Thursday, November 29, 2012

Moms and nightclubs: A bad mix

In an effort to be more of a hip mom (whatever that is), a couple weeks ago I agreed to go to a girl's night out with a couple moms from Mom Group #2 who were chomping at the bit for an evening of girl talk and booze. Little did I know that when you meet up for dinner and cocktails with other moms, it's not considered "girls night out." Instead, it's known as "moms night out," or MNO, which sounds horribly un-hip and therefore completely negates the whole point of the night...but pressing forward.

Leading up to the MNO, the moms were all excited and a chatter about the impending event. Texts and emails flew back and forth between our library storytimes: "Where should we make reservations?" "What are you going to wear?" "What if it rains, then what will you wear as a backup?" "How late do you think we should stay out?" "What drinks do you plan to order at dinner?" If I didn't know better I would have guessed they were caged Amish women on the precipice of tasting their first few hours of freedom during Rumspringa.

During all this heightened excitement, I felt rather blah. Blah because I knew I looked like crap and standing in front of my closet trying to figure out what to wear depresses me since I have to bypass 95% of what is currently hanging and take my pick from one of the last five hangers tucked at the end. Also blah because in all actuality I missed J and didn't look forward to leaving him for a night of drinks and dinner with other people. Maybe that sounds pathetic, but I don't care. He's my person and I like enjoying everything with him. In all honesty I would have preferred that he (and all the other husbands) come along, since I just don't see him that often and I get no real joy out of pretending I'm "free" for a night of sorority-esque fun. But my true feelings were beside the point, because watch out, world -- This was Mom's Night Out; no men allowed! The other moms seemed stoked to leave their husbands and babies behind for an evening, where they would have to worry about nothing more than the cocktail sitting in front of them. (Apparently I'm the only one that can achieve this even with a baby at my side. Bad mom.)

The night before MNO, one of the moms (let's call her Belinda) casually invited herself over to my house so we could go to the restaurant together (because God forbid one of us shows up early and has to wait for the others to show up. I guess that would just be too awkward.) "I'll just have my husband drop me off at your house, if that's okay," Belinda's email read. In a perfect world I would have said "no," thereby cementing my position as a bonafide curmudgeon. But in reality, what was I supposed to say? "Um, house is a pigsty and I wasn't expecting any guests till Thanksgiving, so just stick to the plan and meet me at the restaurant because I abhor cleaning, especially cleaning last-minute"? Yeah, I'm sure that would go over really well. By the next morning all the mothers in the tri-county area would hear about that one time I told a mom she wasn't allowed to come over to my house.

"Sure," I responded robotically. And for the next 12 hours or so I cleaned the hell out of my house to host Belinda for a ladies night out I didn't have my heart set on attending. After a full day of cleaning (I think I've reached Cinderella status now with my stupid mop), I squeezed into one of my killer "going out" outfits that didn't look particularly killer anymore on my post-baby body and waited, switching on Watch What Happens: Live! to kill some time. Belinda arrived part of the way through the episode, interrupting a fascinating argument between Joanna Krupa and Adriana De Moura about that one time Adriana punched Joanna in the face on national television. I tried to get Belinda to watch it with me, but she preferred to coo and play with Ava, so I reluctantly switched the TV off and followed suit.

J arrived shortly after, and once Belinda and I compared our shoe choices and I gave her the official house tour -- I didn't clean for nothing, God damn it -- I handed Ava to J, and we were off.

"I feel like I'm 23 again!" Belinda shrilled as we backed out of the driveway in my car and Too Short came on the radio. She paused, intrigued by my choice of radio station. "You listen to rap?" she asked

I know I'm about the WASP-iest person I know, but yes, I occasionally listen to rap. 

"That's awesome!" she said, and proceeded to do a seated dance in the passenger seat like Leslie Mann in the drunk driving scene of The 40-Year-Old Virgin. Maybe I was just tired or in a funk, but the last thing I felt like doing was busting a move with my seatbelt on. Nonetheless I laughed and let her fly her freak flag. After all, nothing about her struck me as someone who would enjoy rap, but then again, the same could probably be said about me.

An hour later we were just finishing dinner up with another mom, Mimi, that had joined us at the restaurant. Belinda and Mimi were on their way to getting tanked off a glass or two of red wine, but I was a good with my one gin martini since I had to drive home that night. Both moms had spent the large part of the hour gushing about how happy they were to be out at a real restaurant having real drinks, though both winced at the booze in my cocktail when I forced them to take a sip of it, so I assumed they were using the term "real drinks" loosely.

According to our original plan, we were supposed to just have dinner/drinks and then head home after, which I would have been more than happy to do. Instead, two hours later I found myself sitting in the VIP area of a terribly tacky nightclub, watching Belinda and Mimi drunkenly writhe across from one another on the dance floor while I staved off the cheesiest come-ons from a couple of Bacardi reps that could have doubled as Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson from Wedding Crashers.

How did we get here? Simple. The restaurant we started off our evening at had nothing chocolate on the dessert menu. Isn't this the way all good stories start?

I'm not picky about my processed sugars, but Belienda was. Naturally, she only wanted the one thing that wasn't on the menu: a chocolate dessert. So we paid our tab and strolled down the nearly empty street (this was a Thursday night in the suburbs, after all) to another restaurant that we knew would have something to satisfy her picky palate. After we were seated, the waitress asked what we we'd like and Mimi blurted out "a bottle of champagne." Um, what? Belinda, of course, asked for the chocolate-iest dessert they had for the three of us to share.

