By going to a night club for the first time, I finally realized what all those goofy high school functions were trying to coolly emulate. For some reason, loud music, laser-y lights, and an excuse to dress up seems to be the definitive definition of fun once you’re on the other side of fourteen years old. The only problem is there aren’t a lot of places like this that under 21 folk can get into. I guess that’s why we have grownups orchestrate high school dances for us, and then throw college house parties when we’re left to our own devices.
I think I would have enjoyed it more if I knew how it worked. I was a constant stream of questions that I didn’t really feel like asking anyone. What do I do with my purse? Do I look weird dancing with it? Can I just grab a glass if I want to pour myself some water? Is there something alcohol and caffeine-free I can get besides tonic water like my sixty-year-old father always drinks? How do I start conversations with people? Am I even supposed to talk?
The funny thing was that I was coming directly from the Fernwood Elementary School talent show. I knew when I left my house that evening that I was going to see the boys I nanny perform, get froyo with the family after, go night clubbing, get late-night dinner food with a friend on the East-side and sing karaoke. It was challenging to find an outfit that would somehow be acceptable for all those venues. As a result, I showed up dressed pretty conservatively for a night club. After I parked my car and walked down to the club though, I had to get three blocks before I passed the first guy who didn’t hit on me, so I guess I was doing something right. Still, I had no idea my white button-up blouse was going to glow quite so obnoxiously under the black light. It didn’t help that it was kind of a goth club and I seemed to be the only one without dye in my hair or metal in my face…or even wearing makeup.
The only reason I was there was because it was my buddy’s birthday though, and as a veteran clubber, he was excited to finally see me all 21 and able to get into “big kid events.” It was fantastic to see him, and I showed up early in the evening to make sure he was sober enough to talk and remember the following morning. He was entertaining all sorts of guests though, so I spent most of my time there sitting outside with the bouncer who had the night off, listening to him talk to me about night clubs and clear up some of the mystery. When my birthday-buddy friend totally disappeared in the drunken festivities, I figured I could slip away as well. It wasn’t bad, and I can definitely see the attraction if you drink, but as for me, I was just proud that it was a full half-hour before I felt compelled to take out my notepad and start writing.