Dear Answer Lady,
I have these friends who, whenever I go over to their house, we smoke a ton of marijuana. I would like to return their hospitality, but I've never invited them to hang out at my place because I'm worried it would be awkward due to a lack of drugs on my part. I guess I could buy some just for the occasion, but I don't even really know how to go about doing so (when I used to smoke every day, my boyfriend dealt with the dealer) and … I just don't want to! Can I ask my friends to bring their own drugs, which I will then smoke?
Dear Faux Pot,
Ah, just like the famous song by The Hold Steady: "You don't have to deal with the dealers/ Let your boyfriend deal with the dealers/ It only gets inconvenient/ When you've long since broken up with that boyfriend and have mostly quit smoking pot but you still occasionally want to make America's Next Top Model watchable and not constantly mooch off your friends." I am paraphrasing but I think that's basically how the song goes.
Drug etiquette is really hard because the people involved in questions of drug etiquette cannot be relied on to perceive things accurately. Like, are you sensing that your friends are tired of your mooching? Well, maybe you are just being paranoid, about that! Seriously, I think it's likely that your friends do not care (from the one sentence I know about them, they seem easygoing). Which transforms your question from an etiquette question into an ethical question. I'm glad you decided to address it to me and not to Randy Cohen! Once we stop worrying about your friends, your question becomes, "I am a grown person. Is embarking on the project of buying my own drugs at this stage in the game an assertion of maturity and independence or a regression into immaturity and dependence (on drugs)?"
I feel you on not wanting to buy drugs, Faux. There are some things where, it just seems too weird to be doing them for the first time after age, say, 25. Like getting a tattoo or trying ecstasy or anal sex, embarking on a relationship with a drug delivery service seems like the kind of thing that, if you were ever going to do it, you would have done it already by now.
There are two types of people in New York-and, who knows, maybe the world! But actually I think this city's uniquely crushing grind of ambition and disappointment both attracts and breeds ultra-high-functioning kinda-addicts-people who have a dealer and people who are friends with people who have a dealer. You are the second type of person. It's not that you couldn't become the first type of person in the time that it takes to make a phone call, it's just that there seems to be more at stake in the decision to become that person than just money and an awkward moment of trying to make a minute's worth of conversation with someone who goes to NYU.
Cause here is the thing: your friends are not going to come over and smoke *all* your pot. After they leave, you will still have some pot lying around. And then a couple of days later maybe it's raining, and sure, you *could* go out, or, fuck it, you had a long day, you will just make some pasta and sit in front of the tv eating it and watching all the Millionaire Matchmaker episodes that you have DVRed and maybe you'll smoke another bowl and make some weird snack that's like, chocolate syrup inside a rolled-up flour tortilla. AND THEN SUDDENLY THAT IS YOUR ENTIRE LIFE.
I think what Emily Post would say is, go ahead and straightforwardly ask your friends to BYOM, but make it clear that they aren't supposed to bring anything else and then make sure you have plenty of delicious
snacks and wine for them when they come over. Or you could try having a non-high hang with them and see how that goes. Who knows what reality TV is like when not seen through a veneer of mind-altering substances? Certainly not your trusty answer person.
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