Scene Making 101
Posted by Autumn Standing
Hey guys! Sorry I haven’t posted in forever—a lot’s been going on but I have just been super lazy and didn’t wanna write. I’m starting to get into a comfortable rhythm, but this weekend was the first weekend I started to really miss everyone back home. I’ve missed you guys, don’t get me wrong! But being surrounded by so many new things has distracted me quite successfully from the fact that I’ve been gone from my friends, family, and queen size mattress with 4 inch memory foam for almost an entire month!!! (I would like to take this moment to extend a special recognition to one of my best friends, Nick Nick, for suggestion of said memory foam, which tremendously improved my nightly sleep patterns back home. He is the best! And Nick, I was going to mention my memory foam anyways, it was just a perfect opportunity to comment on how awesome you are also 🙂 ) This last weekend was definitely the craziest yet. I’m a little hesitant about posting this on my blog for all my friends and family to see, but in the words of my wonderful mother, “You don’t have to pretend to be a saint.” I’m not pretending by the way, mom 😉 But no, really, drinking is a part of the culture and it’s a funny story, so I’ll tell it to you.
I got invited to a house party by one of the guys in my Marketing class (with Argentines.) He is actually from Colombia. Apparently the carrera (major) of marketing is relatively new in South America, and it’s called public relations, so it still isn’t offered at many universities and he came to Argentina at the beginning of this year to study. (Don’t get your panties in a bunch if you’re a public relations major. I know there’s a difference between marketing and public relations, but here marketing is kind of included in PR. Actually the entire university system is really different but I can talk about that some other time.) Anyways, it’s not common for someone my age to live by themselves, but since he has his own apartment, he can throw house parties. Me, being the “rata” that I am (cheapass), jumped at his invite because it meant I wouldn’t have to go spend a fortune on covers at boliches (dance clubs) and bars. I could get away with bringing a couple of bottles of cheap wine and make new friends.Now, he lives near the university but I live about a 30-45 minute colectivo ride away. This meant that I’d have to travel all the way there and navigate my way to his house in the dark… And let’s just say, due to my recent “explorations” of other parts of the city, I wasn’t too eager to go alone. I asked him if I could invite a girlfriend and he told me of course. When I asked him what time everyone shows up he said around 12 or 12:30.
The thing is, people don’t even have dinner here until 9:30 or 10 PM so 12 wasn’t that bad. The night of the party I got together with Christine, we went to see Batman with two other guys from our program, Alex and Pato, and then went home to get ready.Party Foul #1: Don’t bring guys to a party. The only two exceptions are given if you have more girls than guys or that the guys you bring were also directly invited to the party.
I ended up inviting both of the guys to the party. It wasn’t like I was going to be rude and tell them they couldn’t come…or worse, build up a guilty conscience and even suspicion by telling them that I was going home to my cozy little cot to count sheep. One of them didn’t show up at the bus stop anyways so we were three strong and now more guys than girls. I still felt bad that I invited a guy but oh well. We had a bottle of vodka and wine so we couldn’t be that unwelcome. We ended up leaving Recoleta late—like 12:45 —and we didn’t get to Belgrano until 1:30 or so, so I was feeling pretty good about being fashionably late. Which brings me to:Party Foul #2: Don’t arrive too early to a house party unless you really know the hosts.
It was raining but we found the place alright and buzzed the apartment. Confusion ensued as we waited for an answer, doubted ourselves, snuck in after someone else left the building, got in trouble with the doorman, and ended up back outside calling the host’s (Juan’s) phone repeatedly in embarrassing desperation to get out of the cold rain. Juan rescued us eventually though and, after an awkward elevator ride, we walked into the party.
The hazy wall of cigarette smoke was the first thing that assaulted our senses, followed by beams of colored lights coming from all directions like a space mountain rollercoaster ride and loud bumping electronic music. There was something missing though—the people. Back home, it would be last call, but here, there sat eight guys hanging around a coffee table pretending not to be surprised that we’d showed up this early. As if I didn’t already feel bad that I’d shown up too early, wet and with the wrong number of girls, each guy jumped up from his seat and practically tripped over each other to kiss me and Christine hello. They didn’t completely ignore Alex…but I definitely felt a little uncomfortable about the circumstances of our arrival.
