Thursday, May 25, 2006

Social Notes From a Bygone Era

I was cleaning out my closet and found one of the remaining pieces of college clothing that no longer humiliate me. Tank top with a sparkly rocket on it. ('Cause I like space, you see.) I wore it to a party exactly like this...

Friday last, Messieurs Matt Langrish and Mike Warmsby, of 217 Stanford Hall, University of Notre Dame, hosted a most delightful four-hour soiree featuring loud recorded music and large quantities of cheapass beer. Exclusively invited to the intimate gathering were a bunch of guys from Warmsby's 20th Century American Literature class and the entire north wing of South Hall.

Preparations for the evening began as early as 7 p.m. on the day of the soiree, when Mr. Langrish took stock of his posh bachelor digs, enhanced this semester by a fresh coat of beige paint, liberally applied over the summer holiday by the renowned design firm University of Notre Dame Facilities Department. He took a most daring redecorative plunge, concerned that the room did not present exactly the welcoming atmosphere he desired ("It smells like Jabba the Hutt died in here, Warmsby!" were his precise words, this reporter has learned) An open, airy effect was achieved by removing the four sweatshirts, twelve pairs of cotton briefs, and 18 Papa John's boxes that formerly adorned the floor and cramming them into the nearest available closet.

A dashing avant-garde theme was chosen to accent the festivities. Messieurs Langrish and Warmsby installed black-light bulbs and a magenta lava lamp, purchased the previous afternoon at the University Park Mall branch of Spencer's Gifts. These additions lent an enchanting accent to the gentlemen's antique furnishings, a magnificent 1978-circa orange and brown nappy couch with several unidentified stains on the left arm, and a highbrow minimalist table fashioned from an ironing board balanced across two plastic crates.

Among the guests was Miss Amy Townsend, fetching in a completely unoriginal Abercrombie & Fitch mock turtleneck. Her roommate, Miss Lisa Whittier, opted for an earthier look, consisting of jeans and a t-shirt whimsically emblazoned, "THE ONLY 4.0 I EARNED AT COLLEGE WAS MY BLOOD ALCOHOL LEVEL." Accompanying them was a member of their biology lab group, Miss Brittney Martalis. No one remembers for certain what Miss Martalis wearing, although Miss Townsend feels certain that The Gap was somehow involved.

As the fire safety capacity of 217 Stanford Hall was exceeded by approximately 4098 people, the temperature hovered around an enchanting 128 degrees Fahrenheit. An excellent vintage of Natural Light was served, along with a delicately mixed libation consisting of Watermelon Schnapps and lime green Jell-O.

"A shockingly bold taste, with a marvelous, plummy bouquet," evaluated a party-goer who gained entry to the sparkling assembly by assuring the student standing guard at the door that he kind of knows Mike from freshman orientation. "Beats the crap out of the Meister Brew the guys upstairs have."

"You can't even taste the alcohol! It's like I haven't been drinking at all!" loudly added Miss Whittier, who then asked the fourteen people nearest to her if they thought it was really hot in here, too.

The guests were serenaded by, among other notables, Dave Matthews and his Band, Miss Donna Summers, Messieurs D.J. Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince, and Dexy's Midnight Runners. Horribly misguided attempts to move about in time to the music with some semblance of rhythm was ventured for a time and enjoyed by all.

The evening was brought to a glorious denouement when everybody got out after the last Natural Lite disappeared and "Tubthumpin'" was played for the 54th time. Mr. Langrish judged the gala an unmitigated smash.

"Next time," he said, "we'll have a strobe light."

on reflection, I... don't miss this part of it at: mb@blondechampagne.com

8 comments:

Attitude Amy said...

Ahh, the old days. When Ramen Noodles were all that one could afford (unless one came into some money, then it was all about living high on the not quite a hog, with grilled cheese). Cheese slices sure were pricey.

I remember my milk crate end tables, my mattress and box springs on the floor (which I brought home from the store tied to the top of my 1980's Buick Regal), my tool shelf turned into an entertainment center, the hand-me-down smelly used chair (wasn't lucky enough to score a couch, never got the truck there in time to beat the garbage man). The only item of value we had was our "media center" which consisted of a 19 inch TV and a small stereo with a dual cassette player. I fear our media center was worth more than my transportation, as my stereo didn't stop working right after I pulled into a busy intersection with an oncoming 18 wheeler Mack Truck on one side and a fast approaching Mercedes on the other.

MissDirected said...

What year did you graduate? Because I swear I was AT that party. I think I got that last Natty Light as Tubthumpin played.

Ah, SMC and ND dorm parties. I'm a little sad I can't afford to go to my reunion next weekend. Ah well. Maybe by the next one I'll have a job I'm proud to admit having and I'll be able to spend the million dollars on the plane ticket to get me there.

Class of '88 said...

Wow !! I was there too, only the party(ies) took place on the east coast at Babson.

And, it was "Duke" tall boys in a can .... a lovely sketch of John Wayne in full Western-movie (think Rio Bravo) regalia on the can, $4.99 a case at Marty's Liquors (we had an intrepid group of seniors whose graduation thesis was an in-depth analysis of malt beverages in the region available for less than $6.00 a case ... it was brilliant).

The music, unfortunately, was the same.

em said...

While I still long for the college days, I've definitely made my peace with the college party. I find that I don't miss the fear of being busted by the campus police for trying to disguise the 30-rack of Busch Light in my backpack. Having to dump your weekends worth of alcohol out in the grass in front of your dorm was about as sad as it got. If I'd only padded the cans with some t-shirts or socks...

red pill junkie said...

I remember a Design students' convention held in a lame-cheap hotel, where the only people including us students were in their early 70s. These conventions were really just an excuse to get drunk every night, so after a tour to a Brewery (we went there to discuss design issues OF COURSE)one of the people who were escorting us seggested we paid a visit to a local cantina. When we get there he insisted that we tried the specialty of the house: a liquor aptly named "Garañon" which in english could be translated to "stud" or something.

-Take it easy with the first sip- cautioned our guide. We of course didn't mind to heed his words of wisdom, after all, we were all used to drink half a bottle of tequila at night so what's the problem right? Well, that first sip incinerated our throats, but by the end of the third shot the gathering was all in a more-than-good mood to say the least.

-What's in this stuff anyway?- I dared to ask. Our guide smiled mischeviously, and in a hushed tone revealed the secret ingredients: almost 90% sugar cane alcohol, absinthe (or what could be passed for absinthe in this little town of Mexico), and the most important ingredient, a little bit of "magic dust"...

-Magic dust??- I naively asked

-Marijuana...- replied our guide.

It was something of a shock, but that didn't stop us from returning to our hotel with a full bottle of the stuff. Wild night, definetly wild!!

Fortunately I will never be able to find that cantina once more, otherwise my nickname would be "Garañón Junkie"!!

MB said...

missidrected, I graduated in '99, but even if you graduated in '79 or '89 or '09.... EVERYBODY was at that party.

mike the longterm reader said...

I think I'm STILL at that party.

Good times.

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