1. Anything in a gym with loud music, even at a community centre, will have a high-school dance vibe. The serving of alcohol will somehow make this okay.
2. What’s referred to as a ‘silent auction’ at a social is more like this. Prizes at this social included Raybans, an iPod touch, an XBox, and a bunch of bundles: of fishing gear, of yoga gear, bar gear, and a hard-core cupcake baking kit (which was won by Emma). Aaron also won a social staple called a ‘Lottery Tree’, a plastic tree covered in scratch n’ wins.
3. M’s optimal arrival time really does work. We showed up at the social when it was packed (with more than just grandmothers and small children), and we ended up being there for over four hours, which was more than enough.
4. Social veterans will stake out the tables at the back of the venue, furthest from the speakers and closest to the bar. These are wise people.
5. People have a REALLY GOOD TIME at socials. I expected some drinking, but a number of attendees were dressed like they were going to go clubbing, and the alcohol flowed freely (special thanks to dirt cheap drink tickets). Also, at socials, pop is free! Our designated driver had all the diet Pepsi he could handle.
6. Calling attention to your ‘first-time’ social status – for example, wearing shirts like Emma’s ‘First! Social! Ever!; Aaron’s ‘My First Social’ or my ‘Social Virgin’ – will get you lots of props and positive comments. Unsurprisingly, the most common thing you will hear is “Oh! Where are you from?
7. If your buffet is too awesome, a drunk guy will pantomime violating an olive-covered pineapple when someone tries to take pictures of the table.