Collage by Emma D.

There are nights when I don’t feel like going to a Superchunk show or hanging out at the local coffee shop with my friends. I just want to stay in and read a book by the fireplace with my pug, Nigel. Doesn’t that sound nice? It certainly sounds nice to me, because I am a 90-year-old woman. Just kidding. I’m an über-cool teenager—you know that. For some reason, people love to make homebodies feel bad for choosing to stay home all the time. I’ve had friends who have tried to make me feel lame for not going out more and “living life,” whatever that means. They would label me a big fat ol’ loser just because I loved hanging out at home! On one hand, I think: I’m 17. I should be partying nonstop! On the other, if being home makes me happy, then I should stay home. And on my mutant third hand, I think, Does this make me lame? No! And anyone who says otherwise doesn’t know how much fun being a homebody can be, apparently. It’s not lame if you want to stay home. In fact, staying home can be super fun! Behold my top eight suggestions for an awesome night indoors:

1. Watch movies forever and ever and ever…
…or at least for a couple of hours. Sometimes I’ll pick an interesting director whose films I’ve never seen before, like Gregg Araki or Hal Hartley, and watch one film every night until I’ve seen their entire body of work. I love inviting friends over for Chinese food and a Disney movie marathon or ’80s movie marathon or, really, any movie marathon.

2. Make art.
I like to create, and I don’t mean in the sense of making a scene in a restaurant. I labor over paper chains and miniature Japanese fish kites. One time I had some plastic animals lying around from Walgreens so I glued bar pins to the back of them and, voilá, they were wearable. (My advice? Always have bar pins.) I really want to try my hand at these sick-looking mini piñatas as well. Hell, you can make a flower crown or just give yourself an artful Sharpie tattoo.

3. Read super-smart literature and stuff.
It is getting increasingly hard for me to find time to relax and read. Being home means an opportunity to fill my brain with the written word. Books, zines, you name it. I can get completely lost in a good story—so lost that three hours pass and I’ve finished the sucker. The last kickass collection I read was The Girl in the Flammable Skirt by Aimee Bender. It was trippy and lovely and otherworldly. Add it to your wishlist!

4. Cast spells on boys.
Draw a pentagram on the floor and put four candles at different points on the edge of the circle. These represent the four elements. Make sure you have some sort of offering (roses? red wine?) to a higher power and place this in the center of the star. Chant the name of the boy you hope will fall in love with you 666 times. Warning: this is probably an activity best saved for when you’re home alone. That way, if any demons enter the house, they’ll only harm you, and not your family. Or maybe don’t listen to me because I don’t actually know what I’m talking about.

5. Watch TV.
I will climb into bed with an entire Amy’s pizza to watch a series—and eat the pizza, in its entirety. This is a little dangerous because, whether it’s a mockumentary comedy like Summer Heights High or a freaky thriller like Twin Peaks, getting addicted to a good show will make you never want to leave the house until it’s over. Do you watch Mad Men? You don’t? Then why are you reading this? Get thee onto Netflix and glue your eyes to the computer screen.

6. Dress up.
You don’t need to go out to dress up. I like to go through my closet and put outfits together that I haven’t tried on before. I cut shirts, I shorten skirts, I stick safety pins in anything. Also, I recommend getting freaky with your makeup. If you’re not going out for the rest of the evening, feel free to attempt the Bowie face.

7. Play board games.
Okay, I might sound like a total square, but games can get pretty intense. Especially Pictionary. It’s like, “Whoa, I’m sorry I didn’t know this eyeball with three dots in the center means hysterical blindness. Yeesh!” Anything can happen when you play Trivial Pursuit or Scrabble, too. Maybe you will get SO into the game that you flip the board over. Maybe you’ll throw it at someone! But, hey, you won’t be bored. Ha ha, get it?

8. Girl talk.
I could talk to my friends for hours and hours about school, boys, Congressional earmarks—ya know, girl stuff! But seriously, one minute it’s 6 PM and then, suddenly, it’s two in the morning and all of the takeout is gone and one of your friends just had an emotional breakthrough. Your besties can be all you need to have a good time.

So the next time someone asks you what you’re doing on Friday night, you know what to say: I’m drawing a Bowie lightning bolt on my visage, eating a four-cheese pizza, and watching The Doom Generation. Doesn’t that sound like the best night ever? ♦