Congratulations! Thanks to your friend Sheryl’s impromptu discovery of a Groupon in her kitchen junk drawer, you’ve been invited to everyone’s favorite weeknight activity: paint-and-sip! Here are some tips for surviving it:
Before you leave the house, think about wearing something appropriate, like a shirt you don’t mind getting paint on or the single pair of jeans you own that you still like. Remember that pajamas aren’t a legitimate clothing choice for this event, even if the ones you’re wearing are just now reaching the elusive, perfect body temperature. Get dressed because it’s time to head on over to the art studio!
Once you’ve selected your easel and brushes, we’re onto the main event: drinking. I bet you thought I was going to say the painting, didn’t you? Let’s not kid ourselves. Ignore the several rustic, wooden signs with wine puns on them and grab a glass of pinot –looking past the fact that the instructor is noting that you’ve filled it all the way up to the brim.
What’re we painting tonight? A landscape? Perfect! That’ll look great in your guest bathroom where no one will ever notice it. Hell, if it goes south, you just might sign your first grader’s name on the bottom. Is that unethical? Maybe. Get a refill on pinot while the instructor is using the restroom!
A good way to make the most of your paint-and-sip night is to chat with your friends. A bad way to spend your paint-and-sip night is to sit in silence, comparing your artwork to theirs, and making periodic snide remakes under your breath when the instructor walks by. I’m pretty sure she just heard you use the word “derivative” in completely the wrong way. So, that’s fun!
Now that you’re onto painting the trees, you should be feeling pretty relaxed! Isn’t it FUN to do something creative with your 6 closest female friends? Try not to think about how none of this would be happening if Jennifer hadn’t befriended you in the medical tent at Burning Man 12 years ago. That was back when you were doing peyote in the desert. And now? You’re in a strip mall, copying a painting of a sunset at what is essentially the adult version of “Made by Me”. Chug the rest of your pinot.
At this point, you should be putting the finishing touches on your “masterpiece” and wrapping up. For you, this means debating whether it’s worth getting out the flask of liquor you brought from home and hid in the bottom of your bag next to the loose breath mints and Dramamine you take while flying. They should really provide more wine at these sorts of events.
While you wait for everyone else to clean up –and look for a place to ditch your sunset painting—try not to think about how else you could’ve spent tonight. You should be at home right now wearing stained sweatpants, Crest White Strips, a sports bra, and literally nothing else. You could be sprawled on the sofa watching Naked and Afraid. You could be asleep. Do you think the trashcan is too obvious a place to toss the painting?
Wait! Before you (finally) get to leave, kissing your friends on the cheeks and –despite every fiber of your being begging you not to, through gritted teeth saying, “we should do this again sometime soon!”—you need to take a photo with your new artwork! “Aren’t they so abstract?” Becca will ask you. “Uh, sure,” you’ll say, calculating whether you can effectively hide behind her during the picture, using her oversized scarf as a kind-of barricade.
On the way to the car, dispose of your sunset painting behind the Home Depot dumpster, unbutton the top of your jeans, and silently swear to yourself that you’ll never do a paint-and-sip night again.
Three weeks later, open your Gmail to an email chain with the subject line “Painting with a twist this Thursday, LADIES?” Breathe in deeply and hit reply. You’ve opened Pandora’s hand-painted box. There is no going back now.