The last thing I wanted to do was drink and make a fool of myself, so I made a light drink and pretended to sip on it as we tried to make small talk over the din of the music. To be honest, my classmate had done an excellent job of decking out his little apartment for a party. If my mind had been on anything else but how much I felt like a ripe tomato in a bag of russet potatoes, then I’d have realized that it was the perfect environment for dancing, but I digress. No one could hear each other over the thundering bass but we still made an effort to make small talk for about another half hour or so. Somehow, my pretend sips were actually depleting my drink, but before I reached for more juice to dilute it further, a whole slew of people came in. It was about 2:30 in the morning and the party seemed to come to life all at once. Suddenly, I wasn’t trying so hard to think of intelligent things to say in Spanish (every solution to the awkward silence I had was completely lost on everyone else in the group anyways.) All of the partiers coming in stopped by the coffee table to give us kisses and then began to start conversations, making me wonder how come I cou
ldn’t hear over the music before.
I began to relax into the rhythm of the party, talking to people I didn’t know, trying out my Spanish and attempting to joke about the conversations…although my attempts were probably more humorous than the jokes I made. I knew how to do this! It may have been mi primer rodeo del América del Sur, but I’d certainly been to a rodeo before. There was a kid from my Marketing class who was going around taking pictures of everyone. We took a picture together. He took a picture of me and four or five people I’d just met. I finished my drink and went in search of new refreshment. As I was electing a foreign bottle to mix with my grapefruit juice, two of Juan’s friends strutted up to me grinning with pride and carrying…a beer bong. They were so proud that they knew how to party like Americans—they even had a double ended beer bong!!! …Umm…yeah. A lot of fault with that logic. It’s not to say that I’ve never ended up on the other side of a beer bong looking like a complete dumbass and having a sticky face for the rest of the night, but it’s really probably not as common in the states as they think. Yes, we play beer pong. Yes, I’ve seen beer bongs at a few big parties before. We even have creative costume parties. But sometimes I wonder if they think that our impressive creativity is only channeled into Apple products and new ways to ingest as much alcohol as possible, as quickly as possible. I guess you can’t blame them. I mean look at our movies:
10 things I hate about you
And this is just a picture you get on google when you type in beer bong
Although I’m clearly not representative of everyone at my university, my parties are usually a little more chill:
Dad’s 20th birthday party
My Goodbye party
A picture of Ryan’s friends playing beer pong (because I can’t find any in my pics for some reason)
Me playing beer pong in my pjs with my dad 😛If I have to admit it, though, there is an origin to the stereotypes:
Ram’s Pointe Party last summer less than a mile from my house *I will not disclose if I was there or not*
But I’ve seriously done a beer bong once! And it wasn’t a pleasurable experience. They were presenting it to me like I was its honorable master. Yeah, ew. They begged me to do it with them and I declined, several times. Finally the two of them decided to have a go. They unnaturally tried to balance the top of it up with one hand each while twisting their bodies underneath it and craning their necks at odd angles trying to get a good position. It made me smile. Ok, I might not be an expert but I must know something because they just looked pathetic. I tried to explain to them that they should kneel or stand on a table/chair but I couldn’t communicate what I wanted to say i
n Spanish. Since I was less than eager to get on my knees in front of two guys, and I’m pretty well known for coming up with brilliant ideas like the following, I turned around and got on the coffee table with the beer bong to show them what I meant.
Party Foul #3: Breaking things and making a mess.
So this charming little apartment for some reason had a ridiculous low hanging chandelier. Who the a;dklgh;ahg puts a chandelier in a one bedroom apartment and drops it to neck height!? I’m guessing that Juan put the coffee table underneath it so people wouldn’t run into the chandelier because it was seriously in the middle of his living room hanging there like a grand piano outside a tenth story apartment building…just waiting for me. Only it didn’t fall on me or anything. No. I stood up into it. In doing so I broke four of the four light bulbs on the bloody contraption (yes, I’m British now), lost my balance because I’m Autumn, slipped and flipped the table, and shattered two out of the two glasses that were atop it. Beautiful. The room shuddered quiet, but I’m pretty sure my mortification was audible, at least to me. I think this moment was probably worse than when I was 11 and got a training bra stuck in my hair at the outlet malls and had to go out to get the shop assistant to help me take off the security button. Yeah, I didn’t have my mom to laugh at me this time 😦 The lights went on and I frantically started trying to sweep up glass with my hands before Christine rescued me. I saw flashes. Someone was photographing me. Oh lord. And then I looked down and my hands, which had blood dripping on them. All this happened in about the five crucial seconds before Christine was able to whisk me off to the bathroom. I can’t express how much I wanted to just sink through the floor and turn into a puddle of putty in the apartment below. I had one, yes ONE, drink, so I wasn’t drunk. Those of you who know me will understand that these things seem to seek me out, even in the soberest of moments. It’s like the ground is thirsty and greedily steals my blood when my attention wanders for the slightest moment. Sigh.
The bathroom mirror was a tell all. There was a lot of blood. It soaked my bangs, ran down the sides of my cheeks in thick paths, and was smeared all over my arms. The delightfully tasteful chandelier apparently had legitimate metal spikes on the ends. We’d had a vicious battle and I was far from unscathed. Christine held a napkin to my head putting pressure on the wound (an inch long deep cut near my part) while I babbled about how humiliated I was because I looked like the stereotypical drunk American out there when I’d had one, yes ONE, drink. Eventually we just both started giggling uncontrollably as the hilarity of the situation caught up to us. I still wanted to die, or at least spontaneously teleport to the Patagonian mountains where no one could ever find me. No such luck. After we had a good laugh and were about to check to see if the bleeding had stopped someone knocked on the door. It was a girl from the party checking to see if I was ok. I think she was a little tipsy, but she was sweet. I told her I was fine and she got really excited about my accent, asking if I could say something in English, where I was from, and throwing questions left and right. She even beckoned to about 15 (and that’s not an exaggeration) of her friends who seemed to be just as enthralled with the stupid, clumsy American girl.
The bleeding had stopped and Christine and I both stood up to exit the bathroom. Only we were literally stuck there for the next quarter of an hour as the girls inundated us with questions and hugs and kisses. We seriously couldn’t even get out of the bathroom. They were an impenetrable crowd. Eventually Juan came down the hallway to make sure the fuss wasn’t because I’d passed out or something. I expressed how terribly sorry I was for destroying his chandelier and disrupting the entire party but he was just glad I was ok and laughed a bunch. When I finally got away from the groupies and out into the party, I really wanted a drink. I didn’t want to take one though because it was clear I didn’t need any more to drink (except I was completely sober.) To make things worse I went to assess the damage (which they’d already cleaned up) and proceeded to smack straight into the chandelier again. Thankfully I didn’t have to worry about looking like a lush on my own because one of Juan’s friends shoved a glass in my hand and made me something (I think it was delicious but, at that point, it could’ve been Southern Comfort and Sunny D, and I would’ve loved it.)
The rest of the party was really enjoyable. Since I’d already pretty much destroyed any image I was trying to maintain I felt I didn’t have much to lose. We ended up leaving at around 6 in the morning and I only made two phone calls that were a little hazy on the way home…according to my call history. 🙂 I did ask the photographer, Nico, never EVER to post any such pictures on any social media websites EVER. I think I actually repeated my request more than thrice. So it came as a bit of a shock when Clell told me he’d seen my pictures. Yeah, nearly 200 pictures up on Facebook for everyone’s enjoyment not even 24 hours afterwards. Thankfully he sorted through them and there were none of me on the floor amidst a sea of glass shards with blood running down my face. Just the aftermath, but I still only kept myself tagged in four because I looked less than…professional in all of the ones he deemed acceptable to tag me in. Even those four I’m less than fond of.
I shared this story with you because I can look back and laugh. Everyone in the class seems to like me despite my poor partying comportment, my head seems to be healing quite nicely, and Christine was an angel the whole night. She really had my back.
And now I’m thoroughly exhausted of writing so I’ll talk to you all later. Besos! 🙂
About Autumn StandingI love words; my name is made up of real words, even. I am studying Global Tourism and Spanish with a minor in Business Administration at Colorado State University but this year I chose to study abroad in Buenos Aires, Argentina. That's why this blog was born--to keep my beautiful family and friends informed of my whereabouts, thoughts, accomplishments, and mistakes.
Posted on August 17, 2012, in Fall Semester, Travel and Study and tagged Argentina, Buenos Aires, drinking, embarrassing, fml, international, making a scene, party, party foul, social life killer, standinginargentina, Study Abroad. Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.