Friday, April 11, 2008

Better Late

So it was much harder than I thought it would be to get an 11"x17" piece of paper into the internet, but I finally did it. Before I tell the story, I'd just like to comment that seeing the familiar handwriting on this flyer was like meeting an old friend. It reads in my voice, the way I talked and thought several years ago (which is long enough ago to be embarrassed by, if nothing else).

So the party. Well, as the flyer declares, it was a night of contests, which is what the Awesome Man's Club was all about. In addition to the three major contests listed, there were also some door prizes. We decorated the entire lobby and façade with green paper shamrocks that we cut out by hand (like five or six at a time—I did it while watching my roommate play video games). There was a jar for guesses as to how many there actually were (555), and the winner got something green, I can't remember. Also we put up one four-leaf clover among all the three-leafed imposters, and whoever found that one got a prize too. And there was a jar of M&Ms, and whoever guessed the number of green ones in there won the jar. Also, we put gels over the lobby lights, bathing the room in a soft green glow, and outside we stretched Christmas lights between the balconies for a canopy effect. There was green jello and green chips and green cups and napkins and green Kool-aid.

But before I continue, I have to pay tribute to my dear roommate Abe. Abe was the guy who moved in to take Joe's place (Joe who started the club in the first place). Whenever you get a new roommate you're a little concerned that they won't be as good as the last, but with Abe, if there had any been any doubt, it was completely destroyed by this party.1 See, Abe was kind of a quiet guy. He was from Alaska. Mostly he just went to class and played on his computer and listened to music—I don't know, he just did his thing, and quietly. He wasn't shy or a nerd or anything, but if you didn't know him you'd think he was. But if you payed attention, you noticed that when he did speak up it was usually quite funny whatever he said. I don't know; he was kind of a mystery, like a cool guy hidden in a really soft-spoken, unassuming guy's body.

Well Abe totally came out of his shell for this party. While my other roommates were willing to help and stuff, they weren't exactly jumping out of their seats to plan games or cut out decorations. But Abe was all over it. I'd throw out ideas, and while the others would be like, "All of that sounds good," he'd be like, "Yeah that one, but not that one. That's not a good idea. What about this idea?" He drove us to Walmart and the two of us picked out the food and the paper plates and stuff, and me and him split a cheap green sheet into two righteous togas. And when I laid down like $40 on supplies, he laid down another $30 without even blinking. I didn't even ask. And when, just before the party began, I said, "Oh, should we get like a bowl or something if people actually want to donate to help pay for this party?" he said cooly and without any reservation, as if it was the most obvious thing in the world, "We're not going to take donations." And he was right, absolutely right. To do so would've diminished the awesomeness of the party; this way we felt like heroes. I had been thinking of Abe as kind of my sidekick since he was so helpful but seemed to prefer to stand just out of the spotlight, but in that moment I wondered if I wasn't his sidekick.

The other best part of all this was how visibly worried our RA was becoming since we hadn't told him a thing about this party. He was kind of a worrier, and we delighted in feeding his worry (funny that I became an RA after this).2 I think he really thought we would light the place on fire or tap a keg or something. Just watching him squirm a bit between his fear of us going too far and his duty to support us as his charges made the whole experience twice as nice.

Anyway, the party started, and I was quite relieved when like eighty people showed up. There's always a moment of anxiety just as a shindig's beginning when you feel sure no one will actually come, but come they did, many in ridiculous costumes. We played Tag-team Twister (which, I gotta say, was awesome considering I invented it about 5 minutes before the party started). The way it worked was that teams of four competed, but only one player from each was on the board at any time. Whenever a green space was called, though, the players had to trade with a teammate, who had to get into the exact same position. After that we played Tug-of-War-Duck-Duck-Goose (when one team pulled the other across the line they immediately began chasing them around the building, tagging as many as they could, who were then out for the next round—it didn't really work), and after that we did relay races involving ginger ale and spinning with one's forehead held to a baseball bat to simulate a true St. P's Day experience (I was the only one laughing). Then we all came back to the lobby to eat the entries for best dessert while we listened to the entries for best story. One girl's entry was a ziploc bag of yellow Skittles labeled "Leprechaun Gold" and another of green Skittles labeled "Leprechaun Poo." I think the costume contest ended as a dance contest between the finalists.

All in all I'd say it was a pretty good party. I'd put it on my greatest hits album. At the time, though, I thought, "What will I ever do to top that?" since it was pretty awesome and ambitious.

Don't worry, I eventually did.

1 Actually, it was probably wiped away by the time we watched that movie Michael late one night on TBS. The second the show ended (at about 1 in the morning) Abe decided we had to have some pie, so we called up some girls we knew with a car and told them we'd make them a pie if they drove us to Smith's right then. I made a lemon icebox pie, I think, and Abe made a beautiful pair of pecan pies.
2 Once he came over for cleaning checks to find we had put the kitchen table and the kitchen door and maybe even several of the chairs down in the storage cage in the basement. He couldn't figure out how to check their cleanliness if they weren't there, and his demands that they be replaced were met with dumb smiles or practical refusals. He eventually just gave up.


Janssen said...

Hey, I lived in Penrose too! Except it was really T-Hall. I wish people called it by its true name of Penrose, though. Because Penrose is cooler than "T."

Jennifer said...

But janssen, that makes you a T-Babe!

David Grover said...

There was never any question whether Janssen was a T-babe. Unfortunately, her Penrose Hall was in DT (and thus is no more); mine was in Heritage.