Going to clubs is quite a complicated ordeal. It’s one of those things that you really have to muster up energy for, and you are never genuinely sure if it is worth it. I don’t know that I’ve ever had a fully satisfying club experience, but I am still hit with a burning desire to go every now and again.
But okay. For starters, deciding what to wear is very tricky. Because you want to look nice, but you REALLY dont want to be one of *those* girls. And if you are from Long Island, you know exactly who I mean. The girls who manage to become identical for the evening, with their random shades of overprocessed, overstraightened, overpartedinthemiddle blonde hair. And the hair never goes with the skin tone, which varies but remains in the orange family, and is covered with tons of makeup, including, but not limited to, raccoon eyes to the nth degree. And they all have either pink tank tops and/or whatever style is most unflattering that season that is all the rage even though it doesn’t look good on anyone. A couple of years ago it was Andre the Giant tank tops. Last year it was those hideous tiny skirts with the ruffles that really should not have been resurrected since their death in 1990.
So you don’t want to be one of those girls, but you want to look good. And you don’t want to be too warm. And you want your hair and makeup to be a little more, since it’s a club and it’s all very glamorous in your head before you get there, but you don’t want it to be too high maintenance. And the shoes. It is VERY VERY hard to find shoes that make you taller, comfortable, dressy, AND able to dance. Next to impossible. But when all is said and done, you do what you can do, and hope for the best.
With that taken care of, once you get to the club, and make it past the bouncers, and, in the case of the China Club, metal detectors(!), you are in. You are there — The Club. And because we’ve all seen “Sex and the City” at least a couple of times, walking in feels exciting, what with the good beat for walking and your fresh hair and makeup that has yet to deteriorate.
It’s all good so far, but you then are faced with the decision of what to drink. And that, unfortunately, is where the cool points go out the window for many a club. Because paying $32 for a round of 4 drinks, two of which had no alcohol, made me very sad when I was at the China Club. So you have to budget. Bottled beer is the best to bring on the dance floor, but is it the biggest bang for your buck? Shannon and I have found that a shot of tequila with a beer for the floor works out pretty nicely. As long as youre not at China Club. Sorry, China Club. You kind of rule, otherwise, but your prices are so insanely ridiculous that I can’t see you anymore unless you do some kind of real drink special, and I don’t mean that BS one-hour open bar when you don’t even open for the first half hour.
Anyway. So then you have your drink, and you’re all set to go out and do your thing. You wait for a good song to come on, and if youre lucky, it will be a club that plays individual hip hop songs as opposed to that Mixmaster Mess of terrible dance songs extended 12 hours to be even terribler. But say the song is good, and you’re feeling it, and you’re having a good time dancing around. And then. THEN! You feel IT — The Shadow From Behind. The impending approach of a guy who really thinks it’s charming and sexy when he comes up from behind you and starts grabbing your hips and grinding into you. I used to live in fear of this, wanting to dance but worrying the whole time about what I would do when a guy would dance with me. So I instituted a policy. Now I just tell guys, “I dont touch.” One very very drunk guy responded to this in the following manner:
GUY: Well how about this? (touches my waist)
GUY: Okay, that’s cool, that’s cool. (pause, dance)
This? (touches my shoulder)
ME: No. No touching. I don’t touch.
GUY: There’s something wrong with you.
GUY: I feel sorry for you.
GUY: (huffily stumbles off)
So armed with this tactic, you’ve survived The Shadow From Behind. Now it’s time to deal with the Awkward Smalltalkers. And I’m not trying to be mean, here. I’m not talking about the guys brave enough to approach someone in general. I’m talking about the guys obviously just out for sex, and not even interesting about it. Conversation with Awkward Smalltalkers usually goes something like this:
GUY 1: So what’s your names?
SHANNON: (random lie)
GUY 2: Ohhhh, what do you do?
ME: I’m a proofreader. It’s very glamorous and exciting.
SHANNON: (random lie)
ME: What about you?
GUY 1: Blah blah blah.
GUY 2: Blah blah blah.
GUY 1: So, is your hair really red?
GUY 1: Cool. Me and my buddy here were thinking maybe,
you, uh, wanna dance?
And here is where you escape via the bathroom. Because you really do have to go, anyway. So you excuse yourself, and head forth. But, lo! There is the obstacle course to contend with. First, you must shove through drunk, loud girls who are falling backwards onto you and flipping their hair into your drink (another point for bottles). In addition, you must squeeze past guys who will pretend to not be able to move so they can cop a cheap feel. This is very annoying and pathetic.
Finally, FINALLY, you are in the bathroom. You must then wait on a line and watch women fall in and out of stalls, while someone yells about how so-and-so is such a bastard, and she can’t believe he slept with that whore, and she certainly can’t believe said whore had the nerve to show up that night, and the whore better watch herself or she’s gonna get punched in the face.
And so on, and so forth. Toilet seats are wet, half-empty glasses and beer bottles perch precariously all over the stall. But you prevail. And if you are lucky, you will meet Loving Drunk Girl, who will totally become your best friend for the remainder of the night. Lend her a hair tie, and she’ll shout randomly throughout the club about how you rule, and she’ll sing your praises to all of her friends, and you, being drunk yourself, will feel very special indeed.
Finally, the time has come to say goodbye. And you know this because if you are at Minnesota’s, you are hearing “I Had the Time of My Life” and Shannon is all prepared to do The Lift, no joke, and her Tasmanian Bedeviled friend is all ready to help her. But then the song is cut short, so no one ends up in the hospital.
And as you venture out into the balmy night, you gaze wistfully at the scene you leave behind. Where memories were made, and that really hairy guy managed to make out with the tiny sorority girl who’s been drunk since her first Cosmopolitan and is now asleep on the curb. Guys in white t-shirts yell into their cell phones about how their buddy totally beat up some guy and it rocked, ’cause his boys all had his back. And you will wander on into the night, tired, smelling like smoke, and grateful to be out in the fresh air walking with Shannon instead of tearfully arguing with your boyfriend like that girl on the corner.