I was feeling a little out of my element - most of this crew (namely the grad students) are quite close and spend a lot of time together, and outside of staff meetings and vent sessions in the office over shared research-related frustrations, I really haven't gotten to know many of them very well.
Dinner was at Elizabeth's, which felt like a total throwback to my freshmen year when we didn't realize there was more to Winston than University Dr. (And with Pancho's and Rose's on UD, did we really need more than that? Nooope.) Afterwards, we went back to the one of grad student's apartment to drink and apparently, greatly expand my learning curve of drinking games. You know when you should learn these things? When you're 20. Not when you're 26 and imbibe, oh, say once a lunar cycle. Low tolerance does not a good Zumi Zumi contender make. (Note: that is not us in the togas. This was just to give you a visual reference of the extreme coordination and concentration required by said game.)
As the party wore down, Shub (the groom) begged out of going to the strip club and said he just wanted to go out downtown. Somehow, because I've lived here forever I became in charge of the post-apartment festivities.... and in case you're wondering fellow alums, taxi service in Winston still sucks. Never before have I missed pledges so fervently.
We went to Tap Room, which is usually good balance of non-sketchy townies (the antithesis of Burke St) and older undergrads (the antithesis of Burke St). But the crowd was very light, and the crew I came with started dropping one by one. We summoned Victor, our new favorite cabbie to come pick us up. Here's a WS survival tip: if your cabby actually delivers you safely to your destination without stopping to make a drug deal or pick up his friend, you have a good cabbie and you should get his name and phone number in order to ensure your safe return. Victor delivered us to IHOP.... yes IHOP, more undergrad nostalgia, and then full on pancakes and coffee, we called the night quits.
I had a great time, because I really haven't gotten to know any of the grad students and it was really nice to actually TALK to them and not just pass them in our all-too-narrow hallways and make HES-themed small talk, like oh hey, off for a run? It's very easy, here in Winston with it's small town feel, to not step outside your comfort zone socially. It's part of what I love about living here, becuase I oh so quickly got over the meet'n'greet scene of DC. I am glad I went nipped my homebody desires in the bud and, as first grade as this sounds, feel like I made some new friends. However I must say, if there are future social engagements, we're going to have to skip any kind of shots that involve flames - I'm pretty sure there's a maximum legal drinking age for those. And it's 23.
Here drink this. Oh and just ignore the flames...