Just like Katy Perry, I too enjoy a good Friday Night Party.
For this specific Friday night, please join me and hop in a time machine back to 2006. It is high school, my dad is living overseas in Saudi Arabia and my mom just informed me she was going out of town for the weekend.
After hearing the words, “Kirsten I am going to be gone this weekend.” I thought what every irresponsible, underdeveloped frontal lobe teenager would do…I needed to throw a party.
The pro’s of throwing an epic event clearly exceeded the cons of getting caught.
My creative and excited mind wasn’t going to allow this to be a simple high school party. It was going to a themed party where I invited anyone and everyone.
That next day at school I informed my friends of the exciting opportunity. While eating homemade sandwiches at lunch covered by the art buildings shade, we selected the parties theme: Black Light.
This meant everyone would show up to the house wearing white clothing and various glow sticks wrapped around their wrists, neck, and ankles. Human bodies would become glowing flashing lights.
In order to pull off this themed party, black lights needed to be purchased. One evening after school I took a quick trip to The Home Depot. I cruised through the aisles completely unaware of what I was doing. As a young high school girl wearing a plaid skirt and collared shirt, attention was immediately drawn from basically every single staff member in the store.
“What was this chick doing here?”
“Is she aware The Home Depot is not a place to purchase scrap booking supplies for her prom memories or stones for homemade jewelry?”
“Was she lost?”
These were likely the thoughts running through their minds.
After a wrong turn down the power tools aisle a small cluster of friendly employees were standing at the end and smiling at me.
“Are you looking for something?” one of the gentlemen with an orange apron on asked. The name tag read “Brian”. Whether that was actually his name or not, I’ll never know.
“Can you tell me where the light bulbs are?” I asked in hesitation.
Brian kindly escorted me to the exact aisle and upon arrival I was immediately consumed by the beautiful sparkly chandeliers. I likely forgot to thank my new friend for his service due to the awe of lights that was upon me. (The light aisle in The Home Depot really is something…check it out some day if you are ever bored, or on drugs.) I gazed in awe at the chandeliers and clap on light fixtures until finally able to pull myself together and fill the basket with enough black light bulbs to turn an entire auditorium into a rave.
I could picture it now, the home would become an oasis of darkness only lit by our blossoming pubescent bodies outlined in yellow highlighter. All the girls with fake highlights would be revealed and every bead of sweat or gizz would glisten on our chests.
A glance down at the items created a sense of satisfaction and joy in every cell of my adolescent being. I approached the register and this emotional high was immediately dismantled when the cashier declared the total was over $100.
My city lifeguard salary was a proud, yet dismal $14/hour and these light bulbs were only the first of the party items required to throw a meaningful party. This price point would consume the majority of the budget.
The fleeting pride began spiraling downward.
The massive black light bar that was to be the centerpiece of the party was set aside from purchase and only the basic light bulbs made their way out the store’s exit. The $45 saved would be reinvested into cheap vodka and glow sticks. If everyone was drinking no one would care what the lights looked like. It was going to have to do.
With decorations checked off the list, booze for the event was the priority. Writing this today, I am 29 years old and still get asked if I am in college…so lets simply say that I did not look 21 when I was 16.
I did have the token friend who developed breasts and a fake ID faster than everyone else. She was able to use her fake ID, mature smile and souped-up black Denali at a drive-through liquor store to provide for this party.
My close friends and I corralled our dollars together, passed them off to her and crossed our fingers as she drove through the sketchiest drive through in town. Here she purchased enough handles of vodka and flavored booze to get our entire school class wasted.
She threw in a few cases of beer as well, although at this point no one had yet established the infamous acquired beer taste. They were often left for the guys of our high school who pretended they were “men”. They drank keystone lights and had about 5 pieces of chest hair.
Every girl would swoon as they walked by.
With booze in check, party lights and glow sticks purchased, the final preparation needed to occur. A secure plan was required to ensure that mom and dad did not find out.
Every single valuable item in the house needed to be hidden. This is a much harder task than you might think. My parents home is basically a fucking museum. There are ancient artifacts, beautiful paintings hanging and figurines that if someone touched would simply turn to dust. There is even a piece of the Berlin wall hanging up.
It is the raddest shit.
However, when you are 16 and want to party without getting caught…these are a serious pain. All the special items found a new home in the closet and hoped for their best protection.
Finally, the Friday night of the party had arrived!
The plan was in motion and everything was turning out great. People had all made plans to come and things were set up. The early evening was spent switching out every single light bulb in the house to a black replacement, the fridge was filled with booze and mixers and red party cups were laid out.
