A Fresher’s Party

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Before I say anything else, I would like the world to know that the lack of pleasant-looking princes at St. Andrews’ this year is really disappointing. Honestly, I don’t know why there aren’t more of them surrounding me as I complain about Scottish food and fail to get enough sleep (I know, Mom, I’m sorry, I just have a compulsion to stay awake — at. all. times.).

My sister is going to be very disappointed if I don’t find a way to have a royal wedding so that she can plan it, and I really hate when she’s disappointed.

I did, however, have my first real go at finding a prince last night, though, when I attended a party thrown in a fresher’s (= first year student’s) dorm where Garrett is living. Yes, I was about five years older than almost every person in the room, but age is not a factor when considering marriageable royalty — is it?

To make the situation less absurd, I brought along two new friends who are in my creative writing program. One of them has ruined all of my Montana fame, by spending the last year living/working/writing on a ranch near Bozeman. Honestly, it’s as if I’m no longer a novelty. (Emily will love this.) The fact that this is his fault may have inspired me to be even more argumentative than usual, and we discussed everything from Montana politics to the Arab-Israeli conflict within the span of about three hours. He was a good sport.

And there was also Richard, who is not from Montana, and therefore ok in my book. He was also a good sport and even showed me how British men dance, explaining that men’s sexuality can be either determined or proclaimed based on the how high in the air they wave their hands and arms. Unfortunately, he is not a prince.

I’m not actually sure the creative writing presence made the situation less absurd, especially because we participated in a game with the freshers in which we had sticky notes placed on our foreheads with the name of one half of a pair on it. We had to discover what we were and then find our other half, at which point we would be tied together.

It was therefore regrettable that I felt pedophiliac being paired with an eighteen-year-old boy for a night trailing through pubs. It was less regrettable because my other half promptly imparted to me that he has a girlfriend and no interest in being tied together.

However, my fellow Montana resident, T-Man, ended up paired with a fresher named Bubaloo (name change? I think so), who didn’t seem to understand that it was just a game and not a life course altering moment of transition. At one point, Bubaloo followed T-Man to the bathroom, where he waited an appropriate distance until T-Man finished and followed him back to our group of elderly postgraduates.

Later, we made a dash back to Garrett’s room for our jackets and bags. We assumed Bubaloo would reintegrate into the crowd of freshers, although we did let him know we were going. He was, in fact, waiting outside the glass doors as we came back out (for some reason, Garrett turned to us and said “can you see him?” as if maybe he were a figment of the imagination).

When the freshers began to leave the hall for a pub crawl, we decided it was time to go our own way and that we actually needed to give Bubaloo kind and clear instructions about what he should do next.

Garrett: Bubaloo, man, I think we’re going to split off to another pub, but we really think you should stick with the folks in your hall so you can get to know some people.

Bubaloo: Oh, I have a lot of fun hanging out with you and your friends.

(Now we’re just assholes.)

T-Man: And we like having you with us! But this is a good night to get to know people you’ll be living with!

Bubaloo: Ok, well maybe I’ll just go home.

(God no.)

All of us, in a chorus: No! Bubaloo, don’t do that. You’ll have fun! Everything is so much fun! Yay! Yay! Don’t go home!

(Seriously, we were like a torrential outpouring of all things positive regarding pubs.)

Bubaloo: But everyone is already paired up.

(Bubaloo was taking the game very seriously.)

Me: I really don’t think that matters — you know, there are at least three other people without partners because of the rest of us.

Garrett: And it’s not a big deal, you just get in there!

(All of us stare like worried parents).

Bubaloo (reluctantly): Ok.

(Sighs of relief. What a disaster.)

I may have learned my lesson about going to fresher parties and participating in get-to-know-you games.

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2 responses »

  1. i enjoyed this story for so many reasons. I especially like it when you include dialogue with Garrett because you capture his speaking style so well that I can imagine his mannerisms and expressions as he is saying these things…and it makes me chuckle to myself.

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