I don't know if it's my astrological sign (Cancer), my personality, or my age, but I hate "going out." I'm not talking about going out on a date, or meeting friends for dinner, I mean GOING OUT. To the club. Or the bar. Or many bars. Or many bars and clubs, or clubs that have a bar downstairs or bars that turn into clubs at midnight. I hate them. I hate them all. Here's why.
1. Getting-Ready Effort
This one needs to be read in harmony with #2. One begets the other. If I spend an hour or more getting ready and actually have the time of my life, it was effort well spent. But as you'll read, it never is.
Let's run this, shall we? Shower. Wash hair. Dry off. Lotion oneself. Comb out tangled wet hair. Apply face cream. Wait for face cream to soak into skin. Apply makeup. Apply pre-blowdry hair product. Blow dry hair. Rest arms after blow drying hair. Straighten hair. Figure out what to wear. Figure out what to actually wear. Realize what I want to wear is dirty or doesn't fit or ill suited to the current climate. Get dressed. Put away discarded clothing. Apply perfume. Pack small purse with evening essentials. Put on shoes. Put on coat. Leave house.
2. Unfulfilled Potential
All that getting ready has a purpose, no? This is going to be the best night ever! I'm going to have so much fun and meet so many new people and so many fun fortuitous things are going to happen to us and everyone is going to get along really well and I'm going to meet a cute boy and then date him forever and it's going to be SUCH A GREAT NIGHT.
Here's what's going to happen: I will be the first one there and my friends will be late. There will be a line to get in. It will be cold in said line. Prettier people than me will get in with no line. Once in, there will be a line to get a drink. Twenty minutes later, I will have a drink. For $15.
I'll chat with my friends. I'll have another drink. We'll dance a little. We'll go to the bathroom. There will be a line to use the bathroom. We'll re-apply makeup unnecessarily. Some guy will stare at me all night without ever saying hello. I'll drink enough to get the balls to say hello to him but by that time he'll have already left. My friends and I will decide to leave to go to another bar.
I'll forget my credit card at bar A but I won't realize it till I get to bar B. I'll walk (in the cold) back to bar A, collect my credit card, look at my bill, and cry. Walk back to bar B. Girlfriends aren't really speaking to each other. Something has happened. Divide and conquer. One comes to the bar with me. Two go to the bathroom. Drinks.
Two aggressive bros at the bar get fresh. Bathroom friends come back and rescue us. We are all friends again. Let's do shots. Let's dance. Let's go to the bathroom. I'm hungry. Let's get fries. Cab home. Where is my credit card? Get home. Wash face. Kind of. Sleep. Wake up. Drink gallon of water. Sleep. Wake up. Half of Sunday is gone. Get mad. Call Bank of America. Order new credit card.
3. Drunk Drama
Things that would only mildly irk me become life altering problems when I go out. Some girl cut the line for the bathroom. Normal Shani? She sucks, but whatever. Party Mode Shani? THAT BITCH. Oh, nooooooooo, she's not getting away with THIS.
The bartender is supercalifragilistic busy because it's a Saturday night. Normally, I understand this and have patience for a person who is just doing his job. Party pants? Wave money around like a lunatic at an auction house and catcall the poor man. It's as if manners and decency can simply be scrubbed away with the application of gin. This isn't me. These aren't my manners. These are Saturday Night's manners, and she's a handful.
4. God Complex DJs
Hail almighty DJ! We praise thee for providing a slightly more danceable mix of music than an iPod could produce! Forgive us for the sin of requesting a song from you, even though you're getting paid with money we spent on drinks! Never again shall we insult your divine musical intelligence by suggesting you play a song for our friend who just got a promotion. We are so, so sorry. Please continue to enlighten us with your gifts. We won't speak to you or so much look you in the eye, lest ye take offense. Forgive us. Please, continue your divine work.
5. Gross Consumption Of Money
You can buy a $10 bottle of wine or a $10 glass of wine. I don't think I really need to explain this one further. You've heard me complain about funds before.
6. Gross Consumption Of Calories
Why don't I crave healthy food when I'm out late at night? I love a good smoothie, a handful of trail mix, a bowl of oatmeal perhaps. Why when I'm out after a night of cocktails and dancing do I hone in like a heat-seeking missile on fried food? Why is cheese the only thing that can satisfy? Vegetables, where are you when I need you?
And to really add insult to injury, I'm not even really enjoying these calories. I'm just inhaling them. If I'm going to eat something involving a deep fryer, I had better be at an excellent restaurant with several friends, having great conversation and a glass of good wine or two. That, I can savor. That thigh jiggle I carry like a merit badge.
7. Implied Pressure To Have The Best Time Ever
I just want to be social. To spend time with friends, to explore new places, new experiences, and avoid cabin fever. Why then does "going out" seem to carry with it this all-consuming pressure to go ape shit? Why am I not fun enough unless I dance on a table? Why is it criminal to go home before 2 am? Why are my "going out clothes" different from my other clothes? Why am I "lame" or "old" if my idea of fun is a table filled with friends, yummy food, good wine, and few laughs?
It's easy to think I've changed, matured, or otherwise caved in. But in truth I always hated "going out." What changed is that I finally stopped feeling pressure to do so. Now I do what I want. I say yes to plans that sound fun and no to plans that don't. I don't wake up miserable and hungover (that often), and make memories that outshine any table dance. And I never lose my credit card.