require a sit-down or stand-up ensemble. I text incessantly with friends, exchanging shoe selfies for approval. I blast my party playlist and sip champagne between perilous, dramatic swipes of liquid eyeliner. It’s one of the rare times I have to focus completely on myself, even if it is in a seemingly superficial way. (I would argue that such transformative actions are not superficial at all, but that’s another letter.)
If getting ready is the dream, going out is the alarm that jolts you awake. Who hasn’t had a sudden, visceral awareness that the agonizingly vertiginous heels they’re wearing will result in the loss of a toe if worn any farther than the walk to the taxi outside? Or experienced that long wait at the party to get the much-lauded themed cocktail, which is inevitably a sugar bomb that tastes like lychee-infused perfume? Then there’s that familiar plummet of emotion that occurs for non-dancers when they discover they’re at an event full of wannabe choreographers or for the dancers among us when they discover that the DJ’s tired music choices mean the only moves happening that night will be getting in line for another glass of perfume. I rest my case. Of course, there’s more than one way to have a good time, so this issue we’ve got something for those who love to entertain (How to Survive Party Season) and seasonal shoppers—and we’ve even got an ode to cancelling (“Why Bailing on Plans Isn’t (Always a Bad Thing”). Here’s to celebrating your way.
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