It Ain't My Party -- But I Brought the Jello
Trip Start Apr 01, 1979
78Trip End Ongoing
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Here are 10 ground rules for going to uppity house-warming parties thrown by a co-worker:
1. Don't show up drunk
2. Don't forget to take the price tags off the wine you bring (especially the $3.99 bottle)
3. Don't spill beer on the furniture
4. Don't pretend to be gay just for the laughs
5. Don't openly admit to wanting to bite another party guest
6. Don't make out with your girl/boyfriend
7. Don't cut a fart and exclaim, "Wow, somebody was eating Indian food!"
8. Don't sit on the floor and eat all the party mix without sharing
9. Don't walk in the door and say, "Hmmm, I guess I make more money than you."
10. Don't tell the party host that her man-friend is gay
Well at an uppity house-warming party thrown just the other day, I participated in breaking 9 of those 10 rules. A friend of mine broke the 10th. I've decided to allow this friend to tell that story on my blog because, well, it just fits in with the theme. The writing style, which is much more polished than I would ever bother with, ain't too bad. I hope y'all enjoy.
I normally don't think of myself as tactless. I usually don't get eyes rolled at me or looks of annoyance from friends while at parties, work or any other social venues. But sometimes I do...
I have lived in the Washington, D.C. area for most of my life. A few years out for college when I tried my hand in the rural surroundings of Southern Virginia and then a brief stint in Europe after I graduated. I returned to Washington about four years ago and have been living in the Northwest part of the city. Anyone who is familiar with the Washington area knows that there is a somewhat diverse population in terms of nationality, religion, sexual preference, etc. Despite this, D.C. has managed to stay somewhat segregated and these different groups tend not to mix, at least when it comes to living space.
Dupont Circle is known for being home to the gay population of D.C. and any single, straight woman here can tell you that that population is quite large - at least in comparison to most cities in the United States. A good number of my friends live in the Dupont area as it is centrally located - there are bars and clubs nearby, it is walking distance to the downtown business district as well as the main tourist attractions, located on the Mall.
Recently a coworker who had been working in our NY office, moved to Washington and immediately found herself a studio apartment in Dupont Circle. She invited a few of us over for a housewarming party. Normally I wouldn't start drinking until arriving at such a party, but this particular evening I thought it a good idea to share a bottle of wine with a friend before leaving for the party. Bottle finished, we made way for the party (stopping only once to pick up a couple bottles of wine - one to replace the one we had just consumed, the other to fulfill the unwritten rule that each invited guest shall bring something to eat/drink) and quickly made ourselves comfortable with more wine and ample chatter.
As the evening progressed, a gentleman arrived at the party and was introduced to the group. He lives in Dupont, worked at a vineyard and has a Jerry Seinfeld type look about him (though that wasn't part of the introduction). Anyway, despite the fact that he said he had met my coworker at Shabbat dinner (translation: mixer for young Jews), despite the fact that later he corrected himself later and they had actually met at the part of a mutual friend, despite the fact that my coworker had been discussing having gone out with him (though I will say that I didn't hear that conversation, or if I did, I must have been a bit zoned out - it was told to me later), I assumed that he was gay. I was wrong. I think this is only the second time I've been wrong about said issue and found out about it: the first time for which I think I have to be forgiven as the guy was introduced to me as a Republican (a common, albeit sad practice in Washington) - and while I know they exist, gay and Republican just don't go together in my mind. Anyway, I digress.
When the next guest arrived, my coworker asked if I wanted to accompany her to let her friend in and I obliged. On the way down to the front of the building, she confided in me that she had been on a date with the aforementioned gentleman and she was iffy on exactly what was going on. She proceeded to start explaining, but before she could get two more words out, I exclaimed "What?!? He's not gay?" Having blurted that out, I really left my coworker with nothing to say except, "No, we went on a date and well... I don't know him really well..." Did I stop there? Of course not. I interrupted again with "Really? Oh, I just assumed he was gay... hmmm... but I guess not..." I'm sure a puzzled and skeptical look upon my face the entire time. Luckily we reached the front door and there was an abrupt end to the conversation. Who knows how long I would have gone on explaining my reasoning and possibly trying to convince her that I was in fact right.
Either way, being tipsy at this point, my faux pas didn't really faze me and I proceeded to return to the party and retell the story to a friend (note: we were in a 10'x12' studio with 6 people) - the second faux pas. Discussion ensued as I apparently was the only one who completely missed the boat and a somewhat swift exit was required on my part (swift being about 45 minutes as I had a full plastic cup of wine - not a solo cup - to consume before I could even think about vacating). Later I was told that what I had done was not considered a faux pas, but could be described more aptly as mean and bitchy. Interesting take, I guess.
I spoke again with my coworker this morning and she didn't seem bothered at all by my ridiculous display of idiocy and as it turns out, her friend stayed until she fell asleep that night. Giddy up! Maybe they'll go out again, maybe they won't.
I'd vote for the latter since he's gay.