After graduation, like so many of my young, ambitious peers, I moved back in with my parents. It's just like high school except I'm now in the cold, dusty basement because my old room is a "home office" and I'm officially a loser. My parents feign excitement of 'having me around' but they are generally concerned and curious if I'll ever get my act together. I'm pretty sure we all know I'm back home to continue to "live the dream" and avoid reality at all costs.
"I pretend I'm Billy Madison. But there is no bubble bath. And no swan."
After a couple weeks of "getting organized" and reconnecting with my folks, I start sending my resume out to a bunch of companies. I'm feeling disciplined and focused- "I'll land a job and be out of here in a few weeks, no problem," I say to myself. Then suddenly at 6pm on a Thursday, I hear a commotion upstairs and its the first sign that things might not be all that they appear with my parents and their seemingly normal social life.
The loud voices and sounds of feet clacking on the hardwood floors reminds me of a flamenco dance hall. Maybe it's an in-home ballroom dancing class? I put on my headphones to cancel out the noise and continue my online job hunting in the dark basement. When I take off my headphones a couple hours later, there’s music blasting upstairs and there is a serious raucous going on. "What the hell are those assholes doing up there?" I say to myself as I get up to go investigate the situation upstairs...
"This was my dad's move. It will haunt me forever."
I find 20 visibly intoxicated people in their 50's - dancing, drinking, having snacks, and stringing up a piñata - except it’s got the NIPYATA! logo bright and spectacular across the sides. "How do these old fogies know about NIPYATA!?" I wonder to myself. I grab a beer and talk to an old friend of my mom’s and just hangout while everyone gets ripped and on the 4th person’s turn, the NIPYATA! explodes and people dive to the floor in a frenzy to have a shot and read a ‘NIPYATA! Fortune.’ An old friend of my dad’s yells out “I’m gonna get goosed tonight!” Everyone laughs and an hour or two later, the last person leaves. My parents mention it was a friend’s birthday so it was just a little birthday party. I hug them goodnight and have a nice buzzed laugh together, then call it a night.
Friday morning, there’s some sluggishness about the house. A coffee and some breakfast and everyone is on their way to work, errands, meetings, etc. I've got some housekeeping to take care of, and I'm meeting an old friend for drinks and dinner, so I'm out of the house around 3pm.
When I get back around 10pm, there’s nowhere to park at the house because there’s about 7 cars lined up on my road and in the driveway. When I walk in, there’s the same 15-20 people, music blasting, NIPYATA! debris all over the floor, people sipping on nips, a bunch of hors d’oeuvres , and about 10 empty bottles of wine. My dad, sporting a black tank top, comes over and says ‘How was dinner!?’ in a loud, exclamation.
"Black tank top. So hot right now."
At this point I'm a little concerned. I tell my dad that I'm confused about another party and another NIPYATA!, but my dad explains that "it just lined up that way with a friend’s retirement party." I decide to join in for a little, but when things get awkward with Mrs. Robinson, I'm forced to retreat to the basement.
Saturday morning is a bit more rough and I'm excited to get out of the house as quickly as possible for college football. I've had enough awkward moments with my parents and their friends the past few days. However, when I return at 6pm and walk in the door, my parents are stringing up YET ANOTHER NIPYATA! Fear has officially set in.
"This is Sussudio, a great, great song, a personal favorite."
They explain that they hadn’t thrown me a graduation party and that a bunch of my friends are coming over to celebrate – a ‘surprise’ graduation party (kinda). “Well, that’s super nice.” My friends arrive and the evening goes great. NIPYATA! explosion, more nips, more music and food. The NIPYATA! is a huge success. Nips are flowing like fine wine.
Sunday morning arrives like a nail gun to the head. I sneak out of the house early and head into my friend’s apartment to crash Sunday night because my interview is in the city and the commute Monday would’ve been ridiculous. Monday at about noon, I'm feeling great. Interview done, went well, and now back home to wait for that call.
When I arrive home, there’s a mess on the front porch, the kitchen is in disarray, and yet again, some NIPYATA! innards are strewn about. My parents are sitting on the back porch having coffee and relaxing. “Hey Ben, ohhhh man you missed a good one last night! Tom bashed the donkey’s head right off and it flew across the room and hit mom in the tit! HAHAHAH!” They are both hysterical.
I'm just in shock. No words.
"Who are these people. What did they do with my real parents?"
“Guys, what is going on?! That’s four days in a row of ridiculous partying, and a NIPYATA! every night!? You can’t be doing that. What’s the deal?!” I protest. Have they gone off the deep end?
My dad quickly replies, “Right?!? Yea, but they’re just so much fun! Now go get changed and help us clean up. Tom’s coming over in a couple hours with Debra, Steve, John, and Sarah, and they’re bringing another Stay Classy Burrito NIPYATA! We’ve got a band that’ll be here at 6pm.”