Sunday, 15 March 2009

ASUS Formal

Last night was ASUS Formal. Instead of going to bed, it appears I am instead going to relate how the evening went.

At some point I determined that I would be going without a date, per se. I was, however, going to be going alongside a friend (Caroline, for those who know her) who I have known for some time now and with whom I am quite comfortable. She is such a position that she hasn't "had a date in far too long," and so she said that she considered me to be her date. I could live with that.
I suppose I ought to tell you what the ASUS Formal actually is. It's essentially a university prom, for the Arts and Science students. This is the largest department in the university, so it's a pretty mixed bag, as far as attending students is concerned. All formals are themed, and this one was "The Prohibition Years: A Night of Madness, Moonshine, and the Mob."

Now, I have a white shirt, black pants, and a suit jacket. I also have black shoes, conveniently in another of my three homes (Ontario house #1). I also have undershirts to be worn with my white shirt, conveniently in yet another of my three homes (Alberta). I also have older and worn ties. THUS, I bought new undershirts and nice, snazzy black tie from a local department store, and borrowed black shoes from my housemate (and black laces from another housemate, because these shoes had a fairly ratty set). I then washed my clothes. Sadly, I arrived too late to save my white shirt from wrinkling in the dryer, and so had to run to the girls' place to iron it. We had some difficulties with this.

Fast-forward to the evening (the rest is me working, loafing, and dressing--no excitement). My date is in a vintage yellow dress with lots of poofy at the bottom, with classy long yellow gloves. We catch the bus at the JDUC and it takes us to the Portsmouth Olympic Harbour, where the Formal is. On the bus we run into an old friend (Josh) from our first year English class and his equally well-dressed date. We lament the lack of fedoras on both our parts. He demonstrates to me that he is keeping in the tradition of Prohibition with the flask in his jacket pocket.

The formal was excellent. The lobby has awesome 20s music playing (honestly, they knew how to make music in the 20s), and many of the girls were dressed in vintage dresses, with those feathery things pointing straight up from their hair. You know the ones. Sort of like in the picture to the left, only more from the middle of an architectural feat on the top of their head. Many of the guys wore gangster hats, at least one had a pimpin' stick, and some--especially guys working there--greased back their hair in a particularly retro fashion.

After briefly entering the dance hall, Caroline and I went for our free photos. Now, the photographer woman thought we were a couple, and this led to some interesting situations. Apparently it is not good for one's hands to be seen when one puts his arm around a girl for a picture. I did not know this. First I was told to put my hand not on her shoulder but down by her hip--I supposed this made sense. I was then instructed to put my hand "lower," at which point I was glad we knew each other. Then the photographer woman actually came over and physically moved my hand so it was squarely on her bottom. Caroline is close to giggling like a schoolgirl at this moment, and I was now particularly happy that we are close friends. I think the photographer woman was terribly confused about what we thought was so funny.

If the pictures come out funny, that's why.

Anyway, we adjourn back to the dance hall. At this point we've accumulated another member of our first year English course (Ahlya), who has been in some classes since then and is in fact being published in the anthology I've mentioned previously. At some point one of us remembers that we once, back in first year, took a picture imitating our first semester English professor, the excellent and quirky Professor Ware. Later that evening we used another of our free pictures to reproduce a similar pose, as we each struck a characterist Ware position.

There was food: veggie sticks, cheese, pitas and hummus, meatballs (these were truly excellent), and more. We also each got two free drinks with our "Moonshine" tickets. I used mine on Coke, of course, but most people got one of the number of mixed drinks available. There were tables, at which we sat and around which we mingled until the dance floor started to fill.

The music was all modern, of course, and the bass was a bit too high. The flashy club lights were also somewhat distracting, but not so much as the dirty dancing that went on. It was fun anyway.

What else bears telling? I saw lots of people from assorted classes there. There was Caliegh, and I was for the first time introduced formally to her boyfriend. I said that we had met before in that he had served me at the QP, and Jon had pointed him out to me. I had known of him then because he was dating Caleigh, and so I told him that I therefore had recognized him. Caliegh had taken off her heels and was just wearing flipflops. I told her that was clever, and she said, "That's what I thought!" in a slightly intoxicated version of her usual adorable way of speaking. There was Christine, who I've known since last year. (Do you recall a post ranting about a professor who didn't seem to grasp diversity in feminism? She was in that class.) She was in a backless red dress and I believe was there with her boyfriend, but I never did meet him. There was Alison, who I saw only briefly, because she had leave to play risk with her boyfriend, who had refused to go to the formal. There was Kerri, who I met this year in class and who came with a number of friends, including Adele and Krista, both of whom I know from other classes in previous years. There was Kevin, a former housemate of Caroline's, who had slicked back hair. He is a lot of fun. There was Igor, another former housemate of Caroline's and, even earlier than that, a former classmate of mine. He is quite gregarious. There was Elamin, who is easily one of the most well-known guys on campus, and his girlfriend Emily. Elamin was the one with the pimpin' stick. There was Abbey, one of the English Department Students' Council co-chairs, a classmate of mine, and one of the members of my Gael group way back in first year. There was Astrid, one of the tiniest girls I know. There was Goddard, of course, who both Jon and Karen know (for those who don't know him, you can look back a few posts to the one about my amazing weekend). My housemate's friend Erik was there. Two of my friends were on shift: Amy, who I know from American Literature this year (calm down, Jon: she's the tallish pretty Asian who sits to Snediker's right), and Jessica, a StuCon with whom I had two RELS classes last year. I am sure there are others I am forgetting--yes, Adam and Devon were there, both of whom will be published in the anthology and who seem to be dating, based on how they interacted on the dance floor. OK, but other than that there must be people I've forgotten. Regardless, I knew quite a diverse group of people there.

Because I was not with the regular "gang," I wound up hanging out with and talking to people I don't usually socialize with outside of school settings (as evidenced above). Most of these people I've never really socialized with or spoken to before.

At one point in the evening, they dropped balloons. We (that's Caroline, myself, and a bunch of girls who were friends with one of Caroline's friends) caught one of them and held onto it as the music played. The beat throbbed through the balloon in our hands; it was really cool, all holding one hand against this balloon as it buzzed between us.

We left at about two, which is roughly when the whole shindig ended.

Overall, it was a good night.

3 comments:

Jon Wong said...

I told you, "Christian knows everyone" is not exactly an overstatement.

Also, why would I get excited over Amy presence? She doesn't talk to me!

Oh yes, but I am glad you had fun.

Christian H said...

I meant more or a "You know everyone!" excited.

Cait said...

I'm glad that you had a good time :)

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