Being a Socialite: The Legend of Faux Hawk and Biggins

If there’s one thing I pride myself on, it’s party etiquette. I can’t help it that I acquired my own unique set of social skills early on, and I’m kind of a special light when it comes to social outings. Most of the time, I like to entertain and only drink so much that I may not be inhibited in my entertaining duties. In the social event world, I’m a bit of a Betty Draper. Not fat, angsty Betty from season 5, but rather season 1 Betty that shot at the neighbor’s pigeons… the Betty we were all rooting for. I’ve hosted a decent number of successful soirees in my day, and in my own mind, I like to think that I’m a bit of a legend. And imagine my surprise when I go to a social event, and I have to deal with those kind of people. I’m not talking about the standard kind of party-killers that most Southern gentlemen like myself fear: the homosexuals, the African Americans, etc. I’m a 21st century kind of host; I expect these kind of roadblocks. No, I’m talking about partygoers without manners… an issue that I’ve never personally faced. I suppose all of this would make more sense if I got to the root of the matter: the real story.
One evening during my college’s January Term, colloquially known as “J-Term,” further colloquially named “Play Term,” there was an off campus event that I was invited to. I wasn’t feeling up to par that night and didn’t really want to attend, but I’ve always had an unbridled fear that if I skip going to a party, eventually I’ll stop getting invited. Being a seasoned socialite, I couldn’t imagine the thought. If I never got invited to another party, class itself would come to be obsolete in my friend circle. I had an image to maintain. Knowing that my one and only class didn’t begin until 1:00 the next day, I decided to attend. My friend, Patrice, and I had a plan. Thirty minutes: in and out. We’d say hello, make sure that people had noted our presence, and then we were out. There was a movie night planned; all the party should have been was a preliminary pit stop on our way to a Disney movie night. However, after a couple cups of hunch punch (a disastrous mixture of grain alcohol and cheap Gatorade), I had lost Patrice. I agreed to drive, so there was no hunch punch in my future. I saw Patrice across the room, held up my wrist and tapped it, and watched Patrice shake her head with a smile on her face and run out the door.
The rest of my night could be likened to an episode of Where in the World is Carmen SanDiego because as small as the apartment was, she was no where to be found. Having seen Patrice on hunch punch before, I knew there was only so much time she had left before her insulin drained dry or she passed out somewhere, but my fear was that if she wasn’t in the apartment, the location of her demise could practically be anywhere. Having seen some of my less than formidable male-peers, a passed out girl is essentially the same as a girl saying “sure, I’d love to hook up tonight.” I stopped being a socialite and started being a dad. I needed to find Patrice, and it needed to be fast. But, like a true socialite, I can only oppress my social tact for so long.
I began to get more and more stressed out and my fear of not finding her quickly turned into annoyance; the party began to transform to a gathering of freshmen and sophomores who had no idea how to drink properly. And then there was me, without a drop of alcohol in my system. After failing to successfully reach the front door to search outside, I made my way to the back entrance when I was nearly knocked down by the door. The time had come: the return of the perfect socialite. A rather rotund sophomore and her flamboyant freshman counterpart burst from the entrance, smelling like they had already dipped into the finest bottle of Takka their combined nine dollars could buy. They acted as if they were Beyonce and Jay-Z, while appearing more like Whitney Houston and Bobby Brown… from the later years. Regardless, I responded, Hey guys. How are you? Faux hawk looked me up and down, pursed his lips together and laughed in my general direction.
Now, before we continue, let me explain that in socialite mode, no one, and I repeat no one, is allowed to give me the up and down. I’m a social rock star. And in the now obsolete world of class rank, I was a senior and these were underclassmen. Ignore the fact that those standings mean absolutely nothing in the real world, but in the world of college party-going, it carries a lot of weight. Without being conceited or arrogant (or redundant, apparently), running into a senior with a door (no matter how rude) is a privilege. Embark on it.
So, Biggins and Faux Hawk began to walk past me, and I had reached my limit. Without any kind of tact or previous thought, I spun around and yelled “HEY!” They didn’t turn around; I had to do it. “Biggins! Faux Hawk!” That got their attention. “Party etiquette, please!” The room turned around and apparently saw the hatred in my eyes. I’m usually not one to remark on someone’s weight or absolutely cliched and predictable hairstyle, but I’m also not one to run into people with doors. Kind of like corporal punishment or starving your children for a couple nights, sometimes it’s appropriate to make an example out of common, careless rule breakers. I continued out the door, searching for Patrice and ended up coming back inside, making my way to the front door before it came flying open. The man on the other side screamed, “Where the f-ck is she?” and then I vaguely remember falling to the floor.
I can only imagine that the whole event must have been pretty rich for Biggins and Faux Hawk, in the same way that all those 1960s housewives would have loved to have seen Betty get clocked by a flying door with an abrasive, possibly abusive, man on the other end. The rest of the story has been pieced together by second hand accounts. Apparently, even on the ground, I had some pretty hilarious commentary, and I soon after found Patrice. I vaguely remember her singing “I Love You Like a Love Song” through tears on the way home. As for the rest of the night, I have no recollection as to what happened. I ended my night with a concussion and a bruised reputation as the premier socialite.
Since the event, I easily regained my title as esteemed party-goer, with more classy interactions than I can count. I’ve even had interaction with both Faux Hawk and Biggins; sadly, I can’t say that either have improved. Actually, the interactions ended more disastrously than the original one. What I’m trying to say is that being a socialite is hard. If you’ve ever watched Gossip Girl and thought that it was overwrought and way too dramatic, it’s not. Most people don’t understand the trials and tribulations that people like Serena, Betty Draper, and myself go through. People expect us to be perfect, and in most situations, we are. But you can’t help it when you get slammed to the ground by a stray door, and you can’t help that every once in a while, you have a Biggins or Faux Hawk show up at an otherwise successful gathering.


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