I can’t say if this is universal to all college parties, not having frequented many in my lifetime, but I can say that there is one fate that befalls all non-drinking visitors to West End 106D, or “The Snack Shack” as it is known.
When you go to a college party but you don’t drink, it causes some total failure in the minds of those around you to understand what should be done with you. It has been rendered utterly unacceptable to have hands that are vacant, even if that is the way they were five seconds before entering the party. Everyone must have something in their hands, and if it’s not going to be alcohol then, by God, it’s going to be a cup full of water. And this is not going to be a cup cut from the same shiny red plastic that the rest of your peers are so lovingly chugging from. No, for some reason for which science still has no explanation, water can never, ever be served out of a solo cup that would allow you to pass unnoticed through the landscape of the rager. No, you’ll be getting water in a cup from the kitchen, a real cup, and it will be the biggest, most obtrusive, most obviously non-alcoholic cup you have ever encountered. And this cup, once in your hand, will radiate uncoolness like a Beacon of Sobriety against the red sea of Heathen Beverages for the rest of the night, allowing all with whom you come into contact to understand that you are both less chill and a good deal more sober than them. I have had a long-standing relationship with this cup. The Dork Cup, I affectionately call it.
The Dork Cup and I have a close bond, navigating parties together, both more-than-slightly awkward and out-of-place. And we continue to navigate long after all the water in the Dork Cup has been drunk, because unlike a Solo cup the Dork Cup cannot simply be thrown away at the user’s discretion. The Dork Cup is a responsibility and its owner has an obligation to look after it for the remainder of the night.
The Dork Cup then becomes the source of a subtle, yet constant, frequency of low-level aggression in its caretaker. This stems primarily from the fact that its caretaker, namely me, has made a night-long commitment to losing one half of her allotted hands for hours on end. When you’re given the Dork Cup, it changes you. That hand is no longer yours, but belongs to Dork Cup. You are no longer you.
You are Dork Cup.