It’s entirely possible that I am the worst friend in the world. I make my friends do the damnedest things, including go to parties at the homes of strangers out in the middle of BF nowhere based on the recommendation of that one guy I talked to that one time at a friend of a friend’s house.
Long ago, I used to play a weekly D&D game at a friend’s house. His roommate would swing by during the games every now and then. Sometimes the game wouldn’t happen for whatever reason, or we’d do a movie night instead, and so the roommate would come hang out with us and chit-chat.
After knowing said roommate from maybe half a dozen brief encounters, he invited me to come to his friend’s house for a Halloween party and to bring along my friends. Since I didn’t have any other plans at the time and he seemed like a nice enough guy, I took him up on the offer. The few emails I exchanged with the party host were warm, thoughtful, and from the sound of things, it looked like it would be a good time.
Never having been to the city where this party was taking place, I didn’t realize until the day of this shindig that it was going to take us at least an hour to drive there. Undeterred, my friends and I sallied forth, braving the godawful traffic.
At first blush, once we arrived, things seemed pretty legit to me. I didn’t know anybody there. The hostess found us milling around awkwardly in the living room wondering to ourselves why that King Tut and Cleopatra were wearing bondage collars with their costumes, and whether that one girl in the black pleather dress considered herself costumed or not. We followed the hostess out to the back where there were chips, drinks, and a few more people milling around–ones who were a little more sociable and didn’t look at us like outcasts for not having bondage gear as part of our costumes.
It might be worth noting at this point that the guy who asked me to come to the party never showed up.
Outside, everyone was super friendly and no one was afraid to come strike up a conversation. I ended up separated from my friends for a while.
That separation was strike two, and segues beautifully into strike three for reasons I’ll get to in a moment.
I ended up in a deep, philosophical discussion mostly centered around fantasy novels with a couple of guys who were fascinating conversational partners. I completely lost track of the time. After a while, one of them mentioned that the building to one side of the yard was a studio where the host sketched fantasy-themed comics, and would I like to see the artwork?
Being a huge fantasy nerd, that sounded awesome to me. I liked cartoons, and occasionally dabbled in reading comics, so it seemed like a great idea at the time. Just before I went in, my friends clutched at me and told me they thought we should go RIGHTNOWPLEASE.
Yeah, I’m not very good at taking hints, even when bonked over the head with all the finesse of a sledgehammer.
I figured they were just uncomfortable with the girl who was eyeing them very suggestively while slapping a little heart-shaped switch against her palm. I figured they could survive a couple more minutes of her company and told them I just wanted to check out the art and we could leave right after. Related: See note above about me RE: being a terrible friend.
So I went inside the studio. I’m just going to throw out there that if you haven’t met someone before, introducing them to your furry porn collection within hours of meeting is a bit of a strain on the social niceties.
I could be totally off base here, but I think a reasonable rule of revealing one’s furry porn collection to one’s guests might go something like this:
- First meeting: It’s safe to talk about mainstream books and movies. Not porn.
- Second meeting: Perhaps discuss the deeper messages in the media you consume for entertainment. Feel free to get enthusiastic about one’s fondness of anthropomorphic animals in cartoons and comics. Note that it is not yet time for porn.
- Third meeting: Gently break the ice that one enjoys dressing up in animal costumes on days other than Halloween and likes to visit conventions with others who feel the same. At that point, or at some point in the future, if the other person has mutual feelings about said costuming, perhaps share some non-porny art with your new friend and/or see if they might like to join you at one of these conventions.
- Once the other person has admitted to pantsfeelings involving said costumes: Bring on the freak, yo.
Just a thought. Now, to get back to the matter at hand…
Eyes glazed from temporary blindness, I staggered out of the studio, doing my best not to look like I was having a meltdown inside. As these were friends of a friend, I didn’t want to be hollering stuff like, “HOLY SHIT YOU GUYS WOULD NOT BELIEVE WHAT I JUST SAW” and disrupting the whole party. However, it was clear from the unspoken condemnation of my life choices burning in their eyes that my friends knew. Oh, yes.
Not wanting to be the rudest person on the planet despite having just had larger than life pictures of manimal dongs up in my face, I inched an agonizing path around the cheerful furries inviting me to come along to some convention with them while doing my best to avoid spouting out something horrible. I don’t remember exactly what I said but I do know the sounds that I made were civil. Which was goddamn Christmas miracle, if you know me and my mouth.
I’m all for people letting their freak flag fly, but if said flag involves introducing me to dick pics–even sketches of such–on the first date, I’m out.
Eventually, I got out of there, and my friends were almost not my friends anymore. Failing to take the hint was strike three.
And that’s why I’m not allowed to pick the stops on the Halloween party circuit anymore.