I attended a birthday party for my buddy over the weekend. You know, it was a pretty good time, too. We drank beers, ate some decent barbecue, threw washers, shot the shit, etc. It was a pretty typical postgrad house party. The issue I had with it, though, is that it was a pretty typical postgrad house party. At one point during the evening, I experienced a sudden realization that I will likely never attend a college-caliber party for the rest of my life. I looked around — I saw all my friends, my buddy’s folks, the food spread, party decorations — and I thought to myself, what happened to our parties? They are just…different now.
Instead of guests walking across the lawn with cases of beer atop their shoulders, they were carrying bottles of white wine and hors d’oeuvres, and they used the walkway.
Instead of the Ying Yang twins blaring over the speakers and making the walls rattle, Dwight Yoakum and Randy Travis were playing soft enough so you could still hold a conversation over the music.
Instead of drinking from Solo cups, the beers were bottled, and not twist-offs.
Instead of a slip n’ slide, there was a baby pool. And it wasn’t a makeshift beer trough or anything cool — it was for actual babies.
Instead of guys pissing off backyard decks and in bushes, they used the restrooms.
Instead of “Let’s throw something off the balcony,” it was “Could you please shut the door? The air-conditioning is getting out.”
Instead of “Hey, that asshole Parker just drove across the lawn because someone blocked him in the driveway,” it was “Do you mind moving your car? I think you’re blocking me in.”
Instead of “Chug this, pussy!” it was “Try one of those hefeweizens I brought. It was highly recommended by a guy I work with. He’s a beer connoisseur.”
Instead of “Some chick just blew chucks all over the kitchen floor. It’s a mess in there and we don’t have pledges to clean it up,” it was “Paul dropped some hummus in the dining room. Don’t worry, though. He’s cleaning it up.”
Instead of guys grinding away on 18-year-olds like amateur porn stars on the dance floor, my buddy’s parents broke out into a romantic two-step while guests looked on in admiration.
Instead of railing lines of blow in the chapter room, the “I only smoke when I drink” crowd was bumming cigarettes off their friends.
Instead of “Look at the tits on that one!” it was “Sarah sure does look beautiful today.”
Instead of an empty keg getting thrown through the living room window, someone accidentally broke a lawn chair.
Instead of a pledge getting openly humiliated in front of guests, the hostess asked a friend of mine to take the trash out for her.
Instead of “Nice shirt, homo,” it was “You get some new shoes, Phil? Those are sharp!”
Instead of the police showing up to attempt shutting the party down, the neighbors showed up to join in the fun.
Instead of a fist fight breaking out in the front yard with an unwanted partygoer, high-fives were exchanged after victories on the washer board.
Instead of “Do you want to come upstairs and see my fish tank?” it was “I have a single friend that would match up well with you. Can I give him your number?”
Instead of “Did you hear Dozer banged John’s freshman sister last night? Dude’s so fucked!” it was “Last night sure was fun. Everyone seemed to get along great!”