a bad case of reflectionitis.
19 February 2006
  the placebo effect
typically when i get invitations to parties requiring set attire, i decline and claim to have something better to do. i hate being told what to wear. more than i hate being told that i have to pay $5 at the door for old milwaukee tapped from a keg. when the st. lunatics (sloth, satan, spacey) sent out the evite for their black and white birthday bash, i actually checked my calendar to see if i could make it. unlike the lameness of pimps and hoes parties, this theme piqued my interest. black or white in any other-color exclusivity look phenomenal on me. with the exception of black and white with red shoes. that's a killer. i recently bought a pair of hot white pants that need to strut around more often. i rsvp'd. then found out that pbecca (not to be mistaken with ptolemy) would be going and knew it'd be an extravaganza. pbecca loves to wear ties and i relish a good pair of crisp editor pants draped over some pointy and dangerous jet black stilettos. sexy partying is the only kind i do.

my pre-planned outfit was the only thing keeping me sane while i stood at work waiting to open the door for incoming dinners for two. the phrase "your server this evening will be anthony, and he'll be right with you. enjoy your dinner" feels official maybe the first five or six times you say it. after that, it feels autobot and untalented. in fact, i'd rather be a mediocre server using phrases like "y'all" and "you guys" than a smiling, lipstick-wearing, shmoozy door-opener with wicked talent for menu-placing and coat-hanging. being good at something that sucks means that i suck. i don't suck. needless to say, i'm looking for another job. one that will give me the opportunity to be much cooler and much more talented, like filing alphabetically or typing memos.

glee is the only expression that comes to mind when i recount the moment my boss came up to me and told me to go home. three hours early. i shook his hand, bid him farewell and danced my way to the exit, with fortune cookie in one hand and bus pass in the other. on the ride home, i called pbecca to let her know that drinking would begin promptly. she was on her way back from a hookah bar and insisted that i help her pick which outfit to wear to the party. at that point, i was certain it would be a great night - dress up and fashion shows are my fave. especially when girls who like jeans and sneaks with a nice cotton blend tee shirt submit to prim and gloss. i plotted eye shadows and sassy pre-party tunes all the way to my front door.

franzia and dessert commenced at eight. we sat on the kitchen floor leaning against the heat of the oven as it omitted the sweet aroma of yellow cake batter. we grinned and laughed realizing the potential of the evening. moments before snuggling with my favorite kitchen appliance, we'd put the cups for the cakes in the 12-holed pan and i predicted that there were either just enough or just over enough. there were exactly 12 little cups for the caking. i don't typically believe in fate. signs tend to make me laugh when others allude to them. but at that moment, i felt a serenity inside me because something i anticipated to turn out awkwardly made a turn for the best. and it entertained me. pbecca and i agreed that it meant our night would be victorious; not too hot not too cold. not too much, not too little. just right. it'd fit. then it made me decide to warm up next to the stove as the cupcakes baked fragrantly. we were content on the floor the way puppies are content basking in the rays of a sunny window on the floor. we were primed for a night of laughing and smiling. at anything.

then we got pretty. prettier. pbecca tightened her tie as i stood in the best full-length mirror ever testing two versus four inch heels. for a second I cut away to alicia silverstone and liv tyler in the aerosmith video for "crazy". alicia sported a tie and hat, liv wore white pants and some mid-drift scandal for an amateur striptease contest. come to think of it, pbecca and alicia are both vegetarians, and liv and i are both brunettes. incredible similarities, really. minus the part where i took off all my clothes except for the thin undergarments and spun around a pole for money. i like to think we're so cool. and as uninhibited. young is such a great thing to be when you're very good looking and free-loving. we're well on our way.

