Once upon a time (1978), in a land far, far away (upstate New York) there lived a young princess. In truth, she was not a real princess, rather, an Alpha Lamda Phi sorority girl, and she was determined to throw the greatest party in SUNY Cobleskill history.
She called her boyfriend to tell him the good news: We’re having a toga party!
But he, being a rather foolish creature, was too busy studying.
But it’s a TOGA party! She insisted. The best party Alpha Lamda Phi has ever thrown! Did I mention you get to wear a toga?
Despite his love of Animal House, he remained steadfast in his resolve (something about his physics professor excusing the top three students from their final exams). He attempted to convince the young sorority girl that by studying for this exam, he could skip the next one, thereby earning himself an extra three days off for the holidays to spend with her.
What he did not take into account was that she was studying horticulture, and that florists are in rather high demand around the Christmas holiday.
I’ll be working, she reminded him, and went off to endure they greatest party in SUNY Cobleskill history without her boyfriend.
She has never let him forget that he missed the Alpha Lamba Phi Toga Party, even though he did indeed score high enough on his exam to be exempt from the final. I know this because the sorority girl in question was my mother, the studious boyfriend my father, and the story comes up rather a lot in the Richter household.
For example (do you see where I’m going with this?) when I mentioned that Date #17 had declined my invitation to the annual Hooper’s Island Black Friday Martini Bar Soiree, my dad shook his head and asked, “Do you want me to call him up and tell him the toga party story?”
I did not (want my dad to call Date #17 and tell him the toga party story, that is) but the tale of my mother’s woe took on new meaning for me this past weekend when I was forced to endure martinis and Chesapeake sunsets without a date.
I suppose I could have invited the Man from Marshalls but I have learned from past experience that a bad date is worse than no date at all (and given my knack for entering into heated political “discussions” with the Man from Marshalls, I can only imagine what would have happened when I introduced him to my father).
And so instead, I went for a jog (making it an entire mile and a half before my lungs threatened to collapse), baked ginger snap cookies and made a new place card for our neighbor’s son’s new girlfriend out of regulation Martini Bar Soiree glitter.
To his credit, Date #17 did call me several times over the weekend (not because he was in a particularly chatty mood but because cell phone service is rather temperamental in the middle of nowhere). He explained that actually, he had to work on Black Friday, which struck me as completely preposterous seeing as he has a respectable job that does not involve catering to the hordes of holiday shoppers desperate to start burning through their credit cards at 4:00am.
But of course there remains the issue of Date #17’s ambition, as manifested in his rather enviable-yet-infuriating dedication to his GMATs— hence my dad’s offer to call him and say, “Dude, trust me on this one. Come to the party or you’ll never hear the end of it.”
The way I see it, I have three options:
1) Dump his sorry ass (this is always my brother’s advice, but my brother’s actually met Date #17, and actually likes him, so he’s advised me against my usual M.O. in this particular case) and give up on the prospect of meeting anyone decent here in Philadelphia,
2) Get over myself, accept that to some people, there are more important things than the annual Hooper’s Island Black Friday Martini Bar Soiree and give Date #17 another chance, or,
3) Ask Santa for a new subscription to Match.com for Christmas.