A note to those who drink alcohol but do not buy it

First, I’d like to say that the party on Saturday night was a great success (if I do say so myself…). Thanks so much to everyone who came to make it so much fun. The rest of this note is of a rather unsavory financial nature, and I don’t want the matters of filthy lucre to despoil the memory of such a joyous occasion. (indeed, one could view such a weekly party as our youthful worship service (now hear me out dammit) in that we set aside a time from our work and nonsense lives to lose ourselves among friends (perhaps with alcoholic assistance) and suck every minute out of a night that we can. granted, this metaphor is a stretch. but this is a note for another time!) I don’t regret the money I spent on the party a bit.

Second, here’s the main point of this note: parties are expensive. To those of you who donated to the donation jar yesterday, thank you! I still lost a boatload of money on the party, though. Again, no regrets, but I can’t keep doing this, and the other people who buy you alcohol can’t either. I don’t think anyone’s trying to rip me off or anything; I think people just don’t know how much stuff costs. So I’ll throw out prices that a couple reasonable drinks cost the buyer:

Cheap beer (Pabst class): $15 for a case of 30 cans = 50c each.
Normal beer (like a Yuengling): $20 for a case of 24 bottles = ~$1 each.
Nice beer (Sam Adams, Blue Moon, etc.): tend to cost $9-12 for a 6-pack, so ~$1.50-$2 each.

Smirnoff vodka: $24 for a handle (1.75 liters). 1.75 liters ~ 1.75 quarts = 56oz. Now, if you pour some in a cup and add a mixer, you might pour about 2 oz. So you get 28 drinks' worth out of a handle. So each 2 oz. drink costs you about $1.
Vladimir vodka: about half that, or 50c.
Bacardi rum: comparable to Smirnoff vodka.
Tanqueray gin: $20 for a fifth (0.75 liters). So that’s about 24 oz., so a 2-oz. drink might cost $1.50-$2.
Kahlua: between Smirnoff and Tanqueray, I think. $1-$1.50.

Mixers tend to be cheaper… 8 oz. cranberry juice, milk, orange juice, tonic, or cola will cost 50c or less.

It adds up, though. Say you’re making a White Russian. A shot of vodka, a shot of Kahlua, and fill it up with milk, and it’ll be worth $2-2.50. Your vodka and cranberry could be $1.50, gin and tonic $2, etc. Multiply times a few drinks… toss in a little for cups and ice and snacks and stuff, and that’s a big hit on the liquor purchaser/party host.

So what am I saying? Give a good donation at your next party. Tossing in a dollar or two and figuring “well, I’m only drinking a little” isn’t going to cut it. I’d say $5 will cover you if you have a tolerance like me; maybe more if you’re slightly more stout of constitution, and maybe a little less if you’re drinking light or only quaffing a few PBR’s. And don’t forget! We old folks aren’t trying to make money here, we’re just trying to break even, but we routinely fall way short.

Wait, I see a hand in the back: “You don’t have to buy such nice alcohol!” Would you like me to buy cheap stuff? If that’s what people want, I’ll gladly do that. I won’t scoff at you- I’ve been known to enjoy the ol' Pabst myself. Another hand: “Quit whining! If you don’t want to spend money, don’t host parties!” Fair. I could do that too. But then it’s less fun for everyone… I don’t want to lose our chances to hang out just because of the price of boooooooooooze.

Thanks for listening; I will not speak of this again. But if I host a party and charge money or something, no whining allowed! And when you go to other people’s parties, know how much you drink monetarily, and make sure to donate that much.

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