The Perks of Being a Sober Wallflower

This post is by the Honest College intern Megan Simpson (Chapman University).

I’m not going to lie and say “this will happen to everyone!” because, the truth is, some people are hardwired to mingle.

However, for those of you (like me) who tend to take a more voyeuristic approach to parties, let me just fill you in on some benefits you may (or may not) have known existed.

Sidenote: This doesn’t necessarily mean attending a party in which you are one of the only people (or the only person) who hasn’t had anything to drink- you’d need a “Perks of Being a DD” article… I should write one of those. But I digress. This article can be for sober or slightly intoxicated college kids who may just have a difficult time… well… conversing.

Here’s what’s to look forward to:

My friends pile on top of me because I'm sitting in a chair against a wall at a party

– Chances are, you’ll avoid making snap (and stupid) decisions. If you’re drunk, you’re probably talking to everyone. Or at least the people you came to the party with. When your drunk, the worst thing you can do (second to getting behind the wheel of a car) is talk to other drunk people.

Honestly, they’re just going to try–and probably succeed–to talk you into doing some idiotic dare. That’s how people die. And get expelled. No people to talk to, minimal spontaneous actions.

– You can find out practically all there is to know about anyone you’d like. Normally, this would be considered stalking or spying or just eavesdropping, but when everyone is yelling over the loud music and you have no choice, it’s actually somewhat entertaining.

A word of caution: don’t make yourself obvious. That’s the point of being a wallflower, right? To be just a little invisible.

– No smalltalk. There are always awkward situations with acquaintances and old friends at parties. If you’re talking up a storm in the center of the room, people are naturally drawn to you… especially all those people you have absolutely no interest in talking to. If someone you don’t like approaches you while you’re playing the “wallflower card,” it’s much easier to make excuses like “I’m going outside,” “Sorry, trying to find the bathroom,” or “I was just leaving.”

Though its true, ladies, that strange creepers are more likely to approach you when you’re alone. Hopefully you’re just hanging out on the wall and did not come to the party completely alone. In these uncomfortable situations, try to quickly latch on to a friend (I’ve always found to run to either a group of girlfriends or at least one of your guy friends.)

– You get to tell everyone exactly how they acted the next day. I don’t know if it’s a little evil or not, but I always take just a teensy bit of pleasure from telling my friends some of the less-than-college-level-intelligent things they said and did the previous night. Being the self-imposed “fly on the wall” gives you the 11am privilege of painting the picture for the others. Watching your friend’s (or perhaps a “frienemy’s”) hungover facial expression change from exhausted to embarrassed is a memory you won’t soon forget.

This is also a good time to tell them you’ll watch their back more carefully next time. (I don’t think I need to remind you all to step in if you see your friend about to do something really stupid, like ruin-their-college-careers-and-or-lives stupid.)

And there you have it! (On a totally different note for a second: your elementary school teachers were wrong, you can totally start a sentence with “and.” I’m an English major… trust me). Consider these perks the next time you’re in an uncomfortable social situation… they may make you want to be a wallflower at every “major rager.”

Okay, so being the center of attention is probably better, but I’ve had some great freakin’ times being what I like to secretly call the “party supervisor.” Man, if those walls could talk… well, no one would hear them because obviously I’m in their way.

Article by Megan Simpson

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