The first in a sporadic series of nightlife reports from our seasoned partygoer and would-be Carraway.
“I wasn’t even going to go out tonight. I need to get a snack.” So said co-best-dressed female Lauren Fabiano, on Saturday night’s “Gatsby” sophomore class semi-formal. Emphasis on semi; tonight’s guests seemed more James Gatz than Jay Gatsby, both in garb and in girls-over-here-boys-over-there- now-we-can-dance-a-foot-apart middle-school social networking.
Fabiano’s statement was further fulfilled, though, by the truly sumptuous spread of snacks. The planning committee did due diligence to our palates. The most luxurious crudite platter I had ever seen was buttressed by rich cheeses, tasty grilled chicken, and two chocolate fountains that somehow struck this correspondent as something other than a sugary trough, something a bit more West Egg. There was even a selection of juices and Italian sodasï¿½an homage to the two hundred citrus fruits Gatsby’s butler must eviscerate?
The musical selections were very au courantï¿½surely Fitzgerald did
not conceive of the unique spectacle that is “Souljah Boy.” But then, in the echoing space that is Low Library, even the best song of the decade got lost to the rafters.
There were some bright spots. The chocolate fountain, juice selection, and flower arrangements were Trimalchian in their elegance. Some of the female guests went all-out Daisy Buchanan flapper glamour, which was really fun.
Best-dressed chap: The young man who exuded such an aura of sexual tension and pent-up anger that your correspondent was unableï¿½or afraidï¿½to snap a photo of him. He wore a grey v-neck t-shirt and a gold chain. Who needs Gatsby in a world of Stanley Kowalskis?
There were a few more transcendent moments to this dance: The young man named Innokenty, who insisted that my friends and I were freshmen, and that we did not belong at this dance, but he’d let us stay. For a moment, I wanted to join an eating club – the feeling passed, thank heaven, but at least “Gatsby,” for me, had a moment of Jazz Age splendor. As we walked back around the rim of Low Library, I could see that the dancefloor had filled with my classmates. “Thriller” was playing, and the crowd seemed into it.
In Gatsbyï¿½the novel this time ï¿½Fitzgerald wrote: “Itï¿½s a great advantage not to drink among hard-drinking people. You can hold your tongue, and, moreover, you can time any little irregularity of your own so that everybody else is so blind that they donï¿½t see or care.” While I had had fun, and held my tongue, perhaps the real fun was to be had among the revelers doing the Souljah Boy. Am I too jaded, too Nick Carraway in my complaining about the lighting and sound system and crowd, when what I really need to be is that guy in the library marvelling that the books are all real? (This is all ludicrously college-sex-column writing, I know, but I was always more Carrie Bradshaw than Carry Nation. I had to wonder…) I don’t know, and maybe I’ll figure it out as I report on more parties. But I do know that if everyone’s blind to my irregularities, I’ll be standing by the chocolate fountain.