I Thought Day Parties Were Dumb And Too "Millennial" Until I Had One Of My Own

Leon Neal/Getty Images
Leon Neal/Getty Images

When I hear the words day party, I instantly imagine women in strapless dresses from Anthropologie and dudes wearing suspenders with those super high hemmed pants. There’s barbecue chicken that magically doesn’t drip. It’s at a perfectly appointed venue. There’s no talk about politics or hip-hop. There are people sitting on the back of upholstered couches from Pottery Barn which would normally be super Not Okay but because their pants are cuffed and hemmed to the knee it’s okay. No deviled eggs, because you’d have to lick your fingers. There’s liquor but no likker.


I can only imagine because I’ve never been to a day party. I can’t front. When it first became a Thing, I wondered, (sometimes publicly), why I’d never gotten an invite from my younger friends. When my 10-years-younger bestie gave me the tea on his 3rd or 4th day party, I realized I probably wasn’t getting invited because I wasn’t 10 years younger. Ouch.

But here’s the thing. Even if I had been invited, I wouldn’t go.

Parties just don’t work for me. I don’t like to go to parties and I definitely don’t like having them. Why? I’m a homebody. I work from home. I live from home. I do everything from home. Then, there’s my hair—always problematic. I can never count on her to make sense on any given day. Then there’s the adult acne I’ve gotten going on or that story I’m always trying to finish. And I’m just a curmudgeon in general.

I also avoid parties because I have to get to bed early. I have meds that knock me all the way out. If I take them after 11, I’m a sleepwalking gremlin. So it’s out of the question to have a party at my place.

So I just had a party at my place.

Last year I had my first party since I turned thirty. Which was thirteen years ago. Not even kidding. My party last year was amazing. I felt so much warmth and love from my friends and family after a year that kicked my ass in every conceivable way.

I’ll be traveling this year for my birthday so I decided to throw together a party last Saturday.

I thought about this day party nonsense again. Should I have one? But why would you have a party in the middle of the day? A baby shower, yes. But a party-party? With Henny and ratchet clothes and a DJ? But it’s daylight outside! And then what do you do afterward?


A millennial clued me in. Afterward the guests leave. And you’re on the sofa by 8 watching Golden Girls.

Watching Golden Girls by 8!? Well, for me it would be Hey Arnold! But either way—A DAY PARTY IT IS!


My building has a sick rooftop deck with a view of New York City. (I can count on one hand how many times I’ve hung out up there. Shameful.) I planned to have the party there.

I just happened to see an invite template that said: come be jealous of my roof. I chose that one—even though it was supposed to rain. I made it clear that the party was BYOB. And then, because I’m a lazy host, I added that it was BYOF as well. And because I’m trifling, I said everyone had to bring enough B and F to share.


Then, I set the time: 1PM – 5PM.

The morning of the party, I sat up in my bed in horror. I really invited people to my home? Was I really doing this day party nonsense? I couldn’t just read Entertainment Weekly on my iPad and pray Verizon hadn’t cut my cable off?


Now, if this were a regular party, I’d have time to adjust and stop freaking out. But not with this stupid 1pm start time! It was going to take me an hour just to get FroGirl to behave!

Tiny disasters all morning long: too hot to hang out on the roof. Move location to courtyard where random families in my building are stretched out. FroGirl is a hot mess. My sister didn't put paprika on the deviled eggs. And she didn’t make some without relish for me since relish is vile. Bae and I are arguing because I don’t like what he’s wearing and he’s not trying to impress nobody but who meets their girl’s family for the first time wearing a t-shirt and sweat-shorts?! Having three hours to prepare was not a good look.


At 12:59 I was still trying to figure out what to wear. At 1:10 I was downstairs, sweating out my dress already and wanting to skip to the part where I’m on my sofa watching Hey Arnold.

Can y’all tell me why my day party wasn’t in full swing until THREE THIRTY? Did I do something wrong? Are day parties supposed to start at 3? I know our people come to places when they want to. But shouldn't there be a rule that we all get to day parties on time since there’s an actual end time?


Well. I guess I know better than that.

This is just one of the reasons why day parties are dumb. Our folk don’t honor end times! So a party that starts at 1 is just going to be a long ass party!


At 5, folks were still arriving bringing more amazing dishes and likker. At 6, the weather chilled and we went up to the roof to have a toast to good food and good friends. Came back down.

Time for another round of food and likker. My sister’s deviled eggs are not a game. (Even though she didn’t put paprika on them, which is a crime.)


By 7, some of my friends were making conversation with Bae, sizing him up and taking note of his proper summer shorts swag. Then the music got a bit louder and the playful boozy arguments started. At 8:30, I started yawning. At 8:45 I saw one of my besties hit it off rather well with another guest. At 9, Bae started cleaning up and then went upstairs to feed the dog and then walk him. At 9:30, y’all, I left my own party. Which was in full swing. It started raining. People huddled up under the umbrellas.

Likker was still being consumed.

By 11, I was asleep.

My sister tells me that the party did not end until midnight, when building security came through and said to beat it.


So. My day party started at one pm and ended at midnight. 11 hours. Right. That’s what you call a day party. Absolutely ridiculous.

And now I wish I could have one every single weekend.

I’m almost 44. I know this sounds corny. But it is an extreme blessing to have your friends and family around you. I’m getting choked up just writing this.


Maybe it’s because I lost my dad this year. My siblings and I no longer have him as an anchor.

My brother is a man of little words—especially when it comes to his two younger sisters. So when I looked up and saw him playing spades with my younger sister for the first time? All. The. Feels. (Especially since they won.) I love my brother. But I don’t think I’ve ever said that to him in my entire life. I need eight hour long parties to get that point across to him without words.


Now, I do see my friends and family for a dinner or a brunch here and there. But that’s not the same as a long ass day party. Sometimes, you just don’t know what’s going on with folks until you see them in person for an extended period of time.

Example: two of my closest friends are twins. I had no idea that they were beefing and hadn’t spoken in months until I saw them at the party not speaking to each other. When I saw Guy Twin leave my party without speaking to Woman Twin, I was devastated. That’s something I wouldn’t find out if we all went out for after-work drinks.


I implore you. Have a long-ass day party. Not a brunch or dinner. A long-ass party at someone’s place. I don’t care how small your place is. Let people pile up on your bed. They don’t care. They love you. However many people you think you can fit in your place, invite double that amount.

Forget planning a menu. Tell someone to bring some shrimp fried rice. Talk about politics and hip-hop and 4:44 and Lemonade and Anthony Scaramucci and anything else that gets people riled up.


All you need is likker (no liquor) and deviled eggs with paprika and no relish. The rest is optional.

Also? When you set up your day party, can you please invite me?  aliyalovesdayparties@gmail.com


I swear I’ll come.

Aliya S. King, a native of East Orange, N.J., is the author of two novels and three nonfiction books. She has written professionally since 1998.



The only day parties I go to have people under the age of 10.

I have a question. Is it transphobic to want someone to disclose if they are trans before you are romantically involved? I am asking because I legit don't know the answer.

PS: I asked because when I was single, it never came to mind that I should wonder if someone is trans or not.