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7 people you meet at house parties

December 21, 2011|By Emily Van Zandt | RedEye

There’s something about sub-50s temperatures that make parties transition from far-flung cocktail bars to oh-so-convenient (for the host) house parties. It was in that spirit that I ended up in a number of apartments over the past few weeks, mixing awkward conversation with unfortunate (but budget-friendly) beer choices. On the way I ran into a few characters—over and over again. You probably know them. In fact, you’re probably one of them:

The out-of-town friend: Oh hey, how do you know everyone again? Oh right, you don’t. And you’ve adoped the party philosophy of “I’ll never see these people again.” So, this should end well.

The recent exes: Wait, he came? Gasp. He was directly invited, but he actually showed? What a perfect excuse for the jilted to audibly whisper to everyone here about what really happened last weekend. And yes, that’s totally them making out in the corner at the end of the night.

The random on the smoker’s deck: It starts with “do you have a lighter” and somehow ends with “and that’s why I told my best friend I loved him.” Smokers can quickly become your best friends or worst enemies.The porch can offer a great excuse when the party gets awkward, but there’s always the one rando who thinks it’s share-your-secrets time.

The guy who insists on changing the music: Watch your laptops, hide your iPods and keep an eye on your vinyl; there is one guy who will always find them. He doesn’t care if you spent hours on your playlist. Or if you’re adhering to a strict ‘96 Jock Jams theme. This guy knows what the party needs, right now. In 2007, he solely listened to tracks from “Shock Value.”

The nervous roommate: Sure they’re drinking (water). And no, they’re totally having a great time (thinking about how to clean this up). Yes, they knew about the party (not the three kegs). But if could just stay out of that back bedroom please? And the vodka in the freezer really isn’t to share. Thaaaaaaaanks!

The girls who talk in the bathroom: You’re on your way into the bathroom when you find yourself face to face with five girls holding court. It doesn’t matter if they’re all high school best friends who work in the same office, these girls have something very serious to discuss right now and they just can’t hear each other out there. They’d be in the back bedroom, but they got kicked out by the roommate. Try the downstairs bathroom.

The predator: AKA the one who stands too close. AKA the one who tries to give you a nickname. AKA the one who definitely knows a 5 a.m. spot nearby. AKA the one who uses the word “nightcap.” Often seen lurking near the out-of-town friend.

Emily Van Zandt is a RedEye reporter. She thinks those girls in the bathroom are the worst. evanzandt@tribune.com, @mmxbars

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