Flat out - they are the stuff of legend, and anyone who's lived in Raleigh for any period of time has attended one, or knows someone who has. No, seriously. I've broken the ice at more than one gathering by discovering a fellow alumnus of her infamous 16th birthday. That was the party that set the bar for the rest. When we arrived at it her mom was hitting the beer bong (among other things), and she was in good company, which completely freaked out my nice Catholic girl friend Ms. Q and our hopelessly square and preppy escort. They totally cramped my style that night, dammit!
Ask Bea about the birthday dinner party where she had to sit in the shitty seats with my sister-in-love, a vile bitch of an English teacher, assorted sycophants and bizarros, and my older brother, who can put even the truly illiterate to shame when he chooses to. Oh my god - he jumped up and down on that teacher's last nerve, with his deliberate dumb redneck-isms, to the great delight of the rest of us. And the birthday party that I dragged Bea to, where we ended up outside (because Sweet Baby Jesus, it was Open Mic Night inside the party) hanging out with this pair of brothers who were talking FBI conspiracy theories, and how their dad had been on an insider track for something like Roswell or Hangar 54, or something like that. I kid you not, and they were (in my opinion) a delightful reprieve from the usual attendees of those parties; overly theatrical, gushing and patently insincere. The kind of people who bring me out in a Tourette's rash, and make me want to scratch my privates publically, just so they'll go away. Hey - don't judge - it works.
So I knew when we went to Cleo's birthday party this past month that something would happen, because come on - something always happens at her parties. Bea and I arranged to stay the night, so we could tie one on responsibly, We arrived armed with mighty pillows and a bottle of Captain Morgan. In retrospect, we really should have known better than to go with the Captain. He is a bad influence, and has caused me to walk on my ankles or worse, sing like Ethel Merman on more than one occasion, but take him we did.
There were some old familiar faces at the party and it was great fun to reconnect with them, but there were a few new faces, one of which was a guy who had been around Cleo's party circuit for awhile, but somehow we had never met him. He was cute, articulate, self employed, liked cats, and most importantly, single. He also took a shine to Bea. Once the Captain kicked in, I assumed the role of Drunk Buddha, and advised Bea that she "needed to go break a few rules" that evening. The not so drunk, and infinitely wiser Cleo handled the finer points of luring the proposed couple out on the deck, and clearing the house. Then, taking Drunk Buddha (me) by the hand, she went upstairs to wait it out. We giggled together sitting up in her room, just like old times.
Now the rest of this saga can only be related by Bea, as it is her story to tell. She has not been very forthcoming, seeing as how she is very firmly a nice girl, who immediately feels guilty for sins of the flesh, but she did write this recently, and this, so maybe I'm the bad influence, not just the Captain!