As I began my freshman year of college in August 1996, America was a different place. Bill Clinton was in the White House, the internet was just starting to become a thing, and this was the top song on the Billboard chart:
That’s right, Los del Rio’s opus Macarena was the most popular song in America. Keep in mind that this wasn’t ironic; people really liked the song.
Going to college was one of the few times in my life where I actually embraced a major life change. I had grown so sick of high school that I welcomed a chance to live in a new city with a bunch of people I didn’t know. Perhaps more importantly, those people didn’t know me.
Just about everyone was a stranger to each other, so friendships quickly formed – and sometimes just as quickly vanished. For instance, my best friend for a couple of weeks was a guy named Greg. We often amused ourselves by wandering around the dorm, meeting new people.
In the freshman dorms, the general rule of thumb was that if the door to your room was open, that was an invitation to come in and say hello. One night, we decided we wouldn’t just say hello. We were going to make our presence felt in a big way.
Armed with a copy of the Los del Rio CD, we’d march into a room, put the CD into their stereo (Back in 1996, EVERYONE had a CD playing stereo in their dorm room), and announce, “It’s time for the all-night Macarena party!” And sure enough, we’d begin performing the signature dance.
Amazingly, most people just shrugged and joined in. A few of them even came along with us as we moved on to other rooms. By the end, we had a pretty good-sized group. I’m not sure there’s another environment where this would happen besides a college freshmen dorm.
Despite those good times, Greg and I were not destined to be BFFs. I don’t recall exactly what happened, but we had been drinking, and some sort of stupid argument developed into a full-blown fight. We eventually apologized to each other, but we never really hung out much after that.
But hey, we’ll always have the Macarena.
This post has been part of the Blogging from A to Z April Challenge. In case you couldn’t tell, today’s letter was L and the topic was “Los del Rio”