My lampshade is not a beer bong, thank you

Published: January 24, 2013, 1:40 am ET
Graphic courtesy of Carlton Zesch
"I’ve had people walk over the bits of glass from the bottle they just shattered on the kitchen floor to demand more beer."
Opinion Editor

Due to laziness, living in the United States of YOLO, and me being one of the more popular girls on campus, my roommates and I have been hosting some apartment parties lately. Why not?

We’ve thought. No long lines waiting for shuttles, no more obscure techno music and aggressive grinding – just us, my “Gettin’ Cheddar” playlist, and the people we like. We don’t even have to step out the front door.

And yes, that’s still all true. We still get to have everything we want in one place, and it works pretty well. But you know the old proverb that says how one treats his waiter says everything about his character? Well, I was never really abused as a waitress, but as an apartment party hostess I’ve faced Guantanamo.

So, I’m here to say: the way you treat the apartment of someone who has given you free alcohol, risked getting written up and swept up the seven football fields of dirt you tracked into the living room without a word the next day, says everything about who you are as a person.

I never really noticed it until it was my apartment. I’d sashay in and out of random parties, doing what I pleased without a word to the host. I was on top of the world. But that was another era. Today, the tables have turned, and I know what it feels like to be the host of said party. And sometimes, I don’t like it.

Even people who seem to have it all together in sober life — people who match their comforters to their pillow covers and always make sure to cover their mouths with a napkin while chewing — become frothing hyenas when it’s party time and someone else is hosting. Once the clock strikes 10 and they’ve sucked down a few Andrés, a thousand Lindsay Lohans suddenly materialize on campus, treating every apartment in their path like a 24-hour restaurant, club and hotel room with free maid service.

I’ve had people walk over the bits of glass from the bottle they just shattered on the kitchen floor to demand more beer. I’ve had people tell me, angrily, to just chill out when I’ve asked them to stop napping on my bed. I’ve had them wolf down any remaining food that may have accidentally been sitting in the fridge. (At our next party you will be hooked up to a lie detector and asked about my Chipotle burrito bowl. You, Burrito Lips, will be caught and punished).

I do understand that if you’re willingly inviting 50+ drunk, sweaty bodies into your apartment you can’t expect them to sip tea and compliment your drapes. Honestly, you shouldn’t even be holding out for a thank you, because people are going to be too caught up in meeting the hot internationals or doing tequila shots alone in the corner to remember that type of thing. And I don’t blame them.
But, if you are consciously aware of where/who you are, acting like you’re not in someone’s living space is not forgivable.

You can belt out RENT songs in nothing but your weirdly tight Tighty Whiteys for all I care, but if you drop a beer can on the carpet and just walk away as beer seeps into our rug, you will face the guillotine that we’ve just installed in the bathroom.

That’s all. Party on, Garth.

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