By Danna Friedberg, 17, Hamilton HS
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Photo illustration by Amy Martin, design consultant

Partying. It seems like the thing to do when you’re in high school. Anyone who is cool spends their Friday and Saturday nights at some random stranger’s house drinking, rubbing up against someone who they’ll probably never see again and paying homage to the porcelain gods. Many teens would swear that parties are the only reason high school is even bearable.

I have never been much of a "hard" partier myself. Sure in middle school I attended a lot of innocent boy-girl dance parties, but during high school I have been to only a couple of big parties and a few small ones. At one of them, I walked into the house and sat on the couch. On my right two girls were making out to get the attention of some guys. Another guy on my left was trying to convince the crowd he was drunk, even though he hadn’t consumed any alcohol. The music was terrible. I felt as if I had entered teenage hell. Why, I asked myself, would I want to be here when I could associate with a more "sophisticated" group?

Call me a snobby drama queen, but the teenage party scene is so overdone and clichéd. Why hang out at someone’s boring house where the only decorations are a few strategically placed beer kegs, when you can walk the red carpet and wine and dine at the Beverly Hills Hilton? When the word "party" comes to mind, I think of glitz and glamour, not beer and bras.

If Cinderella’s fairy godmother were to answer my prayers, I wouldn’t ask for some Abercrombie and Fitch tight-fitting jeans, a slinky spaghetti strap tank top, a thong and a flier for the popular quarterback’s once-a-year crazy keg party. Instead, I’d be famous. I’d be a starlet wearing a Robert Cavalli dress, a pair of Manolo Blahniks and a satin Valentino bag with a personal invitation to E!/In Style’s annual Academy Awards after-show party. So why party like a high schooler, when I can wait to party like an A-list movie star?

A lot of teens who throw parties have some supervision (like a really "cool" cousin who goes to the back of the house and watches TV). That’s just sad. How can you call it a party when some adult is in the back watching sports? Hollywood parties never get broken up because A-listers don’t need supervision.

Another reason to steer away from high school parties is the atrocious food. Chips and beer, how boring. We can do better than that. If we are going to drink, why can’t we intoxicate ourselves glamorously? Like the girls on Sex and the City. When I go to a party I want to dress to impress and you can’t do that if you’re going to be swimming in your own puke. (Plus I can’t even imagine what the dry cleaning bill would look like to get vomit off of a white satin Marc Jacobs top.) In Celeb Land you can go home whenever you want and avoid the drunk driving because no one actually drives themselves. That’s what limos are for.

At teenage parties you must always keep a close eye on your purses and personal belongings so they don’t get stolen. At Hollywood parties everyone has equally expensive cell phones and they all have the money to afford anything they want, so chances are no one is going to steal your purse (unless you’re sitting at a table with Winona Ryder).

I would hate it if I were at a party with one friend and didn’t know anyone else there, which is not an uncommon thing. Imagine the isolation when your friend strikes up a conversation with someone else and you’re left alone on the couch. You either ask a stranger "hey what’s up?" and then stop talking to each other. Or someone you don’t want to talk to tries to hit on you. And then instead of being seen alone you’ve been seen with some really weird kid. In Hollywood no one is a stranger because you at least have seen everyone in the movies or on TV so they are familiar faces. The cheap talk can be avoided and you can strike up a conversation with people you don’t know simply by telling them that you loved their last movie or asking them who their agent is.

Some say that attending parties is part of the growing up experience of high school. Some take advantage of that and spend their teen years passed out on weekends. While a teen does have to come of age, I don’t want to unless the cast of The O.C. is there by my side.