Monday, November 12, 2007

Last Call for Know-It-Alls

Tonight, the Service Line Planning team went on a field trip to Trivia Night at Fado. The trivia was actually pretty tough tonight-- BrainStormer is a fickle mistress-- but we ended up holding our own. In the bathroom just prior to the announcement of the final scores, I heard someone say there was a four-way tie for last place, and I almost demanded that we leave early before we were forced to accept the prize for notable suckitude. As it turned out, though, we ended up right near the middle of the pack-- not my finest trivia hour, but not a catastrophic failure. And I blame part of the lackluster performance on the "assholes who don't seem to care that they paid $300 to see Brice Springsteen tonight," as our oh-so-eloquent Quiz Mistress put it.

As happy as I was to go, and as much as I still love BrainStormer, it was much stranger than I thought it would be. I spent six months trekking to Anna Liffey's every Tuesday night, stalking bar patrons until they gave up their chairs, drinking Newcastle from a coffee glass (that was only about two months-- a story of for another day), and arguing with my friends and the bartender about the answers-- only to wander home in a pack, up Grove Street and through Cross Campus, sometimes to Ivy Noodle, most times to the Cottage to watch Sports Night. It was a huge part of senior year. We planned our Tuesday nights-- and, to he honest, our Wednesday mornings-- to account for our weekly pilgrimage to Whitney Ave.

So it's safe to say that I put Trivia Night at Liffey's, with a team of Dporters and Bobby Shaw, on a pedestal. I knew this. But tonight it hit me exactly how much I compare new experiences to old ones. To be perfectly honest, I judge. A lot. The Quiz Mistress-- though quite funny; the feminist side of me was pretty happy that a funny, snarky woman was running the show-- just wasn't as surly as the Quiz Master back home. Seriously-- she offered to repeat the questions at the end of the round. Everyone knows that you get the questions twice and only twice, and if you don't hear them, tough shit. The matching round was really hard, and it would have been nice to have a little help from our favorite bartender. We needed a sports expert at least three times, and in one case a Yankees fan would have been especially clutch-- and I know that guy, and he would have been at Liffey's.

And who thought it was a good idea to make the team size unlimited? This isn't 'Nam; this is trivia. There are rules.

That said, the D.C. trivia faithful lived up to my team-name expectations. Granted, they had it easy with the writers' strike this week, but some of them really went above and beyond. Though I hereby swear to revive some of the greatest hits from Liffey's, including but not limited to "In the Soviet Union, trivia plays you."

But I also need to dedicate some energy to thinking of new names. I'm not a college senior with no class on Wednesdays anymore. And even though I can appreciate that time and miss it a little-- and I plan to do so for a while-- I can't judge my new life and my new experiences against some gold standard I construct from the past.

That said, I have some serious trepidation about Harvard-Yale-- my whole "Yale football crashing and burning in the second half" prediction aside. I have been building this weekend up in my mind for... probably about a year. This is supposed to be the greatest weekend since graduation, our homecoming. And I have hyped it in my mind to a point at which I'm not sure it can meet my expectations. I live in Washington now; I should know about managing expectations.

But unlike the trivia thing-- which I expected to be great, because what could be more perfect and universal than pub quiz?-- I actually think I'm a little reasonable about The Game. I have a very clear label-- I'm an alumna now. I don't have to help load the U-Haul at 7:00 a.m.; I just have to show up around 9:00 and start drinking. And even though I hope a lot of it will be the same, I know that something will be different. Like, for example, I'm going to look at 25 percent of the people and say "Who the Hell are you? When did they start admitting 12-year-olds? Oh, you're a freshman."

I got my ruby-red, peep-toe pumps back from the shoe-repair place, but I'm pretty sure I can't click them and go back to last year. Sounds like I better go shopping for something a little more sensible. Or just different.

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