Look, I’m not judging anyone here, but the world is made up of all kinds of people, and not everyone is, let’s say, at home when attending some of the fancier events the world has to offer. That’s okay, though. Symphonies and lavish galas aren’t for everyone. But even those on the lowest rung of decent society have to climb up a few steps and try to keep their filthy pants on for a few hours to be part of one classy affair now and then.

It can be overwhelming if you’re not used to it, and frankly a little bit intimidating. But don’t you worry your pretty little tiara-topped head, because I’m here to give you all the advice you’ll ever need to be a bona fide smash at your next formal shindig. If you follow my guidelines, you can transform yourself from the crudest of turds to the hottest of shit.

Let’s start with the upscale dinner. Now, I’m not talking anywhere with unlimited breadsticks and bottomless pasta bowls here, you barn-raised cretin. The thing about real fancy restaurants is you pay more money for less food. The fancier the restaurant, the more expensive the entrée and the less meal on the plate. Most high-end eateries have very few buckets of anything on the menu.

Start by ordering the third most expensive wine on the list. That shows you have good taste, but you’re not a sucker. Make a comment about how whatever year it’s from was a good year for grapes. Wait, is wine made from grapes? That doesn’t sound right. Anyhow, say that it was a good year for grapes or potatoes or limestone or whatever wine is made from.

And don’t call the waiter “waiter.” Fancy restaurants don’t have waiters. They have concierges and maitre d’s, which I think are French for janitor and maybe blacksmith? Anyway, the proper way to address a server is “madam” if she’s a woman, which is French for “madam,” or “garçon” for a man, which is French for “dude” and is pronounced gherkin, like the pickle.

Another event many of you unwashed plebians might have trouble with is going to an art gallery, perhaps for an opening or a reception. Now, nothing says “class” like art, so it makes a great impression if you know a little about it. First off, there will probably be people serving wine or champagne, so snag some from the first one that passes you. Make sure to grab a couple glasses until you’ve got a handle on how fast they circulate. Once you’ve gotten a few drinks down your greasy philistine trap, you’ll be ready to look at some art.

Most art is kind of bullshit, actually, but just pretend for ten minutes that you don’t still stink like whatever gross cave you just crawled out of and that you understand it. It’s pretty easy. You don’t even have to say much. Act like you’re really contemplating it for a couple minutes, then say that you admire the artist’s bold brush strokes and gesture towards the dick. There’s always a dick in art. Talk a lot about the dick part of the piece and how viscerally it impacted you. Dick talk really gives the impression that you get art.

Finally, we have the opera. This one can be tough. There’s a lot going on at an opera. And they’re long, too. And in a lot of operas everybody sings everything. I guess that’s how they do things in Europe. There’s usually an intermission, and a reception after the thing, and you’re expected to talk about the opera. It can be done, though. Drop names of famous opera composers like Verdi or Gandolfini.

Make a big scene about how much you wept when Mimi died in Rodolfo’s arms, or when José killed Carmen, or when Aida died, or Violetta or Nedda or Antonia. Operas are all about women dying. Really you could just talk about how much it moved you when the lady died, and play Candy Crush through the whole thing.

That should pretty much do it. If you’ve managed to pull yourself out of your own filth for long enough to read this far, then you should be in for a resoundingly successful night. Just remember everything I taught you, and don’t forget to have fun! Have fun for me too, I can’t go. I’m not allowed back to the concert hall. Or the art gallery. Or any restaurant that isn’t Arby’s.


Photo by Beraldo Leal via Flickr