I love parties.
Must either be the Lagos in me or my Yoruba-ness. Either way, I enjoy the loud and boisterous atmosphere; everyone dressed up to the nines; old friends meeting again, long lost cousins re-uniting, families coming together to forgive one another for that one day or moment while the party lasts, people sweating out new dance moves on the floor; good music playing; great food flowing, plenty of drinks served, lovers reconciling; (I’ve heard many say they made up after attending so and so’s party) true word, o.
There’s something about parties that just makes all our troubles go away…for the moment. The drinks have a thing to do with it, no doubt.
Now, you would imagine a party lover like me should also enjoy drinking, well at least imbibe a proportionate amount of alcohol; after all, any party lover would tell you the number one ingredient for a great party is first, plenty of booze (I’ve seen many taking selfies behind loads of empty beer bottles) the other very important ingredient is food, for chop-aholics like me.
I don’t drink. Scratch that. I can’t drink. I don’t have a head for alcohol. I grew up thinking I would be a smoker and fancy drinker; the adverts on TV back in the day always showed cool looking women smoking and drinking. I wanted to be like them. Growing up, I remember picking up a cigarette stub left by one of my father’s friends when he visited. I pouted; shut my eyes, hand on waist, seeing myself as some sophisticated babe with a long thin cigarette dangling from my lips. I didn’t see my mother approaching. I only heard a loud bang moments later; that was my head hitting the wall when my mother slammed into me. The incident stole the love for cigarette from me, forever. I still nursed the idea of being a good drinker, sha.
But I discovered I had no head for alcohol too back in my university days. It was one of those Valentine periods when boyfriends want to impress their babes; they come with fake red roses; a bottle of wine and a pack of chocolates. How those gifts made plenty of sense back in the day. They don’t anymore, modern girls don shine their eyes. * Wink*
Anyway, mine came bearing a bottle of Bacchus Wine (do they still make those?) and chocolates. I was disappointed at the bottle of wine but didn’t show it. Bacchus, after all, was positioned as a drink for lovers back then. I had seen my roommate’s boyfriend arrive with a more impressive bottle of champagne. It had seemed expensive because I’d never heard nor seen that type before, can’t recall the name now. Anyway, boyfriend and I chatted, kissed, held hands and then he popped the wine, abi, even if it isn’t champagne, we had something to celebrate our love, not so?
He poured me a glass and we toasted to a bright future- where we would make lots of money; have a legion of kids and live happily ever after. I’ll talk about the happily ever after some other time.
Anyway, I took a sip and discovered it was sweet. So I drank it, foolishly, like you would drink coke. Shortly after, wahala started. First I felt warm. Veeerrrry warm and quite happy; then the light in the room began to get bright, so bright I wondered if my roommates had put up an extra bulb. I also wondered if this feeling was common to all of us ‘drinkers’.
My then boyfriend, who wasn’t much of a talker, began to get quite animated, (he was one serious but quiet SU brother). He just kept talking while I couldn’t stop laughing. You see, he was all so funny that evening; my roommates came in to meet a very happy couple- talking and cackling like hyenas.
But then trust wise Warri girls to recognise drunkenness when they see it, so after a while, the bottle only half drunk, my room-mates shooed him off. I was later to find out it was his first time with alcohol, too.
Since then, I’ve given alcoholic drinks a wiiiiiidddddde berth; we just don’t mix, like oil and water. But I’m a party lover na, I must show that I truly belong to my group of revelers at any party. So this day came and I broke my mother’s rule about attending parties; never go to a party hungry, it just may be the day they don’t bring food to your table. You know that kain thing!
There was no food but plenty of wine and beer on the table. There was also a sweet looking lady seated with her boyfriend, just across from me on the same table. We were both hungry but the food just kept skipping our table; since I don’t do beer, I find it too bitter, we both decided, a little wine wouldn’t hurt…so we both poured ourselves a glass each.
Ha! The lights became ever so bright, shortly afterwards. Good thing I was in the company of my partner and good friend. I kept saying to him, ‘Why is this place suddenly bright?”
‘It’s not brighter joor, it’s the wine,’ he mocked. He took one look at my now dimming eyes and said, ‘Let’s get you home.’
I refused to get up until I heard someone say, “Look, that’s that comedian, Mr. Ibu, the one in red and orange!”
My new lady friend looked up and said, “People can be wicked, they said he’s ugly but he’s such a fine looking man,” then she laughed loudly at her own observation. Everyone at the table looked at her and smiled with a certain knowledge. Shayo na bastard, it can even turn Oshiomole to Will Smith.
As for me, I had seen enough of Mr. Ibu to know better, since my eyes were too dim to see through the bright lights; I just sighed, cursing the stewards for not bringing food to my table, now I had to leave!
On my way out, I noticed a good number of people sitting over decapitated beer bottles and looking very normal. How come their eyes weren’t dim, neither were they seeing beautiful people; some appeared to be having very intelligent conversations, in fact.
I know a good friend who after several glasses of Hennessy begins to expound theories, he gets very intelligent and though he stammers, would speak without a stutter once he gets to that, elevated space.
Why can’t I just flow like that?
I just don’t gerrit!