If you don’t know, don’t go: Put an end to the party crashing

November 19, 2014

Growing up outside the U.S. in a protective parental bubble, I wasn’t really exposed to the Mean Girls-esque house rager.

I prefer quieter parties, where everybody relaxes in a cozy apartment, snuggles with each other, and has deep and meaningful conversation. In fact, I think everyone needs these moments once in a while.

In my circle, I call my friends and they come over. Sometimes we make dinner together. We cut pieces of bread, cheese, and pecan pie to act a little bougie. As the clock hand edges closer to midnight, we dim the lights, turn up the music, blow on a saxophone, and swing dance our stress away.

But then, there’s a loud knock on the door. Who could it be? Must be more friends, we think. You knew they were on the way so you open the door.

It’s a person who you’ve never met before. No, a group of people who you’ve never met before.

“Hey, how’s it going?” They shake your hand to reinforce the five seconds of familiarity between us and them. All of them stream into the room. You don’t move for a while. Your brain need time to process the situation. What just happened?

The uninvited guests engage in loud conversation. We stare at them. They laugh and giggle. We are dumbfounded. They automatically file, almost in single file, to the kitchen table in search of refreshments. “There’s beer,” they say.

They inspect your fridge. They eat your pizza. They piss in your toilet. They send Snapchat stories from your room to document how much fun they’re having. And with the mighty power of the text message, they call for reinforcements. They are occupying your personal living space. They are party crashers.

“Oh yeah, I have this friend in there,” they say in response to your interrogation about who they know in your own room, their eyes squinting into the deep distance and their head bobbing sideways. Then they rudely push past you and melt into what has become a hot, sticky, unbearable crowd. You’ve lost control of your party.

In one of the more forgettable nights of my freshman year, I remember roaming the streets with some other people, apparently in search of a house fiesta. We were streaming, single file, into the house of somebody none of us even knew. The music had stopped and the floor was soaked with beer. “Please get out,” the person none of us knew said. So we did. I could have justified that maybe we were just trying to have a little bit of fun on a weekend night. There’s no reason to be so wary of strangers—we’re just college kids, right?

But I couldn’t rationalize it. I felt ashamed and embarrassed. Maybe some party crashers do have fun and feel welcome, but I certainly did not and will not welcome any.

To this day, I still see no incentive to enter a party you are not invited to. Everyone who is actually rightfully a part of the party will give you hostile glares and shake their head at your parasitic inclinations—after all, you felt entitled to the last remaining drink in the room. So you huddle in a protective circle with the handful of friends you entered the room with so people stop interrogating you. It’s a high price to pay to relish in the ecstasy of sipping wheat-flavored carbonated water or lukewarm rubbing alcohol with artificial fruit flavors.

Party organizers pay the price, too. They are forced to assign doormen who brave the midnight temperatures to try to scare people away. They lock up the remaining food and drink. They stop the music, flip the lights on, and make everybody leave. They stare at the alcohol-soaked carpet, the overflowing trash can, and their own frustration.

Party-crashers create a lose-lose situation. For me, parties are a way to treasure my time with friends from my classes and clubs. Our time with the people we love is fleeting, especially at a place like Georgetown, and college party-crashers simply ruin that objective with their selfish, superficial desire to just get drunk and not pay for it.

Before you decide to gather a bunch of friends and roam the streets in search of a house of dance music and disco lights, try to actually get an invitation from someone in that house, or get a mirror and feel the shame on your face.

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Silly freshpeople never learn