“Look at them! It’s like the Titanic all over again!” I say, as my friend and her non-Mertonian boyfriend stand in the Porters’ Lodge, in subfusc, frozen as the porter chants, “Sorry, no Bod card, no entry.” Time is ticking, as my hand holds the door open, metres away from a quad of backwards- walking, port-drinking Mertonians saving the universe. “Run!” she cries, grabbing her boyfriend and throwing herself through the doorway. And they are gone, into the early morning air, port bottles thrust open as they run.
For those of you who do not know the event I am referring to, it is the Merton Time Ceremony, an hour spent laughing at how hilariously ironic we are.
A week before Merton Time Ceremony we must apply for permission, if we wish to host a party. I was hoping not to accentuate the Merton stereotype, but that’s that plan out of the window. Approval achieved, and the day arrives. I hurriedly make paper chains out of torn up Yellow Pages, heap cups on the side, and begin the dispute over music (Pink Floyd vs Les Mis, Chet Faker vs vintage pop).
A wine-bottle-posing-as-vase sits on the side, holding dying flowers. The same housemate who last week flirted with sincerity has doused those flames; once more all is “far too hipster”. 8.30pm. People trickle in. Nervous eyes flick from watches to faces. Dribbling people clutch onto their dignity-destroying mixes. And then we are bombarded. A boy struts past my ground-floor room, tossing his empty bottle into my bin. “You haven’t put it in the recycling!” I cry. “You, COME BACK AND PUT IT IN THE RIGHT BIN.”
By 2am I am a sobered drunk, observing. A friend who has vacated many dance floors with his urge to spew, delicately chooses a quad corner next to my tutor’s office. Sides of the quad are held by drunken wars and tears, voices projected into each other’s ears. My Australian-Jewish-Grad-Friend is deified, drunk girls stroking his alternative and chic arms as he looks on. Nearby, a fresher is led over to drink some water.
Tableaus spill from stone to stone. I realise I have never been the most sober at an event. I am unsurprised the next morning when I hear that a fresher told my housemate that I seem a “grumpy bitch”.
She’s not the only person a resting bitch face haunts.