Yesterday, my suite joined forces with the adjacent suite to throw a Disney-themed party. We had a vegetable plate in which we carved each individual vegetable into a different Disney character – there were 156 different vegetables. We hired freelance actors to put on Disney costumes and amuse the guests with some witty banter. We did have to kick out Sebastian (the crab from “The Little Mermaid”) for continuously going up to girls and singing his own version of the Disney song “Under the Sea” – the lyrics were decidedly inappropriate for a Disney party. And yet, the night both began and ended with me sitting in my room eating yogurt pretzels and watching Veronica Mars, which led me to believe that either I was PMSing or that this great party actually sucked.
It turns out that when 217 people responded to the party’s Facebook invite with “maybe,” at best, 17 of those people were going to show up. In reality, when you invite someone to a party on Facebook, the possible response choices should be: 1) yes; 2) I’m not coming, but if you were a little more popular I might have; 3) I’ll show up for five minutes, stuff three to five cans of beer in my jacket and then leave.
Even on the first weekend of the semester on a Saturday night there were more people on the public bus than there were at this party. But in my four years at UR, I’ve come to expect that. Unfortunately, after a certain night I had over winter break, I had greater expectations for Saturday nights that would follow. Flash back to 11 p.m. on the night of Jan. 6. I was with two good friends on my way to a high school reunion near the University of Maryland campus. On the way, one of my friends (Sam) proposed that we ditch the party and go to Atlantic City instead. “That’s a horrendous idea,” I said. “It’s at least a three hour drive and it will probably be close to 3 a.m. before we are in a casino.” My two friends seemed to agree, and the subject was dropped.
But being the wily fox that he is, Sam concocted a plan that would inevitably land the three of us in Atlantic City before night’s end. First, he “reluctantly” agreed to be the designated driver and then made drinks for my other friend (Erez) and myself. I later found out that the drinks, which he claimed to be “girly,” were actually absinthe and cranberry juice mixed together in a 1:1 ratio. After three of these drinks, when Sam once again proposed the idea of going to Atlantic City, my emphatic (and probably slurred) reply was “Why haven’t we left yet?!”
The car ride to Atlantic City was easily the highlight of my night. On the way, I had my first Roy Rogers Sourdough burger in eight years. Given my inebriated state, it was hard for me to conceptualize that there were still Roy Rogers establishments that hadn’t gone out of business, as I hadn’t seen one for so long. Sam took advantage of my confusion and was able to convince me that when you enter the New Jersey turnpike, you actually enter an alternate universe where the Roy Rogers chain has surpassed McDonald’s in popularity, the Spice Girls are still together and the flavor grape doesn’t exist. This scared the hell out of me because at the time, I was drinking grape Fanta. When we arrived in Atlantic City, I was sure that I betrayed the natural order of this alternate universe and would be responsible for its consequent demise. Upset and very worried, I climbed into the trunk and passed out drunk.
Erez’s night in the casino began and ended when he walked up to the high stakes blackjack table, pulled off his pants, slammed them on the table, turned to the gambler to his right and said, “I’d like to double down?.in my pants.” He then fell to the floor unconscious.
I awoke the next day spooning with Erez in the trunk while Sam drove us home. All of us ended up losing something that day. For Sam it was his money. Within five minutes in the casino he had lost the $600 in his wallet, maxed out his credit card and is now living in his building’s maintenance room. Erez never found his pants and to this day insists that Donald Trump is personally responsible for their disappearance. As for me, since I woke up that night, I’ve had a lot of trouble remembering what the flavor of grape tastes like.
I’m guessing that most of you have a different conception of what a Saturday night should be. Often I would like nothing better than to sit in my loft and read about whether or not Justin and Britney will get back together, or if Lindsay Lohan’s latest alcohol-induced trip to the hospital “will be her last.” But sometimes, a person needs to go a little crazy – put $1,000 on red at the roulette table, go sledding naked or, I don’t know, dress up like a big blue genie and go to a party on Saturday night.
Schwartz is a member of the class of 2007.