Of course when the bottle was popped at the table, I had to have a glass or two of champagne, or "bubbly," as Belinda and Mimi repeatedly referred to it as, making me feel like I was in some bad suburban parody of a Notorious B.I.G. video. During the course of our champagne and chocolate (the latter of which I mostly ate), Belinda cornered Mimi about whether or not she listened to rap, as though it was some rite of passage into the "cool" mom's club. Or something. I, for one, had pegged soft-spoken, doe-eyed Mimi as a classical music listener, but it turned out she was actually a huge George Michael fan. This didn't seem to impress Belinda, who began ticking off names of all rappers she loved, including 50 Cent.

Now I don't know why but sitting at a table listening to scrapbook-making, Subaru-driving housewives discuss 50 Cent like he's some tenuous lifeline to another time back when they were cool was utterly hilarious to me. Not knocking it at all, (I've found myself bringing up pop culture references lately that are so outdated they're just sad) but hearing other people do it out loud over a bottle of last-minute champagne just seemed...well, desperate. And made me felt older than I already felt before leaving my house that night.

So what came next? You guessed it. Belinda and Mimi were adamant about visiting a bar around the corner that had some Internet jukebox they kept talking about. Belinda, especially, was on a mission now to play "just one" 50 Cent song on said jukebox. When we got to the bar, Belinda and Mimi made a beeline to the jukebox against the far wall while I lingered near the bar, debating whether or not I should order something since we looked like idiots walking into a nearly empty establishment just to play a 50 Cent song. But I reminded myself I still needed to drive, so a drink was out for me.

"Are you guys going to order anything?" I asked, but they were too busy choosing 50 Cent's "Candy Shop" to hear me. When the synths came on for their song they shrieked in unison and proceeded to dance as seductively as two new moms could in a nearly empty bar with no drinks in hand. "Ooookay," was all I could think since the last time I did this was probably at 23. A booth full of young 20-something guys glanced over at our spectacle and looked highly uninterested, no matter how provocatively Belinda and Mimi danced. I felt like I was a mother out with her two teenagers and felt even older than I had just minutes earlier. The way this night was going I was going to feel of retirement age by the time I reached my car.

After the 50 Cent song was over (thank GOD) and Belinda was brutally rebuffed by the bouncer who picked out the next 40 songs on the jukebox, we left the bar and started to walk back to my car. But wait. We had to pass a nightclub on our way to the parking lot and naturally the two in my party really wanted to stop there "just for a little bit." Oh, joy.

At this point it was getting late, and I'd already told J I'd be home by then, but we dipped into the nightclub to see what it was all about. The moment we walked in the strobe lights and loud music dazzled Mimi and the 21-year-old version of herself officially surfaced. She grabbed both our arms and shrieked in a pitch I didn't know she was capable of. "This is real nightclub!!!!!" she screamed over the blasting music, her eyes wide with delight. Yes, it was a real clurb. This woman really needed to get out more.

Herein was where a gaggle of Bacardi reps surrounded us, offering us drinks and VIP seating and all that stuff that comes with being PR whores. It was no surprise that Belinda and Mimi were not going to drink anything with Bacardi in it; instead, they wanted bubbly. Shocking. This was somewhat embarrassing to me since these 40-something-year-old frat boys were shilling the Boco, but to my surprise, the Bacardi guys ordered us bubbly anyway. Once the girls got their champagne fixes, their flirty sides completely fell away and they commenced to totally ignoring the guys. After Belinda and Mimi ran off to the dance floor, their tummies full of champagne, I then had to listen to the guys incessantly ask me over bass-thumping music "if my friends were lesbians" since they didn't seem interested at all.

"No," I finally yelled over the loud music, "they're just married with kids." By the looks on their faces, you'd think I'd just told them that Belinda and Mimi were trannies.

After putting up with these guys continuing to call Belinda and Mimi gay, while simultaneously hitting on me, I was so fed up. I had a super hot husband who was laying in bed waiting for me to come home, not to mention the rest of that Watch What Happens: Live! episode that was left half-watched on my DVR. And here I was drinking bad champagne in a sweaty nightclub with a group of over-the-hill Bacardi losers that wreaked of alcohol and desperation. I was officially too old for this. I just wanted to go home.

I thanked the men and stood up, grabbing our purses off the seat near me. They protested that I stay since I was "so hot" and all, but the whole situation was thisclose to turning into some sad scene from a Judd Apatow movie. You know, the kind of revelatory scene near the end of his films where the main character has a life-changing epiphany about their new place in the world as an adult. Well, I already knew my place in the adult world and it was not here at this venue pretending I was still childless and single. So I grabbed Mimi and Belinda and left.

Hopefully I will never, ever return to that nightclub, or that type of night, again. Girl's Night Out failed to make me feel young and free -- all it did was make me feel old and pathetic.

MNO fail.


Jessica @ Wanting Adventure said...

Oh my goodness. What a bad night out! I think making yourself go out and have other experiences is a good thing but it seems like this was not the way to do it for you. Yikes!

GInna said...

Oh my gosh, I can imagine every single second of this horrible evening, and sadly have had similar experiences with fellow amateur-drinking acquaintances. It's always better to just stay at home with the DVR.

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