You know that awful half-hour period when a party’s just getting started: Everyone’s standing around the living room with their first beers of the night, awkwardly exchanging names, years and majors while secretly thinking, “Dear god, when is this buzz gonna kick in?” as they smile politely through their gritted teeth.

That’s one thing I never have to suffer through.

I am small and so is my alcohol tolerance. Give me a beer, a shot or a cocktail, and five minutes later, I’ll be that ridiculously giggly brunette getting her flirt on with that hottie lacrosse player in the corner.

When you’re a lightweight like me, that elusive buzz is always only half a drink away. On nights when you just don’t have the time to leisurely sip that Long Island while enjoying those oceanside views, the ability to go from stone-sober to three-sheets-to-the-wind is a valuable one.

Prepping for those wild DP nights is never a timely endeavor. Get dressed, slip on some bangin’ strappy sandals, pound one drink and I’m out the door, ready to face the I.V. masses in full-on, boozed-up glory.

Most people kill half their monthly paycheck on keeping the refrigerator stocked with Coronas, vodka and Jack. Us lightweights, however, have the luxury of sustaining perfectly legit buzzes from the drinks we scam for free at parties. And even when we do shell out some bucks for a handle of Tanqueray, that handle will last us quite some time – and 30 bucks for several months of gin-and-tonic deliciousness ain’t bad.

Not to mention the calories we’re cutting by liquoring up with less booze than our beer-bellied counterparts. A few shots a weekend won’t set us back too far when it comes to keeping up our tight Santa Barbara bods – because it won’t matter how drunk or sober you are if that nasty beer gut’s weighing you down.

Above all, taking our time is overrated. If there were ever a perfect time to live fast and drink hard, that time would be now.

So while the rest of you sit around averting each other’s eye contact like socially inept goons, I’ll be the chick dancing on the tables early in the night. I may be alone up there, but I’ll be having a blast.

Two Jack and Cokes later, Daily Nexus opinion editor Meghan Palma one-ups Sean and gets in between the sheets with Barry.