I was too much of a nerd to be there. Or maybe I was just too uppity. The longer I stayed there, the more I realized that it was both.
It was 11 p.m. on a Saturday night, and I was sitting in the middle of a small club in North County. I was watching my hairstylist and her friends chicken-head and nina-pop to a song that I recognized but could not name. A woman in dark glasses and a Rick James-esque curly ‘do was running in circles and screaming into the DJ’s cordless mic: “Throw your hands up! Throw your hands up, dammit! It’s my girl Lisa’s birthday!”
Lisa followed her friend to the mic with her remix to another rap that was familiar to me but unnameable: “Cause I’m popping Moet, and I can’t be stopped …”
Yes, indeedy. This was not the place for me.
Lisa had invited me to her mid-thirty-something birthday party earlier that day. She told me that it was downtown, but her sister said that it had been relocated (as a surprise) to a smaller club nearby. The birthday girl was scheduled to arrive between 8:30 and 9:00.
I was thankful for the change in venue. The new spot was five minutes from my house, sparing me a 25-minute drive. Lisa is notorious for being late, so I planned on getting there after 10.
I turned onto the parking lot at 10:45, and I could make out the lyrics to “In Da Club” as I walked toward the door. That was a bad sign. If a place is crowded, you can only hear the thump of the bass line.
The guy at the door who checked my ID was wearing black sweats and a disinterested look. “Enjoy yourself,” he mumbled as he handed my license to me.
“Thanks,” I replied.
One of Lisa’s friends stopped me as I headed toward the corner that her guests had staked out. “What are you drinking?” he asked. “I’m good, thanks,” I responded. He didn’t call me a nerd, but the look he gave me said plenty.
Now don’t get me wrong. I enjoy a good time. Kettle One and Cranberry are friends of mine. But this party was a combination of all of the things that I hated about the club scene. So, for your reading pleasure, here is my list of pet peeves. Or better yet, let’s call them The Diva’s Club Rules.
Dress your age. Most of the people at this party were in their mid-thirties (or older), and at first glance, you would have thought that it was a group of 20-year-olds. I had seen a version of most of these outfits on 106th and Park.
It is okay to be trendy. It is not okay to look like you are wearing your daughter’s clothes. It doesn’t make you look younger; it makes you look sad. Oh, and make sure that the clothes fit, too. The only thing worse than wearing clothes that are too young for you is wearing clothes that are too young for you and too little.
Keep up with your own stuff. One of Lisa’s friends proclaimed herself “The Paparazzi” and took pictures of everything. Whenever she was ready to dance, she left her camera with whoever was willing to hold it for her.
Even if you are kicking it with a wallflower, give her a little respect. Do not ask her to watch your purse, your coat, or your drink. What if someone asks her to dance? Carry a purse with a shoulder strap, or put your money in your bra. If you can’t kick it on the dance floor with your new Louis Vuitton, then Louis needs to stay at home.
Keep a close, but unnoticeable, eye on the jerks. Lisa’s brother has met me a thousand times, but somehow, number 1001 was different. I don’t know if it was the freshly done hair or the dainty walk that I had to adopt to navigate in my stiletto boots. Whatever the cause, Tre didn’t take his eyes off of me.
His stare gave me the creeps. It was the “I didn’t notice you before, but now that I have, when can we sleep together?” look.
If you get this stare, and you suspect that the person giving it to you is a jerk, you don’t have to humor him. Run. Hide. Do whatever you have to do to steer clear of this person. Unfortunately, these types usually don’t take no for an answer, so it’s best to not give them the opportunity to ask.
Drink (or don’t drink) whatever you want. Grey Goose and Bailey’s was the drink of the evening. I don’t know who started that trend, but cough syrup sounded like a better drink to me. I saw a few people with one, but I didn’t see anyone finish it.
This is a lesson in basic economics. Top shelf liquor is too expensive for you not to drink something you like. Experiment with the cheap stuff.
Don’t drink (get drunk) and drive. I know it sounds like a public service announcement, but we are way too old for that mess.
After an hour of chit-chat and a obligatory spin on the dance floor, I went home. I doubt that anyone other than Tre noticed that I was gone. I checked on my daughter, put on a pair of PJs, and went to bed. The partygoers stayed out until the wee hours, I’m told.
I was glad that I went to wish Lisa a happy birthday, even though I didn’t really enjoy the party. This was one time that I was more than happy to be a nerd.