By Allie Hahn and Colm Cross
We had always talked about how we wanted to do 99 Days our senior year, the annual contest where seniors are challenged to go to The Tombs and get a drink or bite to eat every day for the last 99 days before graduation.
We had heard the stories, seen the plaques and wanted to be a part of the tradition. What we didn’t know was what 99 Days would become and what it would ultimately mean to us.
Firstly, we didn’t know that 99 Days actually turned into 133 days for us. We have been to The Tombs every day since the end of Christmas Break, or for 95% of those days. We’ve made that trek from Burleith to the corner of 36th and Prospect every day (mostly nights), minus five days for spring break and four for Easter. On nights when our friends happen to be at The Tombs before us, we will receive confused texts or calls. It is simply expected that by 11:30 p.m. each night, Allie and Colm will be sitting at the bar, side-by-side. So, we must ask, “Why?” Why have we spent countless hours and (yes) thousands of dollars there?
To really understand why we go each and every day — not for a soda and not for a single drink to just check in — you have to see The Tombs as something more than any old restaurant or bar. The Tombs is home. It’s home from the moment we greet the doormen to when we’re sitting at the bar chatting with the bartenders, and it’s home when we say goodnight to everyone after close.
The Tombs is full of amazing, fascinating individuals with whom we have grown close over this past year. We have formed friendships with people we otherwise would have never gotten to know, people who we now go to The Tombs just to hang out with.
The Tombs is where we’ve gone to celebrate friends’ birthdays, successes in or acceptances to school, job offers and victories in soccer or trivia. We have gone there to have a drink after a long day of hard work. We’ve watched and celebrated as the basketball team achieved unthinkable success and subsequently shed tears at the bar after that loss in the tournament. Even on slow nights when we’ve casually stopped by, friendships have been formed, laughs have been had and memories have been made. This is the magic of The Tombs. Each night can bring new experiences and each visit is completely unique. We even brought our parents so they could understand why we spend so much time there each day. And they do. They see how special The Tombs is, and how it really is more than just a bar.
So, for us, our motivation for being in the 99 Days Club was not simply to have our names immortalized on The Tombs wall — although that is pretty great. It’s about the memories we’ve made, the new friendships that have been started, the old ones that have been strengthened and the countless good times we will never forget. 99 Days is about the people, the experiences and the fun. It represents the coming together of everything our senior year has meant to us — all wrapped up in a single semester. And as the school year comes to a close, with graduation just a week away, we are now realizing that saying goodbye to The Tombs might be just as hard as saying goodbye to the friends we’ve made throughout our years at Georgetown.