As even the most casual fan of Sex and the City can tell you, girls’ night out is an incredibly sacred event on the universal calendar of womanhood. It is the one evening above all special evenings — birthdays, bachelorette parties, the night you made a pact with your best friends to never reveal that you all accidentally killed an old vagrant while car-dancing to The Cranberries — that necessitates strict adherence to a particular set of guidelines. It’s like brunch, but during the night. With so many unspoken rules, you’re bound to make a few mistakes: you’ll forget to tag your fellow girls’ night participants in your Facebook status, you won’t wear shoes you can dance in, your pregame will run out of wine. Yet, as with all things, some errors are more serious than others. Below we help you determine the appropriate penance. Note: the following list is by ascending degree of indiscretion.
Transgression: You never answered the chain email.
Penance: Four days’ worth of interesting Gchats and defaulting a photo from said girls’ night without cropping out any of the attendees.
Transgression: You didn’t bring any gossip.
Penance: Four Our Andy Cohens and one comment about an ex’s genitals.
Transgression: You met your girls at the bar, completely avoiding the post-work mani-pedi hour.
Penance: A two-minute drunk-cry about your disgusting cuticles at your next group happy hour.
Transgression: You wore Spanx. (Who are you trying to impress? You’re just with your girls.)
Penance: Fainting in hot yoga and letting your friend tell the story.
Transgression: You looked too cute. (Ibid.)
Penance: Get a case of the full-bodied fats. Get better after a month.
Transgression: You didn’t take a shot even though, like, everyone was taking a shot.
Penance: A brief stint in Passages Malibu, the same rehab center that Lindsay Lohan attended.
Transgression: You told your friend to text the hookup that keeps canceling on her when clearly the correct advice was “forget him, do you, that guy’s a loser and you need a man.”
Penance: A Tinder/OkCupid/Craigslist Missed Connections/Craigslist Personals/”Lonely Single Dads” AOL Chatroom fast, length to be determined by the friend who followed your advice and ended up getting HPV from that dude.
Transgression: You wore the same outfit as one of your girls.
Penance: Burn the clothing, bury the ashes at a crossroads, and buy a one-shouldered tunic from Forever 21.
Transgression: You brought the person whom you’re dating.
Penance: Place yourself on Tower Rest and refrain from contacting your significant other. Watch Thelma and Louise every night for one month; write weekly newsletters to your girls in which you refer to The Tower as a “vineyard” and talk excitedly about what the fresh country air is doing for your skin.
Transgression: You gave some guy your number.
Penance: After the guy’s downtown loft mysteriously catches on fire, bring the blackened plasma TV, his college ring, and miscellaneous metals to the closest juice bar at exactly 3 AM. Arrange the tarnished sundry into a likeness of Mjölnir, rubbing the ashes of a fly on your eyelids, and droning, “if you lead, I will follow, any, anywhere” three times.
Transgression: You brought the person whom you’re dating and that person is a man.