It’s Saturday night and you’re giddy as a Who.
You know, like from Whoville.
But it’s not the thought of Christmas and all that deliciously tender roast beast that has you so excited.
It’s Saturday night, the preceding week of work felt as long as an afternoon watching “Barefoot Contessa,” and it’s time to let loose.
But instead of gathering in the town square and locking arms in song with all the other jolly, little weirdos, you’re getting ready for this well-deserved night of frivolity and, if everything goes according to plan, debauchery.
But that process, “getting ready,” is as important as anything you’ll do all night and getting it right means setting the right tone.
Hurry yourself through this routine and get ready for something disastrous. You’re either getting bought drinks by a man who looks eerily like your high school math teacher, you’re going home with a swamp creature or you’re getting propositioned by that couple who, in hindsight, were a little too friendly.
Hey, you have no one to blame but yourself for how that night turned out.
As legendary college basketball coach John Wooden pointed out, “failing to prepare is preparing to fail” and you, my friend, failed to prepare for a great Saturday night.
If I may, a few steps to prevent this from ever happening again:
Step 1: Visualize the kind of night you want to have. Affirmations in the mirror are not a bad idea. “I will be affable, charming and I will pace myself. No puking in the alley for this guy. No, no, he’s a winner.”
Step 2: Put some thought into your outfit. Ladies, you can take five. Fellas, please stop going out looking like you just grabbed the cleanest (or least dirty) T-shirt from your dresser and smelling like you dipped your body into a vat of Axe body spray. A little effort can go a long way.
Step 3: Get some cash and leave your credit cards at home. That ridiculously fruity $8 shot with the miniature glow stick stuck in it loses some of its luster when you have to pay for said drink with cold, hard cash. Following this tip will also get you out of playing credit card roulette and having to mortgage your house or sell a kidney to pay last night’s bar tab.
Step 4: Listen to good music throughout. This is a balancing act. Get ready to too slow a song and you’ll sleepwalk through the night. Get ready to something too upbeat and your friends will want you drug-tested.
To that end, this week’s playlist features eight songs that will help your long-awaited Saturday night get off on the right foot.
Guys, can we stop it with the Axe body spray? Yes, everyone knows that’s what it is. You smell like a drug store.
• Dan Black feat. Kid Cudi, “Symphonies” — A tone-setter. A pretty, melodic little song with a great drum track.
• Passion Pit, “Little Secrets” — The chorus is undeniable. “Higher and higher and higher!”
• Prince & The Revolution, “Let’s Go Crazy" — An absolute no-brainer on a playlist dedicated to, well, going a little crazy.
• Bishop Allen, “Middle Management” — The beginning of this song is infectiously catchy.
• This Many Boyfriends, “Young Lovers Go Pop!” — Big guitars and just plain fun.
• Cold War Kids, “Finally Begin” — Love the lyric “When we go out tonight/I’ll be looking so far past the flashing lights.” One of my favorites.
• Bruno Mars, “Runaway Baby” — Every playlist of this sort needs one song that makes you stop getting ready for a moment and dance around the house.
• Frank Sinatra, “Luck Be a Lady” — A song that just oozes cool. Makes me want to hit the town in a well-tailored suit and a jaunty hat. Those were the days. I mean, from what I hear.