This past weekend was our holiday party, and it was an absolute blast… minus the awkward party “crasher” that came in the form of our downstairs neighbor.
The awkwardness of this guy started well before the party. He and his wife moved in not too long ago, and they seemed like a neat (although quirky) couple. Initially we bonded over cute dogs (they have a sweet Boston Terrier named Che), sports, etc. Overall they seemed laid back.
Then a couple of weeks ago, there was apparently some martial discord; there was no actual reason for what happened, as I found out later. The wife simply decided she had had it with being stressed out and booted the husband out of the apartment drunk. This led to him literally coming into our apartment (still very drunk) and trying to get Patrick to help him break into his own apartment. I say he literally came into our apartment because he knocked on our door, we didn’t hear him, and since it was open, he let himself in. He did that actually a couple times throughout that night.
Patrick tried to be the good guy. He helped this wayward drunkard back into his apartment… only to have the wife see them outside the door and say, “Yea, I don’t think so,” before she closed the door rather unceremoniously in their faces.
Even more awkward.
They made up eventually, and all was right in their world again. After that incident, however, it was just weird; on our part, not theirs as I do not think they are aware of their own crazy.
Now, I’ve been putting the term “crasher” in quotes because we had mentioned the party to them prior to the whole marital drama. (So technically, there was no actual crashing. It was more of an embarrassing inebriated display of needing to be the center of attention.)
Following that incident, however, I kind of began hoping furiously that they would forget about the invitation entirely. (That kind of makes me feel like a bad person.)
Well, the husband didn’t forget. Oh no, he did not. He showed up already pretty drunk, as well! At first it was pretty tame. He would commandeer conversations and monopolize certain partygoers, but it wasn’t anything too bad. And periodically, to give people a break, I would take him outside.
It wasn’t my most favorite way to spend an evening, being overly cheery to see him and playing the role of a babysitter a bit, but sometimes it comes with the territory when you host a party.
Sadly, as the evening wore on, he took a turn for the worse. Even though we had music playing, he insisted on going to get his iPod and its attached stereo to play random “ROCK N ROLL OMG!!” songs. He also brought his art upstairs, which was actually very nice, but he spent about 45 minutes being self-congratulatory about it, and whenever the subject would change, he would somehow bring the spotlight back onto him. We just had to look at his website. We just had to hear this song by this guy he knows. We just had to listen to some story that made absolutely zero sense.
Also, he was the kind of person who was constantly building something up. A story. A t shirt. A song. Whatever. He would do it in that way where you find yourself saying to yourself, “Just show it to us already.” Yea.
Things got even worse. We also learned something else that night: he gets paranoid when he drinks. Super paranoid, and not in the subtle way.
He randomly started declaring (not quietly either) that people didn’t like him, that people thought he was weird. (But that’s okay, he “didn’t give a fuck”.) There was a period of time where he actually sat on the corner of the couch pouting, complaining to me about how my friends didn’t like him. I couldn’t believe it. It was embarrassing!
I kept mentally hoping that things would get better, but they didn’t. It was mortifying. When he showed up, I felt my stomach sink, but I tried to give him the benefit of the doubt. I introduced him as our “awesome” neighbor. I tried to laugh at some of his initial jokes, but it devolved rather predictably into a drunken spotlight-hogging mess.
Eventually he left (sadly after most other people had left, too), and those of us who were still there just kind of laughed. I mean, what else were we going to do?
Overall the party ended up being a success, but his presence was such a blemish on the evening. I don’t like feeling awkward in my own home. I don’t like people coming in and basically making a fool of themselves. I don’t like people coming in and drinking up almost all of a special vodka that was a gift from a friend without asking me. I don’t like someone showing up to a party already drunk, and ready to make other people feel uncomfortable.
I wish I could look back on our first big party we’ve thrown together in our place in Northwest DC and be happy, but instead I just think of his dumb face and get irritated. It’s probably silly to dwell on it, but oh well.
There will be other parties, I suppose… with a much stricter guest list!