...except for me and my monkey! "Everything we see hides another thing. We always want to see what is hidden by what we see." -Rene Magritte

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Bail!

Last night I went to a house party in North Portland for about eight minutes. I first heard about it from my co-teacher Eduardo; during afternoon snack, right before he left for the day, he asked me in Spanish if I was going to go (shhhh: we gossip in Spanish a fair amount throughout the day, which helps keep me from going crazy) and we made loose plans to meet up around nine-ish at the house of one of our other co-workers. Out on the playground at the end of the day, another preschool teacher who I'm friendly with asked if I was going to go and we, again, made the sketchiest of plans to meet up there. All the party information was posted on the refrigerator in the staff room. I copied down the address and dutifully looked up the bus information on the staff computer.

By the time I got home from work, I had a pounding headache and wanted nothing more than to curl up on the couch with a glass of wine and Kristy and the Haunted Mansion. I wished that Eduardo had never told me about the party--then I wouldn't feel any obligation to go or regret if I skipped it. But I would like to be better friends with my co-workers and I've always enjoyed socializing with them in the past, so I decided to suck it up and head over there.

I arrived around 9:45. There were a dozen or so people standing around talking in the living room and kitchen of the house; there wasn't anyone I recognized. I looked around for the co-worker whose house it was; she was nowhere to be found. Eduardo was not there. I used the bathroom and thought of what I was going to do. When I came out of the bathroom, I pretended I had to take an urgent call, got the hell out of there, and went back to the bus stop to wait for the next bus back to the Rose Quarter.

It was a comic and slightly ridiculous situation that mirrored almost exactly an experience that Daniel and I had a few weeks ago. Another co-worker had sent out an email inviting everyone to a "mustache party" she was having with her housemates on Mississippi. I would say that she downplayed the mustache element of the party in her email: when Daniel and I got there, every single person (and there were a lot of people there) was mustachioed and bunched together in the kitchen. No one noticed us enter except for one guy wearing a paste-on black mustache, who smiled at us in a creepy way that managed to be both vacant and all-knowing. "I kind of want to get out of here," I said to Daniel, and we high-tailed it back to the bus stop.

Next time I go to a party, I hope I won't have to bail out--but I do end up leaving right away and busing it back home, at least $1.75 isn't too much for a scenic bus tour of North Portland.