College parties ain’t what they used to be

Went to Colorado this weekend to accomplish a few essential things, including seeing the  house we rented.  We are re-entering the world of renters for one year until our office is established (*crossing fingers*) and we have a better idea of where in Boulder we want to buy.  We had to rent the house sight unseen except for the numerous pictures the property manager e-mailed to us.

I was going to look at this as sort of revisiting our college days but it seems some things have changed.  For example, did you know you can “register your party”?  There was a little postcard size flyer in our rental information packet that says, “Your friend got drunk and peed on the neighbor’s lawn.  Your music woke up the baby.  Neighbor complained.  Go Directly to Court OR Register Your Party @  __ Party Registration.”  I wonder what that means.  I don’t drink anymore, and our get-togethers hardly raise an eyebrow much less attract attention from the neighbors, but now I want to have a wild party just to find out how this works. Plus, relying on this postcard, I can probably use the defense of entrapment should criminal charges result.

Seems like this little service might be cheating today’s college students, though.  I mean, isn’t having the cops called on your party a proverbial rite of passage?  I’m not sure how you become a real adult without that happening at least two or three times.

All is not lost, though.  They also anticipate those who might  neglect to register their party, and therefore, also include a sheet entitled “How to Throw a Great Party OR (how to avoid having the Cops or Enforcement show up).” It purports to dispel certain Myths about parties by explaining the corresponding Reality.  This was awesome and assured me that while I may have grown up, I am not one of THOSE grown-ups just yet.

Myth – We need loud music so people will have a good time. – You’ll notice it takes seven Reality attempts (all of them futile) to dispel this one.

Reality – 1) People actually like to talk to and meet others at parties. – Perhaps, if the party consists of dinner and tickets to the symphony.  But conversations surrounding a keg, jello shots and beer bongs require loud music.  

2) Some music is ok, but check outside occasionally to see if it can be heard a couple of houses away. – I don’t know for sure, of course, but when I was in college I think people going ‘a couple of houses away’ during a party, weren’t checking on whether they could hear the music.

3) Turn off the music as it gets later. –  The lack of definition as to “later” seems problematic.  Just a thought.

4)  Some neighborhoods are more tolerant than others.  Talk to your neighbors and see what the neighborhood will bear. – Yes, because defending yourself against ‘we already told them we wouldn’t tolerate this crap’ is exactly where you want to start when the police arrive.

5)  Understand that the neighbors are going to tolerate a party once per year, but not once each week. – I think we tried Pavlov’s approach instead, trying to condition the neighbors into a kind of submission.  It seems they explain why that was unsuccessful with the next Reality.

6)  Just because your neighbors didn’t complain about the last party, doesn’t mean that they can’t call and complain now. – Funny, I remember indignantly thinking ‘the last party was WAY bigger than this and they didn’t complain then!” 

7) If someone calls to complain about the party, make rapid, dramatic changes.  If the neighbors get some quiet by asking you, they won’t call the police as quickly.  And they are doing you a favor. – If someone is calling to complain about the party, you’re not going to hear the phone over the loud music.  See above.

Myth: Let’s start a live band at 11 p.m. because no-one goes out before then. – I wouldn’t know about this as no-one I knew could afford a live band. We had to settle for a stereo and open windows and doors. Today’s generation is soft.

Reality: A live band in a residential area is never a good idea.  Noise is the main reason neighbors call the police about a party – Next is likely peeing outside, which is covered in the next myth.

Myth: The outdoors is one big bathroom.

Reality: Don’t get caught with your pants down.  Urinating outside is illegal, unsanitary and well … just plain rude. – I spent one particular Spring Break in Panama City Beach.  Several girlfriends and I drove down, along with a couple of other cars filled with college kids we knew.  While on the beach drinking out of beer bongs (implicating several Myths, I realize), a police officer walked up with one of our wayward crew and complained he’d caught our friend peeing outside.  He asked, with a disapproving tone, if we made a habit of such behavior.  Apparently, drinking brings out an unfortunate honesty in me b/c it seems I explained to him that we had just driven across several states and had stopped and peed on the side of the road several times (I’m assuming I didn’t mention that we were drinking beer the whole way but at that point, anything was possible).  It was the beginning of a week filled with debauchery and in which peeing outside was the least of many illegal, unsanitary and just plain rude acts … sort of like a college party.  Pick your battles, people.

Myth: We can be as loud as we want if we invite the neighbors.

Reality: Notifying and/or inviting the neighbors doesn’t mean that they have to put up with your noise. – They’re doing college kids a disservice by telling them this one.  I have found that surreptitiously offering pizza to the hotel staff in exchange for overlooking the pool party of 20 children is an invaluable tool learned from the days of offering unlimited beer and alcohol to the neighbors.


This entry was posted in Boulder. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *