Okay, so after posting a poll on Twitter, it has come to my attention that everyone wants to know about my experience with boys, clubbing and drinking. Just a disclaimer, Mom and Dad, you already know my experiences so do not act like you don’t know any of this when you read the blog. Thanks 🙂
Well, where to begin. No offense to any young man from America, but British boys are a nice and refreshing scenery. For one, every young man doesn’t look the same as opposed to in Atlanta where every young man has the same fade, same sagging jeans and same “swagger”. It gets old and boring and quite frankly, I’m tired of it. Don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing more attractive to me than a young Black man in a suit, but seeing a wide variety of young men is pleasing to the eye as well. The young men here at the University of Sussex (or Sussex University – I’m not even sure which one it is really because they go by both which is really confusing to me) are very dapper looking and always make an effort to look fresh out of an issue of GQ Magazine. You can definitely tell the visiting/exchange students from the residents of Brighton. The British boys wouldn’t be caught dead in Adidas track pants and Yeezys. I don’t even believe I’ve seen anyone with sneakers, now that I think about it….
Now, I bet you’re wondering if Shonda has set her sights on someone in particular. The answer is no – well, at least not anymore. His name is Cody (his name isn’t really Cody, but for the purpose of protecting his identity and saving myself from humiliation, his name will be Cody) and he instantly caught my attention. He’s a first year undergraduate student and is studying History/Geography. For some reason, he reminds me of Edward Cullen from Stephanie Meyer’s Twilight but with more of a boy-next-door look. He stands about 6’1″ with skin as fair and delicate as snow and a smile of an innocent smile. Did I mention he lives right down the hall from me? Good Lord, I was in for it.
I have no problem admitting I fell for this kid as soon as I saw him, but they call it a crush for a reason. I liked him for about five seconds and got over him in about three. I didn’t really like him, I liked the idea of him. The idea of a clean British boy, something new, something exciting. I’m here for five months so I have plenty of time to capture one for myself. I’ve seen a few good looking Black boys here on campus and while they don’t quite have the Idris Elba charm, I think they can keep me quite happy throughout the duration of my stay.
In regards to the guy friends I’ve made here, their mannerisms remind me of my guy friends from back home. For one, they always come for each other’s lives as a way of demonstrating affection. However, instead of throwing subtle shade as we would in America, they shed light. They just put everyone’s business out there without any hesitation or remorse. I’d had to be a victim in their verbal battles. Overall, they’re pretty cool: they’re sweet, pretty funny and they know how to have a good time. I can see myself sticking around them during my time here at Sussex as an exchange student.
I actually cannot contain myself from laughing as I write this section of my post. I honestly cannot make any of these descriptions up if I tried. You know ILOVEMAKONNEN’s song, “Club Going Up on a Tuesday”, right? That’s actually a thing here. Going out on the weekends is rather unheard of because that’s used for travelling and getting over hangovers. The most popular days to go out are Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays with the occasional Friday night at a club named Shoosh. I hear that Runway Fridays are quite lit. Also, going out wearing soccer pants, a simple tank and a snap back is a no go. People dress up to party, even if it’s at East Slope Bar. I mean face beat, hair done, heels on and nails on fleek. I’m talking booty shorts and skimpy skirts that show your kitty cat in nearly thirty degree Fahrenheit weather…with mild wind gusts! Boy, did I feel out of place when I turned up in my Old Navy pullover and Forever 21 jeans.
So, my fellow Americans, I have an exercise for you. Imagine every popular dance that’s ever come out that you’ve done at a party, prom or family affair. Yeah, we don’t have that here. You could not imagine my disappointment when Watch Me by Silento came on in East Slope Bar and absolutely nobody knew how to whip or nae nae. And it’s not like they had another move to substitute it with. They just moved and swayed rhythmlessly to the beat of the music. When I say without rhythm, I mean they couldn’t catch it if you gave them a beat in a paper bag three inches away from them. Needless to say, I was the life of the party because I actually knew all of these dances and I was the most hyped person in the bar. I easily became the favourite and began dancing with almost every person on the nearly five feet wide dancefloor.
The way they dance…oh my goodness, you all would have a field day. You remember the wacky waveable inflatable arm flailing tube man from Family Guy? That’s them! I love that they have oodles of fun and don’t give a single damn about who’s watching or how hilariously ridiculous they look. They have the best time and I love that they really don’t care. Give or take, the liquid courage may have had a thing or two about their inability to dance, let alone stand up straight, but the partying here isn’t too bad. As far as being the only one who can dance, I kind of like the attention. Is that bad?
Y’all, I can’t do it anymore. Just the sight of Vodka makes me want to throw up now. I’m the type of person that doesn’t just stop whenever she feels. I’m rather hardheaded (and any of my best friends can attest to that). I have to basically hit rock bottom for me to get the point and not want to do something anymore. That’s what happened with me and drinking. I don’t want you, the readers, to think that I woke up in someone’s bed with an earring missing and no pants on, but let’s just say I lost my taste for alcohol.
For those Americans that don’t know, the drinking age here in the United Kingdom is 18 years old. For those students in England that don’t know, the drinking age in America is 21 years old. I just turned twenty about a month and some change back and you could only imagine my excitement when I came here and found out I could use my passport to by myself a cool Smirnoff Ice to go with my barbecue chicken burger and fries on the second day I arrived. Boy, say, I was so happy. I felt like Oprah! You get a shot, you get a shot, you get a shot, you all get shots!
One thing my friends and I bonded over was our drinking. I remember playing a bunch of drinking games during my first weekend here in Brighton. We all gathered round in the common room of my residence hall and played King’s Cup (my favourite drinking game), Red or Black and Beer Pong. I love Beer Pong, which is quite ironic considering I completely suck at it. There were so many drinks: Coke, Sparkling Lemonade (which is what they call Sprite here – and if you want a regular lemonade, you say Cloudy Lemonade), Vodka, English Beer, Strongbow, and I’m more than positive I missed a few others. When I tell y’all I hit the bottom and I hit it hard last week, I’m not even lying.
Normally, I have a rather bearable alcohol tolerance, but I guess after days of back-to-back drinking, my body was just like, “No, Shonda, we’re not doing this anymore. Not today”. Needless to say, I threw up and ever since then, I haven’t wanted to look, smell or even think about Vodka. Not a shot, not a sip, not a whiff. Nothing. I’m so over alcohol. I think I got a little too alcohol happy once I got here and I knew that I had the freedom to purchase whatever I wanted whenever I wanted.
Lesson of the Day: Know your limits.