Why I’ll never again gatecrash a party.
I’m working on Saturday night, the neighbors have great music, and I want to ask them to turn it up. In my misplaced youth, I quickly learned that if party music is good, you can get a bottle of wine, dress nicely, smile, and say “John invited us.”
But there were times when things didn’t quite go as planned. One example is when I (a Caucasian friend) and some Asian friends tried to gatecrash a party that sounded amazing. The music was great, the system was great, and we were so excited. We got our alcohol and went to the door. A black man answered the door with a smile, and four generations of black people smiling in the living room behind him. They all had strikingly similar looks, were dressed in Sunday best, and it was, as you probably guessed, a family celebration! We quickly made our excuses, red-faced. We stated that our address was incorrect. We went back to our homes and just watched TV on our own. Years later, I was again tempted, so it was obvious that this mess was forgotten. I had not heeded my own advice.
Every day, my next-door neighbors seemed to party. I was not even invited. Amazing sound came from the music through the thick concrete walls. It was too much for me to handle, with its pleasing beat, heavy bass, and laughter. So I got up my courage and knocked on their door, armed with a good bottle of wine; the end of the road. They smiled broadly as the door opened and assured me that I was most welcome. I was invited in and observed that everyone was seated around the television. In fact, there are only a few people. Singing and clapping along with the film Jungle Book, we watched together. Jungle Book did not appeal to me. Oh, my. The night was very long.
After trying for hours to smile, my face hurt. After hours of forcing myself to clap, my arms hurt. Despite not knowing the songs’ words, my voice was the only thing that remained intact.