The first weekend of the quarter is almost upon us and I’m sure you too have been asked the popular question, “What are you doing this weekend?” I don’t know about you, but I’m going to party. Most of us have been away from this place for a week or two now, and what better way to bring in the Spring Quarter and welcome back our friends, than by partying together. I’ve learned a few things over the years in Santa Barbara, so before you pack the four-footer and break out the limes for my very dear friend JosŽ, humor me for a few moments and read on.

I assume that by now most everyone has gotten over the first-quarter freshman syndrome of equating one’s level of intoxication with one’s level of fun. My experiences dabbling in the area of inebriation have lead me to the conclusion that a more accurate correlation exists between one’s level of intoxication and one’s level of regret. I’ve thought about that proportional relationship numerous times (usually in a hunched-over position), as I nurtured my hatred for the number 151. I guess I’m no longer at the point where I think it’s fun to get totally blitzed out of my mind. I mean, I couldn’t have had that much fun if I can’t even remember half the night.

Yeah, I know we all have bad weeks and, at times, self-induced numbness serves as a consolation for the crap we have to deal with all week at work, at school, at work, at home (can I mention at work again?). But despite all the crap I have to deal with (at work), I really don’t want to get into the habit of drowning my sorrows in a bottle and risk becoming one of those people who spend all their time at a bar, but aren’t bartenders. To me, partying means having a fun time in (and because of) each other’s company. Drowning my sorrows is not partying.

To me, trying to hook up with anything wearing a thong isn’t partying either. Damn, I just lost all my Greek readers. I’m sure you know plenty of people who come home sad if they haven’t hooked up with anybody that night, as if their self-esteems are contingent upon how many mouths they can stick their tongues in. Well, I guess I’m just really fucked up in the head, because I’ve had great nights despite the fact that none of my orifices came into contact with those of anyone else. I guess I just can’t see why someone would rather settle for drunken, sloppy exchanges of bodily fluids than for spending time with people they really care about (with or without sharing orifices).

Now, I’m not saying that any of that stuff is wrong in and of itself. It’s just that when a peripheral part of the experience, say alcohol or sex, becomes the entire reason and focus of the party experience, it just doesn’t seem quite right. I don’t know, I guess I want to believe that there is more to partying than fucking and getting fucked up, though I’m sure many people would like to argue that isn’t true. But something inside this little heart of mine tells me that there is something more – something close, something real … something deep.

In any case, I will be partying this weekend. I’ll trot down the familiar streets of lonely dreams, lose myself in the crowd of countless bodies and nameless faces and brave the elements to socialize in awkward situations. But all the drinks, all the potential one-night stands, all the lights and music are not the reason that I’ll be out there. The only reason I’ll be out there is to have the time of my life with people like you. And as I make my way beneath the diamond sky and the flickering street lamps, while ocean waves choreograph their sounds with the sight of the waning moon that silhouettes the tiny figures dancing in the night, I’ll catch myself wondering if maybe, just maybe, the reason you’re out there is to be with me, too.

Michael Six Lee is a senior English major.