About five years ago, I went to my first party. At 17 years old, I felt ancient. I was so worried about being a great student and getting into my dream school, I forgot to make time to do normal teenager stuff.
So, I decided to give the party scene a go. I wasn’t ready to drink, so I would show up to every party dead sober and no one was the wiser. At that very first party I stumbled up the stairs, because of who I am as a generally clumsy person, and a cute guy who I didn’t know very well caught my arm.
“Woah, you’re having a good night!” he said.
I just laughed and ran up the stairs. (This was my first party, you really think I was going to throw flirting into the mix?)
I guess my awkward sobriety paid off, however, because I was invited to another party the following weekend. It was a Halloween party, and I was pretty excited.
First of all, when my parents asked where I was going, I told them I was going to a dance party. A DANCE PARTY! As if I was invited by Mary Kate and Ashley themselves to go drink fruit punch, sing about pizza, and engage in other wholesome activities.
(If at this point you have scrolled to the top of this story to confirm that I was 17 years old, yes, you read that right. I was such a late bloomer I had to pay fees.)
I showed up the Halloween/Dance/Definitely-Not-A-Dance-Party Party in my super cool costume that I thought for sure was going to be a hit. I decided to go as a Legends of the Hidden Temple contestant.
I was wearing my official Legends of the Hidden Temple team shirt. (I was a Red Jaguar, obv.) I wore khaki shorts, white asics, and to complete the look: elbow and knee pads. A friend had to talk me out of wearing a helmet.
When we finally got to the party, every girl was dressed in tiny, bodycon dresses adorned with various accessories. A lot of the girls had already taken off their cat ears or sailor hats, so virtually no one was in costume.
And there I was. With elbow pads on.
I thought I was going to pass out, which would have been totally fine because all of my joints would have been more than protected by all of the padding. What’s worse, is that no one even knew what I was dressed as.
The night was full of “so, what are you?”
“Uh, Legends of the Hidden Temple.”
Also, every party I had ever been to up until this point had snacks. I literally did not eat dinner because I thought, don’t fill up, there will be snacks!
There were no snacks. There was a lot vodka disguised as Poland Springs, but no snacks.
Later on in the night someone saw me take a big sip of a nearly full water bottle and squealed with excitement.
“I didn’t know you were like that, Alexa!”
In a desire to really drive the point home that I was a nerd, I said “oh, it’s actually just water.”
Everyone sort of just walked away from me at that point and I don’t blame them. I had no business being there. I was absolutely not cool enough to be there, I had no desire to drink alcohol, and Oh My God was I starving.
I wandered downstairs to find my friends, only to find that the Halloween Party had turned into a Makeout Party. Shit.
I immediately spun around, looking for the nearest door out. For some reason, my instinct was not to turn around and go up the stairs I had just come from, it was to escape. I panicked and opened the nearest door. It was a closet, and the couple making out behind it did not appreciate the exposure. SHIT!
I finally found my best friend, who thankfully told me it was time to head out. We beelined out of there, internally screaming as the rest of the car gushed about their nights.
I looked down at my khakis. I couldn’t get over it. I am, clearly, still not over it.
When I watch Mean Girls now, I no longer have sympathy for Cady Heron when she dresses up as a vampire bride. She has my complete and utter empathy.
So, what have we learned from this story? Well, if you are either of my parents, you have learned that I did not go to a dance party.
And if you are neither of those people, you have learned that I am not the cool girl at parties. Or the bar. Or anywhere, for that matter. And its okay if you are not the cool one, either. We have fun in our own way, right?
No matter how much I might look like I know what I am doing, I will always be the Legends of the Hidden Temple girl on the inside. And, honestly, this bodes well for the rest of you, because my weirdness just makes you all look even cooler.
Wait a minute… is that why you guys keep me around?