I literally cannot see one thing. I kind of feel like I’m going to suffocate, my eyes are burning, and it feels like people are sliding off of me from every direction as I look up, trying to get a moment’s breath without inhaling the foam that’s falling from the sky.
More hurricanes? Nope. Snowstorm? Definitely not. But a foam party? REALLY? Is this a frat house? Yes, basically.
At the weekly Thursday foam party at the Grand Oasis Hotel, I originally arrived alone, yet it seems as though as soon as you’re in a bikini covered in foam everyone wants to be your friend. It sounds a lot hotter than it is, since while dancing to sped-up Spanish techno I’m often hacking up foam as I desperately glance around looking for my sister. Apparently, some foreigner disagrees as he asks me to be in a picture with him, scantily clad and covered in foam.
Finally I spot her, DANCING ON THE DAMN STAGE. I can’t believe this kid. She pulls me up, and soon I’m on the stage too and nearly sliding onto the floor and breaking my neck. Foam is flying out from the sky, and it seems that within minutes, I’m surrounded by best friends whose names I will never know. I don’t really like getting to know people at clubs anyway, because I feel disrespectful to my expensive education while telling them about my Honors thesis and my studies while being fed drinks.
Needing a break from the foam, I sit off to the side with my new friend Peter, who is from Kansas and obviously so with the pull in his voice. I’m not sure what it is about me, but strangers always want to tell me personal information and soon he’s telling me about his alcoholic best friend and his mother’s death and his broken engagement. I never mind hearing stuff like this, but it seems odd to me that you’re supposedly so much older and more mature and revealing so much to a total stranger.
Getting a little restless talking to the same person, I’m missing my days at home when it’s almost too easy to say my roommate is looking for me or some other bs excuse. When I look back to the stage, my sister is kissing some rando and someone is filming it, and upon further inspection, lots of other randos are doing the same.
I know all these people are on vacation and looking to have fun, as I am too. But this all feels like a scene that I’m too old for. I’m actually jealous of the obvious couple dancing and a group of girls together with no boys to bother them. It’s not that I don’t think Peter is cool or nice, but his trying to hold my hand or tell me I’m pretty feels insulting, like he thinks I’m dumb enough to fall for it and go home with him.
When I see my sister, she tells me that she is ready to leave and I’m thankful. I tell Peter goodbye and I was glad to meet him, and when he goes in for the kill I look away and hug him instead and say maybe I’ll see him at the pool tomorrow. I actually feel a little guilty leaving him inside on a bench by himself nursing two pineapple tequilas, but then I remind myself his name probably isn’t even really Peter.
My sister is with two boys who go to USC, and I’m glad to be with people who don’t want anything from me and feel like my own friends. They bring us some drinks and even though they seem nice, I throw mine in the garbage when they’re not looking as we walk home. I see my sister gulp it down and it makes me nervous for when she goes to school.
We jump in the pool with the two boys, Zach and Gabe, to wash the foam off. A security guard yells at us because it is after hours at the pool, so Gabe asks us to go to the beach.
A few months ago, I probably would have kissed Peter, feeling like I owed him a little for hanging out with me and calling me pretty. A few months ago, I also would have followed Gabe and Zach to the beach, eager to prove to these people that I’ll never see again that I’m fun and exciting enough, even though it’s 3:30 am and I’m ready to take a shower and go to bed. I would have relished in being around people I don’t know, people who are new with no known flaws. But today, in beautiful Cancun, surrounded by beautiful people, I really just don’t care. I feel simultaneously too young and too old to be jumping in an ocean with could-be serial killers at 3:30 am, and for the first time I can remember, I sigh with relief when my sister tells me she is ready to go home.
I don’t know if it’s the want for more important travel than a boozefest in Cancun or the want for more important people anywhere. But for a few hours, I just want to settle for a little.