May 10, 2012

Here they are:

1. Any night out.

It’s like this: all day at work, you’re excited for the night. You design potential outfits in your head, and actively participate in an email chain about which restaurant to go to and what time to meet. When you’re finally free, you’re still pumped – you drive home with music blasting and burst into the apartment. But then, getting dressed doesn’t go like you’d hoped. Nothing fits right. Suddenly, you remember how badly you’ve slept all week and how much your job depresses you and how little there is to look forward to. What’s the point, anyway? Wouldn’t it be better to save money and precious energy by throwing on your sweats, popping in season one of How I Met Your Mother, and eating candy from the secret stash that you definitely plan to throw out soon?

NO. 5!H!E!

Get off your ass and run to the nearest convenience store. Grab a 5HE. Feel hopeful at the sight of the insanely bright label. Manage to joke with the cashier — “Fridays are tough, right? This might actually save my life.” Laugh with him. Leave and drink it down. Feel the excitement set it in again. You are gonna kill it tonight.

2. Any potentially boring house party.

House parties are alluring. Post-college, they are a rare opportunity to drink in a well-lit room where there’s still the possibility of meeting someone new. News of an upcoming house party allows you to dream that there might be music that you want to dance to, and if there’s not, you might get drunk enough to flirt with the person in charge of the ipod until they let you play “Try A Little Tenderness” (it’s a slow burn to the best dance song ever, believe me). There will probably be snacks there, and you won’t have to pay for them. You can wear heels and not have to wobble around on the sidewalk all night. You might even kiss someone in a crowded hallway! It’s all very exciting.

But, of course. It could also swing DRASTICALLY in the other direction. You could arrive, heels on and ready to make out, only to find that the house party of your dreams is sparsely attended. The row of snacks might be un-touched (okay, this is actually a positive thing). There could be electronica blaring, the iPod manned by an unfriendly-looking dude who doesn’t think it’s funny when you’re like “So this is music to you? Kidding! It’s just that I hate it.” You won’t be able to get drunk because you’re eating so many snacks, and the huge variety of well-placed couches will be begging you to slouch into them and give up.

NO. 5!H!E!

Get off your ass and run to the nearest convenience store. Grab a 5HE. Feel hopeful at the sight of the insanely bright label. Manage to joke with the cashier — “The party I’m at is TERRIBLE. I need this shit quick!” Laugh with him. Drink it down. Call everyone you know and get them to the party. Tell them there’s free booze, then go buy lots of booze. Playfully bump electronica-DJ-guy with your hip until he gives in. Put on “Ignition” so that it’s playing while people arrive. Then PARTY, dream house party style.

3. Any performance piece that you attend because you are a good friend.

It happens: people are in bad plays. They put on bad concerts. They direct experimental dance pieces. And yes, they ask you to come. And you must go, because you love these people. You must go even if it is a Friday night. You must go even if you’ve made tentative plans to see someone exciting at the exact moment that the “piece” begins.

Invariably, no matter how much excitement you store up for the post-performance activities, the performance will put you to sleep. Right around the middle of Act II, you’ll be ready to give up all hope, to sleep forever; not to go out tonight, or tomorrow night, or to bother searching for love. “What’s the point?” You’ll think. “I’ll just have to have another experience like this. I’d rather just end it.”

NO. 5!H!E!

Excuse yourself to use the bathroom and run to the nearest convenience store. Grab a 5HE. Feel hopeful at the sight of the insanely bright label. Manage to joke with the cashier — “I’m watching a play right now that makes me wish I’d never been born!” Laugh with him. Drink it down. Text the person that you’re meeting to be sure you’re still on. Say “It might be like an hour till I’m free, but then I’m totally up for anything.” Smile to yourself. Anything! When this play is over, ANYTHING could happen!

4. Any situation of day-into-night fun

Every few months, you and two friends plan a day-drinking extravaganza. It started a few years ago around the holidays, and it was SO EPIC that you’ve kept it up. It starts at 2 PM; you meet in a funky little bar that’s deserted at that time of day. You bask in the glow of the cool red light that’s shed from the stained-glass windows. You drink high life after high life, earning kudos from the bartender, who, around 5 PM, walks over and says “I just have to say that I’m really impressed with what’s going on over here.” As the empty bottles pile up, you share deep secrets about your sex lives and your childhoods. You take iPhone videos of each other telling stories. You “check in” at weird places to see what people will say. You swap sweaters. It is, quite simply, amazing.

But then it’s 6:30. All of a sudden, YOU MUST SLEEP. No wait, you must get a burrito and THEN sleep. Check your phone: Oy. Something awesome is happening later, now that the rest of the world is just STARTING to drink. You lay your head on the table. You don’t think you can make it.

NO. 5!H!E!

Lift your head, rally your friends, and run to the nearest convenience store. Grab a 5HE. Feel hopeful at the sight of the insanely bright label. Manage to joke with the cashier — “We’ve been drunk since 2 p.m., sir! So sorry you’ve been working.” Laugh with him. Drink it down. Respond to that text to say you’re coming. Say to your friends: “Guys, we can DO THIS! I know we can. We are god damn champions.” Jump up and down on the sidewalk. Hail a cab and slide in next to your friends. The night continues!

5. Any world crisis

Now I can’t personally speak to this situation, BUT, I do feel that 5HE should be brought to the attention of world leaders. Does Barack know about it? I mean, the guy must get tired. He’s essentially responsible for absolutely everything. And shit’s gotta get done at night, at times when any human being with a part-time job at the deli would be ready for bed. Barack, get goin’. There’s gotta be a convenience store within walking distance of the White House.

Even the largest problem will seem small and conquerable in the light of the insanely bright label. You’ll joke with the cashier: “Running the world is a BUMMER, am I right?” He’ll be too star-struck to joke around, but you’ll be ready to stay up all night, solving world issues like the boss you are.

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