A disclaimer: I write this having just survived a rather rowdy weekend and with a nearly-downed quart of mother’s ruin staring at me angrily from the shelf above my desk. I harbor no grudge toward the rambunctious collegiate lifestyle, nor do I disapprove of those who choose to avoid the fray altogether (though the term “straight-edge” makes my teeth grind). I make this clumsy proclamation to calm those who might dismiss the following observations as an attack against the “feral party-goer”—which it is not.
I have recently found my way into a certain boredom over the course of participating in a number of these little get-togethers: namely, Table Manners, Pub, TNC (Thursday Night Club for the… let’s say, “unmarked”), 7 Deadly Sins, Toga, Eurotrash, etc. I can assure you that this is not a critique of the events themselves; in fact, they are some of the better party scenarios to which I have been exposed, carefully sidling through with the utmost caution lest a drop of honeyed nectar spill from my red Dixie chalice. No, this is a far more personal submission than any of the usual tired nonsense, and I think it has to do with being a senior. Somewhere over the last few months, some circuit shorted in my headboard. My enthusiasm has been abducted and imprisoned in some grotty basement (most likely in Rotterdam).
I can easily think back to when I would be fully amped up to pre-game and run off with some pals to make like cogs in a giant, sweaty, inebriated clock. I use the word “easily” because this dates back to less than a year ago. However, since then, I have found myself only actively seeking out parties at which I can hear speech that isn’t pre-recorded. This is probably the biggest factor for me; conversation is simply dance in another form, and one that currently offers a stronger appeal. (It also doesn’t hurt that I sport more natural talent in a conversational back-and-forth than in my dance moves, which is saying very little). Sure, I’ll happily head to some of the bigger venues: dressing like a confused prat for Smiley ’80s, braving the serious risk of being impregnated at Foam or Slippery When Wet, etc. But whenever I force myself onto the more minimal dance floors and end up in a discordant sway with some poor girl (who no doubt hoped for a more skilled set of hips and knee caps), the urge to walk away from the irritating music and unwelcome exercise grips me without delay.
I felt a bit geriatric when this realization dawned on me, but I have to say that I also notice it in my classmates. Of the times I wound up indifferently standing in the middle of a heaving dance floor, unable to work up the energy to showcase my usual erratic flailing, I looked around to find a stark shortage of seniors. So, to all the spring chickens reading this: enjoy these Pagan shindigs as often as you can. (And note that I am, in fact, rather jealous of you!) To my fellow seniors across the 5Cs: if you continue to enjoy these events, more power to you; and if you’ve lost that certain wotsit, know that you are in good company! Perhaps we’ll bump into each other at a place where we can audibly chat about it.