After 8 years of working and going to college part time, Swayze finally got his degree. We're all very proud of our last man standing. In honor of his accomplishment, and for our love of theme parties, I threw a party Saturday night.
I called it an Eskimo party and held it on the roof of my building. To be honest, it was the best party I've ever thrown. I made 4 gallons of hunch punch, ordered a ton of pizza, bought enough beer for flip cup, served vodka out of shot glasses made entirely of ice, wrapped up a bunch of whammy white-elephant gifts and plugged in the Wii.
I also invited Valdosta.
I had seen my group of friends the previous night at Government Mule's house where we'd gotten together to play Rock Band. I told them all that he was coming and that I really liked this one, and please let's all be on good behavior. That meant no comments about how much or how many people I date, no comments about the sex story about The Hungarian that I told, and no razzing Valdosta like they had done with Memphis.
"I don't want to make a single mistake with this one," I explained. They conceded. And then they spent the next hour thinking up a nickname for him because we already have a person in our group with the same name as Valdosta.
The party gods blessed my party by having the first four people arrive at exactly the same minute. God bless punctual friends. Valdosta helped me mix the hunch punch and met everyone. He immediately asked everyone if these were the people I play dodgeball with. I think he's intrigued and plans on coming to a game in the next couple of weeks.
"I don't think I could just sit there and watch you get roughed up," he said.
"Oh, you won't be sitting. You'll be playing," I informed him. "I'm going to need you to bring your game face." Being a hockey player, Valdosta is built pretty solidly and would make a good ringer. Maybe then we'll stop getting our asses kicked and I can go to a game and not leave limping.
We headed up to the roof with The Femme Fatale, a sled dog who fit perfectly into my Eskimo party theme. I handed out glow bracelets to help with the lighting. Valdosta chose an orange one in honor of UT, and Government Mule grabbed it out of his hand and threw it over the roof. Harvey's husband grabbed two and stuck them in his wool hat as antennae. We played several rounds of flip cup. My team lost. Schmoozer was on the opposing team and he wasn't kidding when he told me that first day I met him that he was a flip cup champion.
With every glass of hunch punch, Valdosta's nickname kept getting shortened by my friends. Eventually it was shortened down to a single sound. Not even a syllable. He was a good sport about it. He was, until, Government Mule started calling him Pledge.
I know my friends are close knit. I know we don't let in outsiders easily. Schmoozer went through some teasing because he was being let in as a friend. That shouldn't be the same with Valdosta though. Valdosta was coming in as my love interest. That should be a free pass. And it was with everyone but GM.
At one point Valdosta went to stand on my balcony. As he shut the door behind him, GM locked the door.
There was a point in time when Government Mule and I were really close. And there are times presently when we still flirt back and forth. But the friendship line has clearly been drawn: Jenna has developed feelings for him. I'm half-convinced that they are already seeing each other and just won't admit it to the rest of us. Bottom line is, I don't understand why Government Mule would have any investment in teasing Valdosta.
The hunch punch worked. It did the same number on me that it did in Jacksonville. I tried to take a bow and lost my sense of balance and toppled over in my living room. I'm covered in bruises that I don't even know how I earned.
Everyone left; Valdosta stayed behind. He told me several times what a good time he had and how he was glad he came. We had a bit of a drunken heart to heart on the couch (to be written about later). Then we climbed into my bed where I told him I had missed him, which now that I'm sober, I'm horrified that I said that.
"I like having you in my bed," I slurred.
"I like you having me in your bed," he mumbled back. "Let's go ice skating tomorrow."