S. and I met at 9:15 Saturday night to go on an adventure to a holiday party way off yonder in Virginia. We popped the cork off a small bottle of champagne in the cab and exchanged sips as we drove past the Lincoln Monument over the bridge to the highway to Arlington. On the way, the cab driver got lost. We had to pull to the side of the road twice and turn on the lights and idle while poring over maps. When we arrived at the house on a dead-end street in what felt like the back country, the cab driver said “Are you sure this is right? You’ll never get out of here.” Through the windows, we could see people milling in the one-story red house.
When we walked in, it felt like people were staring at us. S. knew the host from working on the Hill, but no one else. We accepted freshly-made mojitos and went to the back bedroom to drop off our coats. En route, we passed a broken Galaga video game machine. In the back room, we decided to concoct a story about how we met to make the party more fun. We had at least an hour to kill till S.’s friend picked us up. In a 20-minute powwow, we concluded our names were Annabelle and Susannah and we met in the circus when the bearded lady was having a seizure in one of the carts. We became friends, but went our own ways, but reconnected at the Ball of Yarn fair in Omaha (does such a thing exist?). The champagne clearly went to our heads.
Shortly thereafter, S. introduced me to a drunk girl as Annabelle and the girl with a blond bob practically yelled with a huge grin, “What a great Southern name!” We tried the full story on a guy with a baby face while another guy with his hair slicked to the side, large glasses and a potbelly who was the party “entertainment” played a guitar and Christmas carols. Babyface wasn’t buying our lie, and I walked away.
I popped about four cherry tomatoes in my mouth that were on the cheese and appetizer table and I wandered into the kitchen where I struck up a conversation with a cute bearded English major from Ohio who also lives in D.C. (and turns out his mom also has M.S.) and knew few people at the party. I told N. our story wasn’t flying and he smiled and said that was because it was a little too off the wall.
Then S. came to me with our coats, urgently saying we had to leave (though her friend hadn’t yet arrived). The host had said in front of his wife that S. and I were the two “foxiest” women at the party and that spurred a fight between the host and his wife. S. was uncomfortable and frantic to leave. She shoved two Amstel Lights in her pockets and went out into the rain. I asked N. if he wanted a ride back to D.C. The three of us stood outside shivering under the eave.
It wasn’t too long before S.’s friend L. pulled up. She drove us back to D.C. and we stopped by her condo so she could change out of her green dress into bar clothes. S. and I ran ahead and stomped through the rain to get to L.’s condo building and when three 20-something guys let us in the lobby (we didn’t have keys) we yelled at them we loved them. They laughed and said through the glass door, “We love you too.”
L. changed and from there we all piled into a cab with a random guy and went to Mezze in Adams Morgan where C. was with his roommate and the rest of the party he had. We encouraged random cab guy, who was on his way home, to join us and he did. We danced upstairs to hip hop and Justin Timberlake. S. thought random cab guy was gay until he started to grab her ass and then she told him it was time for him to leave. I danced with N. even though he said doesn’t like to dance, but he had more rhythm than he let on, and said he liked dancing with me, one on one.
Maybe kitschy Virginia parties aren’t so bad.