In ten easy steps
1. Make a pot of very strong coffee. Make the coffee before the debate so if you’re walking over to the coffee maker and fall asleep mid stride, everyone else will still have coffee.
2. Get some toothpicks for your eyes.
3. Set an alarm clock to go off every four minutes. Also, turn down the heat. Stay chilly, stay alert!
4. Ship in some roosters from several different timezones — Europe, India, Japan — if the alarm clock breaks they will wake up at different intervals and provide good backup.
4. Print out several photos of each Vice Presidential candidate and mark them “Pence” and “Kaine.” Put one of photo of each in front of you. When the debate starts, mark down their position on stage so you have that to refer to in case you still get confused. You can also write yourself little notes like “Pence looks slightly older” “Kaine looks slightly more like he’s wearing makeup” if this is helpful. Put another pair of marked photos in any room you might go into in house during the debate — the bathroom, kitchen, etc — in case you forget which is which while you have been absent from the viewing room.
5. Find other people you know who are also watching the debate and promise to text each other every 20 minutes or so. You can say things like: “You can do it!” “Nice job, friend!” “I believe in you!”
6. If you are expected to live tweet the debate hire several assistants to help you. One of them should be standing by with a bucket of cold water, one of them should continuously just be muttering “Pence is on the left, Kaine is on the right,” and finally, one of them should be reminding any arriving guests “Tonight we’re watching the Vice Presidential debates.” (This assistant should have tissues available in case anyone forgot this on the way here and, once newly informed of this fact, begins to cry.)
7. Even if you’re used to making funny comments to friends and colleagues at viewing parties, don’t feel pressure to do that tonight. Maybe have different expectations for yourself than you usually might in situations like this. Maybe tell yourself “If I make it out of this without anyone seeing me drool all over myself, I will call tonight a success.” Be nice to yourself!
8. Someone at this party will know something about Tim Kaine or Mike Pence and they might start sharing some of this knowledge with you. They may say things like “Did you know Tim Kaine speaks fluent Spanish?” or “Did you know Mike Pence’s favorite ice cream is “Moose Tracks”?” You might find this person attractive or even consider dating them. Be careful. What you have is a very mild case of Stockholm Syndrome. Pair up with a buddy to make sure you get home safe.
9. Themed snacks can be a great way to make what might otherwise be the most epically dull night of everyone’s life super fun. Why not make Mike Pence’s favorite recipe — featured on his official Governor’s website — for a wonderful sounding treat called Apple Smiles?
10. Speaking of that — Smile! It’s scientifically proven to make you happy when you’re not!