Friday night I heard that one of the Real World: St. Thomas kids got kicked out of the house for drugs only a couple of days before filming wrapped. There is a large chance I am spreading baseless gossip, but the source seems legitimate and I see no reason why not to pass it along. People online have written that the shark talk guy (AKA porthole ears – see my previous post) left last week because of alcohol issues. I heard that the person who left was definitely kicked out because of drugs (for which MTV has a zero tolerance policy). Other comments I have found suggest that they are still in the middle of filming and have a month to go. Oh, the drama! Oh, the suspense! Oh, this is so much more interesting than cleaning up piles of wet sandy towels, shoes, and clothing from a beach birthday party!
Whatever the real facts are, I think I need a new hobby besides reading/researching random Internet babble written by people who seem to be intimately familiar with every Real World season (laundry procrastination notwithstanding). Already I feel too familiar with the 7 (or 6 now, I guess) who will be appearing on my TV soon. And by the way, I don’t know how MTV has put the fear of God into people on the island, but anyone connected to the show (or has a friend who is) starts every comment with ‘You did NOT hear this from me!’ and then looks over their shoulder.
Speaking of wet-towel-generating birthday parties, Megan’s Bay is the most popular place to have them, ‘all the way down on the left.’ Most of the people I have met on St. Thomas do ‘beach birthdays’ (at least for the little ones, don’t know about bigger ones yet) and usually they are at Magen’s Bay beach as there are ‘sheds’ (pavilions), plenty of picnic tables, shade from trees, parking, as well as a snack bar, beach bar, and store. As a local you pay only 2 dollars per adult to get in (4 otherwise), and nothing for children. It’s a gorgeous beach – National Geographic and Condé Nast Traveler have both named it one of the ten best in the world – and a pretty fabulous place to have a party.
Today has to have been some sort of record: we were at one of FOUR birthday parties for children between the ages of 3 and 5, at picnic tables right next to each other ‘all the way down on the left side,’ with people who all know each other – and it was not planned. The one we went to was the first to start, and by the time we left, the other three were also in full swing (piñatas, happy birthday signs and balloons in all the trees, and food and coolers all lined up). It was funny watching people get out of their cars, start walking with gifts and towels piled in arms toward a picnic table, then stop, clearly confused (‘wait, that kid is in my kid’s class, but so is that one over there at that table – where do we go? Whose party are we going to again?’). A couple of people even hung out at the wrong party by accident until the name of the birthday child was mentioned. It was no big deal as everyone shared food, toys, and children. When we were leaving (naptime!) my friend was busily bartering leftover cake for drinks from the ‘next-table’ party. And yet another thing I love about island living? It was a very rainy morning, but people go to parties regardless of weather – they just stand there with umbrellas until the rain stops.