Image courtesy of Rysac1. Licensed under CC BY 2.0.
This weekend was a nice reminder that–no matter how far away you move from your parents’ house–Atlanta will always be a little bit of a small town.
It started with a party invite. A coworker of mine was having a birthday party at which he was going to have a rented inflatable slip and slide, which–of course–meant that I RSVP’d yes. (Also may have done a small “huzzah, work socialization!” dance. As you do.)
I secured the cooperation of a friend to attend with me and facilitate small talk, as a) friends allow you to beat a hasty exit if needed, and b) she can charm the pants off of anyone, and is as a result a fabulous party co-attendee.
Armed with the address and our smart phones, we headed off Saturday afternoon. Having glanced at the directions earlier in the day, I had assumed that the place was near our workplace, west of me. It was not. In fact, finding it involved driving through West Atlanta, past Bankhead, and into quasi-wilderness that looked more at home on the highway than the Atlanta city limits. We passed three cemeteries before we passed a school. After the school, we passed a crematory.
It was a little alarming.
Eventually (after a few more cemeteries and a power station), we located the house. It was easily identifiable through the giant inflatable slip and slide full of happy drunk people.
The party was a delight. There was a keg of mid-level beer, I got to speak to my coworkers, and I got to watch the host drunk-skateboard down his driveway and into the slip and slide. While filming.
Later that evening, after toweling off and sobering up (with a stop at an art gallery in between, because I am occasionally a Hip Young Thing), I was chatting with another friend who had spent her day at a standup open mic, performing and hanging out with other comedians. I mentioned that I had spent the day at a slip and slide-containing party.
“Oh,” she said, “A couple of comedians that I know dipped out to go to one of those today.”
We paused, as there is no reason that her comedy folks should know my office job folks. It was decided that we both preferred to live in a world where-instead of Atlanta being a small town–there were simply dueling tropically-themed slip and slide parties happening that day.
As awesome as that would have been (so awesome), she sent me footage from one of the comedy folks later that night. Sure enough, it turned out that her comedy acquaintance had been at the same party as me–we just hadn’t crossed paths.
Though this is perhaps the less movie-awesome version of the party options (seriously, I want to start dueling water slide parties), I am kind of tickled that my friend and I were floating on the periphery of the same pool of young folks in Atlanta. It’s easy for me to feel isolated, and there’s something reassuring about knowing that–at some level–every 20-something in town with a tattoo or a side gig is playing some weird game of Kevin Bacon.