Saturday, December 22, 2012

Never a party girl

I would like a nice, powerful, mind-altering substance. Preferably one that will make my unborn children grow gills. 
Mary (Parker Posey), Party Girl


The movie Party Girl was one of my favorite movies when I was in high school. At that time, my goals in life included living in New York, being a struggling theater artist, and generally being awesome. I wanted to be like Mary in this movie (minus the drugs since I don't do drugs). I envied her shoes, ability to wear tights and not look like she was trying to hard, and the fact that she felt no shame in "closet shopping" at a party ("Hello Chanel"). Also, she ends up wanting to be a librarian. Perfect.

Everyone loves a party girl. I thought that this particular type of personality would make my life better and you know, funner. Everyone wants to be funner. But being a party girl is hard. You have to go out all the time, be "on" all the time, have a high tolerance for nonsense and shenanigans, and drink excessive amounts of alcohol. No shame might also be a good trait.

You know what else party girls have to do? Dress like party girls. I don't and never have had the wardrobe. Like Cher in Clueless, I'd rather veg out in comfy clothes because party clothes are way too binding. And the shoes! As much as I love my heels, I don't know how anyone can wear them all the time. How is it possible that any woman makes it through the night without hobbling foot pain or having someone carry her (which I did witness when I got back to Clarendon and was walking to my car)?

Towards the beginning of the evening...
I am not a party girl. I am the most the most responsible person in the room. And when you're the most responsible person in the room, people get a little surprised in those instances when you do go out and enjoy yourself. It's like when you were a kid and you saw your teacher at the grocery or the mall; it was odd and surreal. You couldn't believe they were a real person and did real person things. Well, the same thing is true with the responsible people - when you stay out late and bar hop or whatever it is that you're going to do, people are amazed.

I've spent the past two Fridays out with friends from work. Some of the group were part of my ill-fated trivia team. My team captain skills have left something to be desired and trivia has fallen by the wayside (sorry friends). Anyway, I guess I normally only hang out with the majority of these friends in the structured confines of the after work happy hour. We work in Clarendon so you can literally throw a rock outside our office building and hit a passable/enjoyable happy hour location. Normally, our evenings end early (it is a school night usually) and no one leaves Virginia until they're ready to go home (for those who live in Maryland and DC).

Required stop at a CVS to act silly
But Fridays tend to be a different story especially when it's the last two Fridays before holiday break. Why wouldn't you go out until 2 am? Or move the celebration from Clarendon to DC? What time does the last Metro run back to Virginia? In my quest to be more of a party girl, I can't say no to any of these ideas. Yes, I want to go into DC for one more round even though it's already 11 pm. Sure, let's walk even further away from the Metro for more fun. And a much better jukebox - why didn't we just start here in the first place?

Inevitably at some point in the evening my responsible self kicks in. I decline another drink, switch to water, and start to plot exit strategies. I check my Metro app to see when the next train is and start herding people towards it. The mother hen in me takes over and I start taking care of people. Erin Counselor (what some of my friends call me) comes out and I have to start making sure we're all making smart life choices. Because that's what Erin Counselor does - she makes sure that people make smart life choices.

And this is why I will never be a real deal party girl. I have come to terms with this and I guess I've accepted it. I'd rather sit in a dive bar and listen to good music all night, joking and talking with my friends than to wear heels and an inappropriately short (for the weather and for life) skirt and have to be on the whole time. The world is made up of all types of people. The Erin Counselors and the party girls coexist to keep the natural social order in place.

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