It's Friday night and I'm in a formal gown in a Dupont apartment. The lights are low and strangers and friends alike are circulating around the small studio, glasses full of wine and dressed in varying states of classiness. I thought I would know only two other guests, but people from my freshman dorm keep showing up-- it's a little disconcerting, and like I do every week when I run into familiar faces, I bemoan how small this town really is. Having arrived at 7:30 and skipped dinner, glass number six is about to do me in. In the meanwhile, I'm talking with Ben, a truly hot asshole. I'm a sucker for those.
"So, Ann Arbor," he sneers. We've been talking college football, and it suddenly turned into a conversation about sex. "How old were you? Was it at one of those parties you townies all went to? Was it a hockey player or basketball player?" He's positively leering right now. Coming from everyone else, those words would make me drive my spike heel directly into his instep. However, he has really powerful eye contact and a grin that somehow makes this conversation seem less jackassish.
"Excuse me," I say. "I have to go get some more wine." My glass is three-quarters full.
"Fair enough," he smirks. "But it was a hockey player, wasn't it?"
"I won't even dignify that with an answer," I say prissily.
"Ha!" Ben cackles. "I knew it. SCORE."
I whip around to leave, and then do the time-honored half-glare over one shoulder (which works especially well with my slinky party dress). "You know," I say "you're not nearly as charming as you think you are."
Reflexes slowed by the bottle of wine he's drunk in the last hour, he's speechless for a second but then breaks out into That Grin. Urgh... why must the assholes always have great grins?
A few hours later, I'm officially drunk and it's time to go. I've abandoned hope of finding my clutch in the mess of coats and umbrellas, but our lovely hostess has promised to track it down for me and loaned me a 20 to get home. As I stumble out the door, trying to keep my heels from cutting further into my feet, I catch Ben's eye in the hallway. "Bye, Ann Arbor," he sneers, miming a slap with a hockey stick of air. I roll my eyes with as much dignity as I can muster and prance off to the elevator. As I wait for it, I see him grinning at me out of the corner of my eye. I think back to all the guys I've known who complain that women tell the nice guys they know what great friends they are and then ignore them in favor of hot jerks.
Well... yeah. I don't really have an answer for that, but now I've met Exhibit A.
It's Saturday night, and I'm in my pajamas in a stranger's house on U Street. We've already hit one Halloween party, where the first keg was kicked at 10:30 and people were dressed in all manner of insane costumes. Eric and I had left it with a group of semistrangers, skipping down the flithy streets in costume holding hands and singing a tuneless version of "My Baby Takes the Morning Train." This party is themed, but far calmer-- I think it's something about the Metro. I have no idea who the hosts are or why we're here, but they have beer and I've just walked six cold blocks in my furry slippers. We're not going anywhere.
A girl in silver platform shoes and fairy wings comes up to us. "Oh my GOD!" she screeches. "You're a gay guy. I LOVE GAY GUYS!!! What's your name?" Completely ignoring me, she shoves her face into Eric's in a drunken kiss. "GAY GUYS LOVE ME!!"
Her wine glass of beer sloshes around as she yaps about all the gay men she knows. "Yeah, so I was in Guadalajara and I was like, the QUEEN of all the Mexican gay guys. Like, the social butterfly. I'd go out, and they'd be all 'Hola, chica!' Wait, what's your name again?"
Because she's completely ignored me and had asked Eric what his name was at least seven times, I'm free to mock her as much as I want. When she stumbles off, no doubt in search of another gay man to corner, I hug Eric's waist to keep from falling over laughing. "Oh man!" I cackle, "that is bleak. Please don't ever let me wind up like that."
"Oh honey," he says "not possible. You could never be that tragic!" He reaches out and slaps her ass. She turns around, stumbling on her platforms, and throws her arms around him. "I looooooooove you!" she shrieks. "What's your name again?" I snort so hard into my beer that it splashes on my forehead.
"Being loved is like being powerful," I say to Eric later. "If you have to tell people you are, then you're not."
He high fives me. "Bitch, we're dancing!" He drags me into the living room and we do the comfortingly familiar bump and grind. I loves me that kid.
An hour later, I'm done. My cat ears are giving my a headache and I can't drink anymore and still drive home. As Eric walks me to my car, we pass a familiar face walking down the street with a new friend. We exchange hugs and conspiratorial winks.
Another weekend for the history books.