I’m very open to trying new things. In fact, my family has a rule with food which is that you can’t say you don’t like something until you try it. I’ve applied this as best I can to my life, which is how I know I most definitely do NOT like monkfish liver and that jumping out of a plane is hella fun.
So when my friend invited me to a 90’s-themed birthday party, I was down. You may be reading this and thinking, “Well duh, Patrick. You probably grew up in the 90’s, dressing up as grunge is not only easy (wear what you normally would with the addition of a flannel shirt tied around your waist) but fashionable nowadays, and I know you well enough to know that you’ve been to numerous themed parties. This doesn’t count as ‘being open to new things.’” Wow, you really know me, huh. Well if you really knew me you’d know that I deftly left out a key detail, only to reveal it a couple of sentences later. Classic Patrick.
You see my friend, and her friends at the party, are all music theater people. To be clear, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that. I’m not saying that with judgement or as an insult, it’s just a fact. A very important fact, too, because music theater kids are way into life. The way one of my friends described it is “They can’t all be that excited ALL THE TIME.” Well, they are. They’re some of the most over-the-top personalities I know. Even regular drama kids must be like “Alright guys, let’s done it down a smidge, shall we?” But I love them for it. Hell, I’m sure people look at me and say “He can’t be that introverted ALL THE TIME” (totes can, brah).
So I knew going in that I probably couldn’t just sulk in the corner eating Bugles and drinking Tecate while people generally ignored me (i.e. what I normally do at parties). I was going to be engaged with. There was going to be animated conversation and intent and sincere interest in my recounting how I went to the grocery store and the cashier smiled at me.
The party did not disappoint. In true fashion, they went all out. They had homemade Dunkaroos. The walls were plastered with shots of JTT, and Nick Carter, and 3rd Rock From The Sun-era Joseph Gordon-Levitt. There was a whole 90’s-themed game of Jeopardy set up, complete with question board created out of printed sheets of paper stuck to a wall with rainbow stickers. Hell, when they sang “Happy Birthday” for the birthday gal, they busted out 5-part harmonies. There I was, half-assedly singing like people generally do, and they bring some Tabernacle-level shit up in that place. I’ve never felt as ashamed for not singing in perfect key (which I obvi can do if I want, I just don’t feel like it most of the time).
I admit at times it was a little overwhelming. As someone who has limited capability to interact with people on a daily basis, being accosted with friendliness and a genuine desire to get to know me is taxing. And when things got loud, things got LOUD (musical theater teaches you to project your voice). But overall I enjoyed myself. I left thinking “This isn’t really my bag, but it was good times and I dig the enthusiasm.”
So then the next day, my roommate invited me to come along to the complete opposite of that experience, which is the Tiki Disco. Tiki Disco is basically a bunch of dirty, smelly, hipsters dancing outside to some form of electronic club music. It’s like taking a club environment and just moving it outside and adding hipsters. It’s…well…this
Clearly by that glowing description, you can deduce that it, too, is not really my bag. But I am open to new things. So you already know what I said. ‘Cause you know me so well. That’s right, I said “Eff that! I’m not going to that stupid thing. Pshh, I have episodes of Adventure Time to catch up on” as I put my headphones back on to practice the 3rd tenor part of “Happy Birthday.”
Image credit: http://www.themodernnatural.com/