the party was in good shape when we arrived. pbecca and i were greeted by drunk hosts, oreos and flip cup. those in attendance wore black and white fashionably. all looked snazzy as we chugged from red and blue solo cups. i met new people, danced with new people, heckled new people from the edge of a beer pong table. the general vibe at the party was that of ease - beer on the carpet no longer phased the hosts and when "40 oz. to freedom" played for the second time within an hour, we sang once more. took in the lyrical stylings of brad once more. side conversations turned into conversations in circles, sharing personal stories with strangers like they were our kindred girl friends at sleepovers. white boy dancing followed the sublime chill when disc 3 turned over to disc 4, justin timberlake. some whore in big hoops and a tacky tex mex studded belt turned off jt mid-"rock your body" and the crowd erupted. confrontation was brief. the whore retreated back to her make-out niche in some corner of the kitchen and we proceeded to dance. and laugh. and pour bad beer into each other's cups at any sign of emptiness. we did jell-o shots. i recited an ode to everclear.

we gave up on sporting and drinking when the words "jimmy john's" were dropped. suddenly, the goal wasn't fixing the tapper on the keg. it was footlong sandwiches. we left the party - hosts included - to indulge. i ordered quite coherently and made sure to get a giant pickle on the side to share with pbecca. i talked to people in line behind me and made unnecessary remarks to the sandwich artists behind the counter. pbecca pointed to the kind of soda we wanted and giggled. i yelled "no ice!" at the machine and we sat at a wobbly table. a sticky, wobbly table. it'd been violated already by the drunks before us who'd overfilled their cups then set them down without forethought or finesse. we enjoyed our meals and invited people to eat with us that had beat us out of the beer pong tourney. i offered meat to a vegetarian. then i offered lettuce to a vegetarian. nothing went unenjoyed. no one went unrecognized.

we were basking in our drunken victory. we achieved the ideal drunk. we dressed as we wanted, drank as we wanted, talked to who we wanted, then ate what we wanted. and we did all of it drunk enough to giggle on command and sober enough to make it coherent. we had a great night. and i didn't stain my white pants. when we got home, we scarfed a few cupcakes with a couple of drunk dudes we lured back to my apartment, chad and a danny (even though i've been calling danny patrick for about six months now). they delighted the yellow cake snacks we gave them, and we leaned back in my love seat fully entertained by the biggest cupcake in the pan. a simultaneous giggle ensued when we unwrapped it.

it had two wrappers. there were indeed 13 wrappers in that pan, not 12. not perfect. not fit. not fate. but 13.

that thirteenth wrapper went unnoticed earlier in the night and we were none the wiser about the true potential for it to effect us. had we found it before the baking ceremony, we would have seen a different night before us. we would have wondered if it was a sign that it was going to be that kind of night - the kind that's off a little. the kind of night that happens because two people share the pessimism needed to pre-determine mediocrity and inevitable boredom. we didn't anticipate those things. we didn't expect loss or stains or mention the possibility of drunken chaos. we took the alleged 12 and felt optimistic instead. even though 13 were there. we were fed the 12 mentality. we turned a deaf ear to bad attitudes, tasted corona instead of old milwaukee and went home with a good buzz because of it. so, when we discovered the thirteenth wrapper, we looked at each other fearfully. i told her to crumple it up like she'd never seen it before and forget it existed. so she did. and we moved on to the passing out round of the evening with images of little cupcakes dancing in our heads.

i have always believed in the placebo effect. the power of the mind and self-healing attitudes. and last night further affirms my belief. i am so glad i could enjoy last night the way i did - looking back now, it wasn't a star-studded and monumental ocassion. 13 wrappers could have made it an intolerable and dead end night. 12 made it just right. and we were just right because of it. and fate's got nothing to do with it. fate is nothing.

and apparently, attitude is everything.
 
Comments:
I loved this message- It seems like whenever my roommates and I go to the liquor store and buy Blatz we're condemnng ourselves to a mediocre night.
And you're right, when you buy Corona or nice Gin or something, those are the boring sit around and listen to your music night. It's the bad beer night (1 out of 10ish) that are memorable.
 
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