A burned CD playlist with the best songs of 2006 was set into the stereo system. Hips don’t Lie by Shakira began to blast through my father’s beautifully constructed home surround sound speakers, the poppy beat could be heard and felt in every room of the house. The hookah was even set up for smoking.
My closest girlfriends arrived with some McDonald’s french fries for dinner: sustenance to fuel our tiny teenage bodies from the damage they were about to endure. After consuming an order of the salty potato goodness we changed into our favorite white tank tops and let the party begin.
People slowly began to show up, and at first, it was really only a few additional close friends. Things were going great. Beer pong was being played on the kitchen counter, people were sitting outside on the patio hanging out and smoking.
Yet every 15 minutes a few more people would show up.
It was almost like clockwork and by 11 pm (I actually have no idea what time it was because 1 vodka cranberry deep and I am a half blacked out infant) the house was filling to the brim with people.
Excitement and concern began to equally fill the air.
In order to process these emotions, I took a moment of reprieve in the laundry room with a girlfriend.
She began to draw a flower design on my chest in highlighter (it would show up under the blacklight) and said “Oh my god Kirsten this party is so fun! Can you please go out there and talk to Brad* I know you like him.”
“No, no, no! He does not like me, I would be mortified.”
“Come on just do it! You guys would make the cutest ginger babies.” She said as she grabbed at my crotch.
When you have fluffy red hair and the body of a 12 year old Asian it is hard to feel hot in high school. This back and forth banter of fighting my insecurities of being able to talk to a guy continued until another friend stuck her head through the door.
“Bitches, you seriously need to come out here and see this.”
Please Note: we refer to each other as bitches in a form of endearment. Yes, we are aware some people believe it is not setting a good precedent for others to think it is okay to call girls bitches.
I didn’t know what “this” was, but I instantly felt 10 times more sober than I had 15 seconds prior.
She saw the shock fill my face and began to laugh. “It’s epic!” She said and dragged us out of the laundry room.
We proceeded down the hallway and then turned to enter what once was the living room.
She was right. It was epic. The three of us stood there in disbelief.
The house had turned into what appeared to be the most incredible party we had ever been to. People were dancing in the living room between the couches, people were dancing on top of the kitchen island, the black lights from the skylight were shining down on their sweating bodies.
Everyone was glowing and flowing, it was like we were watching a party scene from a movie. We turned to each other and started hugging and giggling, we fell to the floor rolling around on the carpet in laughter.
Uncontrollable giggles filled with disbelief and excitement took hold of us.
We emerged from the ground with a new sense of strength and conviction. It was time to party.
Dancing ensued through the living room and then on top of the island. I danced with anyone and everyone and felt like the house had turned into the giant Orgy scene from the Matrix (although no one was topless from my memory). After enough dancing filled my heart and soul a change of scenery was needed.
Whipping a bead of sweat from my brow I walked into the backyard.
Standing around in the yard was an unfamiliar group of guys. Any care for how they got there was completely neglected. They had weed and seemed like a “cool group”. In hindsight, these guys were kinda thug and my Catholic HS girl self thought it was hot…I don’t think it actually was now.
One of these guys started to talk.
He was wearing an oversized brown hoodie, appeared to be part Hispanic and was well over 6 feet. He gave a solid head nod and a “was up girl.” slid out of his mouth so smoothly I basically wet myself. “This your party?” He didn’t even need to use correct grammar or complete sentences to get me interested.
“Um, yeah. Parents aren’t here so figured, ya know, have a few friends over.”
Playing it cool. I had learned at an early age that if you mimic how people interact it makes them feel more comfortable. If he wasn’t going to use complete sentences, neither was I.
“Tight,” he said.
“Yeah, it’s chill,” I replied. I said that thinking I sounded super laid back, but chances are I was more of an eager little bunny excited to be talking to older guys that had come to party at my house.
“Wanna smoke?” He asked. This was practically an invitation for marriage, he wanted to share his prized possession with me!
“Okay, sure,” I said, having never smoked anything other than a cigarette in my life. OMG, I was about to do drugs with an older tall hot guy.
This. Is. Awesome.
Second Note: Writing this now, I don’t even consider weed a drug…it’s more of an herbal supplement that should be consumed every day for creative and relaxation purposes. Funny how perspective changes with time.
We proceeded to walk around to the side of the house and leaned up against the popcorn wall.
The AC blasted in the background competing with the sound of Lean like a Cholo booming through the kitchen window. He pulled out a joint and began to light it.
“Danm girl, your pretty fine.” He said as he drew the lighter to life.
This guy thinks I am beautiful, dear god I am in heaven!
