Monday, October 19, 2009

The Big Party

Now I understand exactly what happened with the frat boys last month when they had their big party that got out of control, attracting hundreds of people they didn't know and didn't invite. It has happened to me. Last Saturday night we had a party for my son's birthday at the Sixth Street Community Center. He expected about 60 or so friends to show up. Ha! if only.

My mother really came through with the food, though when she volunteered she didn't quite think through exactly what she was getting herself into. She cooked for two weeks, storing food on the fire escape when her fridge got full, and dragged 6 dishes for 60 people in a car service in boxes and every suitcase she could find. She then hung around to help heat and serve the food, and even got one kid to leave that she caught rolling a blunt.

We also had a friend visiting from out of town. He wound up doing hard labor, seemingly willingly. It's not often that you find a lawyer willing to drag other people's crap around town and not bill you for it. He carried a wagon full of cupcakes, cheese balls, decorations and other weighty stuff down 6 flights of steps, and then at the end of the night he carried the wagon with the left over crap back up the steps. He also helped with the major cleaning up, including the bathroom, which was truly disgusting. Why these kids felt they had to put all the toilet paper and towels into the sink and toilets is beyond me.

So here's what happens when you have a party at street level. Everybody shows up. I don't just mean everybody you invited. And I don't just mean a few people from the block who figure they can crash and get some free food. I mean pretty much every kid from the ages of 16-22 who live within commuting distance showed up, as though they were waiting for something to do and just stumbled on a fun place to hang out and drink. We were not prepared for the influx.

My husband made a good effort to intercept bottles that he could see coming in under coats, but they are very clever at getting them in, as we found out at the end. This is surprising to me, because as a teenager my method of sneaking in alcohol was to put it in a cup of soda from McDonald's. And I don't ever remember anybody drinking quarts of beer, only cans with pull off tops. We found dozens of empty quarts hidden in every nook and cranny, not to mention a few bottles of the hard stuff, and even some wine bottles (what kind of teenagers drink wine??!)

Overall I think he and his friends had a good time, though they were sort of freaked by the older kids who crashed. They managed to separate themselves, the crashers stayed outside in the alley, while the actual invitees stayed inside to dance. Luckily there were no fights or real damage other than graffiti. In fact it was me who tried to instigate a fight when on the way out some brute of a kid pulled the notices off the bulletin board as he walked by. I followed him out, yelling after him, and when he didn't respond I hit him in the back so he would turn around, then proceeded to shout at him. He barely registered, just continued to leave. Which is good. He was twice my size and had a hundred friends. I just had my mother, my artist husband with a hurt shoulder, and a lawyer from Wisconsin. And one really nice kid who helped me find the push pins on the floor and put the notices back up.


Anonymous said...

god Jill, I love this post... had David and I in stitches. Know that this middle aged antiques dealer and her cartoonist husband (with a slight limp) have got your back!

Oh, and congratulations for making a fine young man in just 16 short years...


Jill said...

How does he manage to draw so brilliantly with a limp? What happened?

Anonymous said...

Oh, he broke his leg last year, roller skating with the kids right before thanksgiving. The damn thing is still stiff. And yet, we count ourselves lucky it was only his leg, not his arm, hand, back, or neck.