I met a few of my girlfriends Saturday night for a birthday celebration; no…thankfully it wasn’t my birthday. It was one of my more physically fit, slightly older than me, lady friend’s designated birth-iversary. We were celebrating her 25th birthday, which we’ve been celebrating for the last 10 years. She has the energy of a Crystal Meth addict, but much nicer teeth and is the driving force of socialization amongst my group of friends. Every group of friends has one of these, a planner. She orchestrated the gathering at a local nightclub. A few years ago, I made it a point to avoid clubs, just as a general practice. I claimed that I did this because I had evolved and was over staying out until six in the morning. But, Saturday it was apparent to me that I was not the victim of evolution…I’m just getting old…really old. I have accepted this fact and now must actively try and deal with it. It’s tougher than I imagined.
There was a time in my life, not all that long ago, when I actually looked forward to getting all dressed up and shoving my feet into fashionable footwear that squished my toes in a Geisha-like manner. I loved walking in front of the crowd lined up outside as they waited to get in and looking back over my shoulder at them as they cursed me for my immediate entry and lack of cover charge. There always seemed to be room for me behind the velvet ropes and I took full advantage. I grew up a stone’s throw away from a vial cesspool that you may know as South Beach, Florida. It really is everything you see on TV, there is sun, sand and at certain times of the year, celebrities pretty much everywhere you look. What there isn’t an abundance of, is parking. I know it may sound great on paper, but like everything, it has a dark side.
Depending on how you look at it, I have either had the good fortune or misfortune of being in the thick of it. I never had to wait at the bar for a drink, and would always have my choice of drunk men to purchase said drink for me, more than a few of these drunk men are admired by our culture for being famous. I’m not tooting my own horn here; everyone is attractive through the haze of expensive alcohol and dim lighting. Living in an area where you can schmooze with the famous may sound good on paper too, but it isn’t nearly as awesome as it sounds. I have some great stories about meeting celebrities, but they all end the same way…”and he was a jerk”. Incidentally, Dennis Rodman is just as scary and weird in person as he is on Celebrity Rehab. He is probably the reason I stopped hanging out in nightclubs, I’ve met him three times. On two different occasions he has come over to me in a chemically induced stupor and without any exchange of words, picked me up, threw me over his shoulder and tried to walk away with me as if I was a sack of potatoes. He’s really tall, and there isn’t anything exciting about precariously balancing on the shoulders of a very drunk man above a very hard concrete floor. His handlers ended his shenanigans the same way both times, which leads me to believe that this happens a lot. “Dennis, put the white girl down,” they directed, as they helped me safely transition back to the floor. The last time I saw him, he said “Come ‘ere bitch” and forcefully hugged me. I think that’s those are the only words he’s ever spoken to me. The moral of this story is stay away from Dennis Rodman.
Thankfully, I didn’t come face to face with Mr. Rodman or anyone else you might recognize from television last night. I used to find comfort in the dark, smoky atmosphere. The booming music that is played at a decibel loud enough to reverberate through the body used to be soothing. I never used to mind having pointless conversations with a guy that I could barely hear and even if I could, wouldn’t have cared what he was saying. After my self-imposed extradition, I returned to find that the clubs haven’t changed much. It’s me that’s different. There are still men willing to buy drinks, woman that have no business in spandex, strutting around and scantily clad female bartenders, over-charging for thimbles full of booze. Bartenders always see me coming. I have mentioned that I am sort of tall for a woman, when perched atop 6 inch, sparkling, stiletto pumps; I am extraordinarily tall for a woman. It’s hilarious how people get out of your way when you’re tall. It must be a primal fear, like short folks subconsciously think your going to eat them if they cross your path. Saturday night, I went out with the intention of being responsible and not having conversations with strange men so that they would buy me drinks. It was expensive, I’d hate to be a dude and have to shell out cash to buy a beverage for a girl in the hopes that she may go home with me. In retrospect, this was a financial error. I should have just sucked it up and smiled while some guy tried to yell in my ear over a remix of Mary J. Blige and then slipped away from him into the crowd when he wasn’t paying attention; I guess I wasn’t thinking.
At some point in the night, an older gentleman approached me and gave me a rose fashioned out of beverage napkins. I briefly considered accepting his offer of a drink, but decided against it after my conscience kicked in. I didn’t want to give the napkin florist the wrong idea. Nor did I want to get stuck talking to someone who practices origami in public. Why some men do this is beyond me, it’s always a guy much older than myself and makes for a really awkward conversation. I mean, really? I always think “Hey, great! a napkin…now I have to carry this around with me all night. Maybe it’ll come in handy if I spill something,” but I say “Thank you, that was really nice of you”. I find it hard to believe that the napkin flower trick works on women, I have never received one of these creations from anyone and said “Gee, if that’s what he can do with a napkin, I’m gonna have to sleep with him”. It doesn’t say “I’m creative and clever”. It says “I’m a loser and I’m going to force you to speak with me by giving you a paper product”.
While the older, really out of place guy talked to me, I observed a very intoxicated young woman dance erratically and then fall over into a collection of burning candles. I alerted the gentleman to what I had just seen and suggested that he may have better luck with her. I was kidding, but not at all surprised when he excused himself and went over to put out the small fire that had started near the bottom portion of her shirt and help her off the floor. I’m not sure why club owners think mixing fire and drunk people is a good idea. It’s a recipe for disaster; you’d never believe how flammable the drunk actually are until you spent as much time around them as I have. If the drunk girl is going to fall anywhere it’s going to be on the open flame. You can almost give a Madden-esque play-by-play to the action “And here comes the drunk girl. She’s looking at the fire…oooh she’s gyrating wildly…is that supposed to be sexy? And here’s the big finish folks, she could-go-all-the-way! We have teetering! Oh, she’s fighting a losing battle with gravity! She’s down and on fire, someone call a paramedic!!!!” Surprisingly, I have never committed this infraction myself.
I was home and in bed by 4 a.m., Sunday morning, which used to be considered an early night. At about 9 a.m., my son started coming in to my room at 5 minute intervals, opening the door while giggling, inquiring “You awake yet?” and declaring “Rise and shine!”. I wasn’t ready to be upright and I certainly wasn’t ready to be shiny. There was an absence of a hangover, but I still felt like I’d been hit by a truck. I can’t believe that I used to willingly do this to myself on a nightly basis and still get up and function the day after. Right now, I’m enjoying my morning coffee and seated next to my son on the couch watching a cartoon pig yodel on TV, I can honestly admit that this is more entertaining. I never expected that this would be the case, but it was only a matter of time. Next thing you know I’ll be singing the praises of sensible shoes and going to bed by 10.