He took a puff and the tip of the joint kindled and drew back. It was a beautiful thing to witness. He tilted his head towards the sky and exhaled a giant puff of smoke. In the night sky, the silhouette of his face illuminated and he looked as sexy as Ryan Gosling in..well, every single movie he has ever made.
Watching him in awe I began to wonder what it would be like to date him. A daydream moment filled my mind where I creepily pictured us holding hands and walking into the movie theatre for a date. Maybe we would even go to the mall one afternoon and walk around looking into the stores. If things started to get really serious we might even share a meal together in the food court.
Nothing says everlasting love like a Wetzel’s Pretzel and a lemonade.
He was tall enough he could wrap his arm around my shoulder and I could look up at him. Sigh…
He then passed the joint to me.
A drunken pep talk replaced the creepy daydream…Okay, Kirsten, he’s hot, be cool, don’t mess this up.
A trembling hand took the joint and lifted it for a small drag. Just as the exhale was about to occur the guy (I was convinced would be my boyfriend) leaned in for his lips to meet mine. All of the smoke exhaled went straight into his mouth and then back into mine.
Fireworks began to go off.
Once all of the smoke had dissipated he did not let up. He began to shove his tongue down deep into my throat. We started making out like sloppy teenagers…oh wait, that’s because we were.
This sloppy make-out session with my future husband went on for some time. Feelings of booze and weed took over while kissing under the cool starry night sky ensued.
Things were really turning out strong tonight!
We took a brief moment for our lips to depart.
This motion must have set off the porch lights and as he took another puff of the tiny joint visibility became crisply clear. It was as if sobriety hit from the weed, the lights, and the fresh air.
It was now clear that his squinty eyes and jagged jawline were not an attractive combination. His hair, shining in the light, displaying that he likely had not showered in some time. He was clearly much older than me, old enough to the point that I was now creeped out by the fact that he and his gang of friends were at my house.
The joint that previously tasted like heaven was now replaced with the lingering flavor of cigarettes that he had passed off into my mouth from his tongue.
He spoke and said “you want?” while he tried to pass me what was actually a spliff.
The conclusion was then instantly made that we would not be falling madly in love, we would not frequent the movie’s hand in hand and we would not continue to kiss. This moment of sobriety prompted an immediate and kind departure from what once was a magical dream under the stars.
I wish I could tell you what happened next, but as strongly as my sobering moment outside had been, the second I stepped back into the house I blacked out to the point of no return.
The next memory was waking up in the morning alone in my twin size bed with the floral comforter wrapped around me like a cocoon. Rising from bed, a Jenga block was discovered in my bra with the words “kiss the person to your left” etched onto it in sharpie.
From that moment on, whenever I meet men in bars or at parties or in any instance where I would always asked the most coherent friend, “What do you think?” to ensure those goggles were never placed back on my face again.
*insert fast valley girl voice*It has worked about 95% of the time, 50% of the time. And the times that it doesn’t you think it’s the best moment of your life so it can’t really be that bad, right?
Oh and in case you were wondering, my parents didn’t find out about the party (unless they are reading this now, “Hiii! Love you guys and I sincerely apologize for my adolescent jerk self!”).
When my mother returned she had suspicions and questioned me multiple times.
Either she knew I was lying through my teeth or I put on one epic acting performance after another. Because I somehow convinced her that someone must have broken into the house, tried to steal the TV, move all of the throw pillows around and then run away empty handed. They also broke a glass vase and then kindly vacuumed it up. (My mother inspected the vacuum and found pieces of glass in it).
They were dumb burglars, they should’ve gone into the closet and stolen all the foreign rugs worth 10 times as much as any electronic device.
Although Kenny G didn’t show up in the backyard to sing with Katy Perry, it was all in all, a wonderful Friday night.
Remembering and writing this story made me realize how young I really was back then, especially compared to how old I felt I was. I am sure in another 15 years I will think the same about myself as a 29 year old girl writing a comedic blog story. Hopefully my 44 year old self will say “I can’t believe you thought you understood life back then.” It is pretty powerful to consider how times changes you and how you can either grow in that time, or choose not to.
When we are young we are so determined to be older. And now it seems as we get older we are so determined to stay young.
I think the sooner you can stop being concerned about that, the sooner a joyful life will begin.
The sooner you can stop worrying about throwing the perfect party or being seen with the right guy/girl, the sooner you stop stressing about making enough money or getting married on some “normal” track…that’s when life really begins.
LET LIFE BEGIN!
I would love to hear a High School story, a beer goggles experience or anything that helped you learn a lesson or two!