then, for about three years in a row, I hosted two major parties a year: a Dress Up and Be Damned Costume Ball, for Halloween, and a Christmas party.
The costume ball always pulled in about a hundred people, and there was always a DJ, a full bar, dance floor and costume party; also, inevitably, a decent amount of us would end up in the pool, half dressed, swimming until 7a. it was at these parties, on Indian Summer nights, when girls would sleep in their cars and in pool chairs. I, mostly, was always able to pull my bed from the wall and sleep there, which is very unlike the Christmas parties. there was so much debauchery at the Christmas parties, so much being in the moment, that no photos were ever taken.
at the Christmas parties, I would accidentally lock myself out of my little house, and I would try to sleep in my mom's truck, but it would be too cold, so I would knock on their living room window, trying to abstractedly wake them so they would give me a key to my own house, but that didn't work too well either. some of my mom's favorite stories to tell about me are the time she and my dad found me asleep on the living room porch, and the time I told someone off for being cruel to her at one of her parties.
the Christmas parties were more low key, sort of. they were my favorite, actually, because they took less planning, and everyone had to cram into my tiny house because it was cold outside. I liked the effect of all those Christmas lights everywhere: it was so romantic and happy. also, people are festive in a different way on Christmas than on Halloween, and for some reason, these parties always became far more wild. this may have been because of the proximity; these parties absolutely looked like they were from a film: it was like Animal House but with more lights, more colors, and extremely good looking people.
a girl would always lock herself in the bathroom, sick and sad about something, and everyone would have to pee in the yard, which became a strange bonding ritual. I remember once, I peed in the yard with my exboyfriend's sister, and not twenty minutes later, he was so smashed, he tried to pick a wild, if not comical, fight with my party date, where he ended up saying something over the moon, which I absolutely cannot remember right now, and running into the woods because he refused to leave the party,
which was and still is funny to me because my reason for throwing parties is simple: I hated parties; I never wanted to be at them, and other people's parties gave me so much social anxiety, that even if it was my best friend's party, I wouldn't go. I eventually broke away from this mentality, and I absolutely love parties now, but these anxieties did not come without reason. so here it is, told in three segments because each story is more insane than the next: THE TWO, ALMOST THREE, PARTIES THAT HAVE EVER BEEN THROWN IN MY HONOR, AND WHY THEY WERE ABSOLUTELY AWFUL:
one. when I was sixteen,
my friends and my mom put together a surprise party for me, at my house. this would have probably been amazing, except that in order to get me out of the house, my dad took me out for a drive, and what happened on the drive was absolute madness. I had a little, popular sports car at the time, and it was a stick shift. I had almost completely mastered the hydraulic clutch, and dad and I were just riding around the area. we were on Anderson Rd, and there was light traffic.
I was cruising in the right lane, and this nasty little car wanted to get over, so my dad told me to speed up and let it go behind me, which turned out to be the wrong thing to do. this very large and very beastly red headed woman started swerving as if to hit me, and screaming insane profanities. she also had two equally angry and equally awful men in the car, also screaming, and a very tiny baby that apparently, in light of the situation, was not the first priority. I was scared, and my dad told me to pull over, so I thought he was just as insane as they were, even though he had not yelled anything back and had been cool about it. I said, no way, and he said, you have to. you can't drive well in this situation. ugh.
so I pulled into Tampa West, and of course they followed us, and I pulled into a median, and they pulled right up next to us, on the passenger side. my dad kept his voice calm, said he was teaching me to drive, and that he didn't want any trouble. but they wouldn't let up. the baby was hysterical by now, and the woman had never once turned around to take care of the kid. she kept yelling to the two men, get out of the car and beat his ass. as I said, we were driving a tiny, popular sports car, so not only did we probably look privileged and terrible, but they also could not tell how tall and strong my dad is. so they kept telling my dad to get out of the car, and he kept saying, you really don't want me to get out of this car.
so they got out of the car with tire irons, and they approached us.
then, my dad got out of the car too, and my dad is scary, especially when he is mad. he doesn't even have to say anything: it's all over his face. eleven years later, when he was sick in the hospital, he told me how when he was young, he used to cruise around in his truck, looking for people to fight. what happened that day at Tampa West never made sense to me until he told me how he used to be, how he used to pull over and fight anyone that looked at him crooked. because right when he got out of my sporty, popular car, those two scrawny dudes with tire irons backed down. they kept calling my dad, big guy, and saying they didn't want any trouble, and they slowly backed up towards their car, and the very large and very beastly red headed woman was pissed, but women like that seem to always hang out with cowards. I did not learn this until I was much older though; my dad already knew it.
needless to say, my dad drove us home, and I was crying. I had never, ever been in a situation like that, and the party was a massacre. I was not only incredibly late to the party; food had been eaten and only the cake was left, but I just wanted to be alone. my dad had bolted, angrily, into the house, and I wanted to do the same. I felt so put upon with having to pretend that I was happy about the party; it felt like one gift I hated that I had to keep opening again and again, smiling and posing, holding it up, pretending to be so in love with the thing. and I felt terrible that I did not want to be there, but it was no damn fun. turning sixteen sucked, and
this guilt is an incredibly common theme in all of the parties to follow. however, this one is probably the least distressing. in the next entry, you can read about the one time I had a fake wedding, which was, in fact, a real wedding that I had to go through, which means yes, I was really married for a short time when I was nineteen.