House parties would make a truly fascinating site of exploration for social anthropologists. A weird mixture of differing social groups with various tenuous link to the host; all stirred up with some pretty bad alcohol. I’ve met some of the best, funniest people over a game of ring of fire in a grubby student house. I have also met quite a lot of people who in another less claustrophobic setting, I would avoid like the vomit stains all over the bathroom. Here is my conclusive list of the five awful people that, without fail, you always meet at a house party. Please feel free to add to this list… there are plenty more I am sure!
- The person who finds themselves to be much more interesting than they actually are. I normally get cornered by this person who sees me as easy prey, due to my chronic politeness. In the past I have nodded away silently for an hour and forty five minutes (I counted) whilst somebody spoke to me about their undergraduate dissertation as if it had just won the nobel prize for literature. I have listened with dutiful wide eyed enthrallment to people’s crushingly average life stories as if I’m a discount Piers bloody Morgan. The difference is however that Piers Morgan actually asks the questions, and might even get a word in edgeways.
- The person who stares glumly into their phone all night and doesn’t make eye contact with anyone. These people intrigue me. What are they doing at a party if they aren’t in the mood? Could they be a spy or an undercover journalist researching for an article about dreary suburban house parties? They will probably make a few tweets or checkins on their phone, solemnly and dutifully recording their social life, as if for future historians to unearth.
- The person who photographs absolutely everything. “Get in! Get in! Get in the picture!” they will command you as they aim their phone like a revolver. You will comply, stretching your mouth into a grin and wrapping your arm companiably around people who you were previously making small talk with who you will never, ever see again. The photos will inevitably emerge, alligator like, on facebook a day or two later and they will make you look as though you have about ten chins.
- The person who is completely desperate to let you know how absolutely crazy they are. This person will come in a variety of forms but one thing’s for sure. This person has genitals and they want you to know about it. They will talk about all the times that they have had sex as if they are the first person to discover it. They will then look excitedly around the group for a sign, any sign, that they have somehow shocked or offended; kind of like a toddler who has just shouted the word “poo”. They won’t have shocked anyone. And the desperation for any sort of human recognition in their dull, frightened eyes will make you want to give them a hug.
5. The overly emotional person who brings you into a gin soaked philosophical conversation that will leave you staring nihilistically and companionably down the barrel of your own empty existence. At the time, you will feel like you have forged a deep and lasting bond but you will have forgotten by the morning and the faux intellectual points that felt so intensely true and hitting the nail on the head at the time will make you cringe for the next three weeks in the cold, sober light of day.