The History and Ideology Behind House Parties

ImageI am a 20 year old, sophomore in college. It is illegal for me to go out to bars and I don’t have a fake ID so, I spend my Saturday evenings at house parties. Every Sunday I wake up and ask myself “What was the point of last night”

Saturday evening 7:00. My roommates and I are beginning our prep work for a night out. We spend hours styling our hair, trying new makeup techniques, and staring at our full stocked closets claiming to have “nothing to wear!” All of this prep work to stand in a kitchen for 4 maybe 5 hours a night. I just don’t get it.

House parties have been a right of passage for a teen since Ancient Rome. I’m not kidding. In Mostellaria by Plautus, the main character’s son Philolaches throws a house party while his father is away on business. Party on Ancient Rome. There are so many teen films where a house party is thrown. Animal Farm, Pretty in Pink, Weird Science, Project X, Teen Wolf, Almost Famous, Girl Next Door. It would be harder to name a teen movie that doesn’t have some sort of house party in it.
I grew up watching those films, which meant I grew up knowing if I wanted to be cool I had to attend a house party. The first time I was “invited” to a house party at college, I almost shit myself with excitement. Finally I would get to experience those mental moments like all other teens before me have participated in. You can probably guess what ended up happening. Yes I stood around kitchen with people pressed up all around me, for 3 hours. No music was playing just drunken chatter and screams for more shots.

After that night I spent weeks trying to figure out if something was wrong with me. That was what I’ve been told college was about yet all I felt was an increasing desire to leave as the night dragged on. Maybe I was just at the wrong house party I told myself. Yet as sophomore year began and I attend more house parties I realized it was the same idea, just a different surrounding. Whether it was a football house, basketball house, baseball house it was still the same idea: kitchen and drunken voices.

I don’t want to crush any teens dream of the ideal house party. Maybe you’ll have killer house parties when your in college or even high school! Maybe I just live in a bad area for house parties, or maybe I just would rather spend my evening not stuck in a kitchen, pushed up against strangers.

So here I am. Another Saturday evening preparing myself for a night in the kitchen. Maybe this time the party will be contradictive to what I’ve wrote about in this post.





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