The Nightclub Life After 30

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This weekend, on the first full moon of 2013, I celebrated an amazing friend’s bachelorette party in the city that never sleeps. We had an incredible time chatting over amazing food and dancing the night away. I met a few of the bride-to-be’s good friends, reconnected with an old friend and reminded my body it’s good to dance. Here, in no particular order, observations of a night on the town by an almost 32 year old.

  1. Club clothes aren’t as slutty as they used to be. Far less boobage. More fashionable, less whore-y. Pants a plenty, mini-skirts in the minority. Sure the freezing temperatures might have something to do with it but you know cold weather never stopped me from pulling out my skimpiest clothing.
  2. While clothes are less slutty, smart phones have made everyone dumber. It’s almost an oxymoron that they should be called “smart” phones when they cause the complete opposite effect on people. For example, one girl posed with her hand bag cradled against her chest like a withering rose from a lover while eye f*cking her iPhone camera. I found it bizarre the first time. I was convinced they were shooting an SNL sketch by the 8th time.
  3. I got offered free coke. The yeya, folks, not the red can kind loved by polar bears and St. Nick. I wanted to lecture the kid on how I’m a mom & threaten to call the cops but thought the better of it and just told him to get lost. Apparently I look more gullible now than I did in my younger days. I blame it on too much smiling.
  4. I’m convinced the full moon has magical powers to make me nearly invincible or at least stay awake forever. I started my day at 8am and ended it at 4am. I drove three hours through four states and made half a dozen stops then finally hit the town and felt amazing. No Red Bull or energy crap drinks here. So now I know to plan all my big party nights during a full moon.
  5. In college and pre-kid years, I prepared for a night out drinking by drinking. This weekend I prepared by taking shots of echinacea and swallowing horse-sized pills of an herbal wellness remedy to keep my cold at bay. The packie then, Whole Foods now.
  6. To date myself – the entire time the DJ played house music I was waiting for someone to break out some glow sticks. Either the local party store sold out or they’re no longer “in”.
  7. Either I think too much like my parents or I’ve seen too man Lifetime movies but I made lots of decisions based on the least likely route to not get attacked. I don’t mean this to be funny because it’s no laughing matter but just really to showcase my neurosis. Looking for parking? Choose the most well lit easily viewable lot with plenty of foot traffic going by. Need to go to the bathroom? Never solo, always recruit someone to tag along. Taking a cab? Better keep an eye on the street numbers to make sure he’s taking you where you asked and not some remote location. Yes, I actively thought about these things.
  8. I’ve had my share of crazy bathroom moments in nightclubs. However, this one was either brilliant or entirely creepy; I haven’t decided yet. To get to the bathroom you have to go through a door into a dark hallway (sign #1 this might not be a good idea – easy place to get attacked) then go down stairs (sign #2). When you’re downstairs you don’t see any bathrooms just two black parallel walls with white penmanship on them. Quickly you realize the doors are camouflaged into the walls. Just when you think you can just go in when someone steps out, an attendant in the hallway shouts at you to wait because it’s not your turn. They have system for hustling people in and out of the bathrooms. It’s incredibly efficient but also kinda creepy to take a strangers word as they open a door into a wall for you.
  9. A private booth with a stripper pole is not for strippers or raunchy dancing at all. Stripper poles give drunk thirtysomethings something to hold on to while dancing. I suggested next time we bring rock climbing belts and just hook on.
  10. One thing that hasn’t changed? The DJ never plays enough R&B/hip hop/90s pop. Wait. Does this mean I have to go to oldies night?
  11. I can dance until the sun comes up. Really.

I’m turning 32 tomorrow and this weekend was one of those glaring moments reminding me of my age. Not in a bad way but in a very funny “don’t you forget” way. It was a worthwhile reminder and I’d do it all again!

This post is about our dancing adventures but my favorite part of the night might have been dinner. We met up at this quaint restaurant in the Village. The cab driver pulled up and I thought it was a joke because all I saw was apartment buildings. I was convinced I was going to have to get another cab to get to the right location. Literally two steps and there was this very secret garden type door. I descended the two steps down towards the door and the quiet of the street was swallowed up by the heat and energy of a bar packed to the brim. It was a classic New York restaurant scene – not an inch to move, groups of people enthralled in conversation, couples, friends, reunions, first dates and then me slithering my way through jabbing strangers in the back with a giant box of cupcakes. Classic. Then just as you think the endless sea of faces won’t end the bar leads you to a dinner space equal parts rustic, romantic, medieval and cozy. I’d go into the food but then you’d hate me. Alta. Go.

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  1. Fabulous post! I laughed and nodded my head all the way through this, especially about the smart phones. Thrilled to hear that slutty clothes are out because it means there’s a chance I could get back into a club again before 50. Have an awesome birthday, my friend!
    Kirsten´s last blog post ..No One to Blame

    1. Thanks! I highly recommend going to a nightclub sometime soon. It’s a fascinating social experiment. And really, I think it’s the only legit place you can go dance your ass off without anyone giving a rat’s ass what you’re doing!

  2. This post was awesome Carla!! Absolutely hysterical…and I’m pretty sure I almost peed my pants when I got to the part about the glow sticks. 🙂

    I so miss the dancing of the younger days, but I’m positive I could no longer hang in my 30s!
    P.s. happy birthday!!

    1. So great to hear from you! Yeah I had such a blast but I really can only do that like once a year now LOL Best to you & your sweet boy!

  3. I LOVE this post! I’m just gonna copy & paste it and save it for my 2 granddaughters, both turning 12 this year… both want to go to college in NYC! Ha! Love the cab/parking/bathroom wisdom. I still tell my daughter Audrey to call me when in NYC each time she takes a cab… keep talking so the driver knows that someone else knows where she is. Follow that? Heck, I ask Jane to text me when she gets home from my house and she lives less than a mile away. I have a little velvet bag in my purse, full of quarters, for street parking when I’m in NYC to avoid the depths of parking lot hell. Recently, at a blogging event, I was offered a drink at the very sultry, dark bar of of a very nice hotel from a guy half my age… with Madonna’s “Just Like A Prayer” coming from somewhere, maybe a cell phone… and I almost laughed at the “Not a Prayer” of the situation. OK. I’m gonna stalk my granddaughters. Oh, well…
    Sharon –´s last blog post ..Day 16 of 31 Days of Poems for Kids: Teach your kids a Poem today in less than 2 minutes

    1. Love that I’m not the only one who thinks of these safety type things! My parents drilled it into me. Your daughters & granddaughters are lucky to have such a street smart woman in their lives! ps. Love that they already know they want to go to school in NYC. Generation after generation, the Big Apple never loses its appeal =)

  4. I’m going to be 40 this year and when I used to go clubbing it was the Grunge era. Club wear was jeans, Doc Marteens and flannel shirts. We would dance in mosh pits. When we went out we were like the Marines, never leave a man behind (even going to the bathroom was a group trip).

  5. What a fun post!! I can’t do it, girl… not anymore. Was never a club girl, but even the thought of it makes me queazy. Can you be considered a bore and old when you look forward to going to 5 pm Sunday zumba b/c you’re going to get your “dance on” for 60 minutes!?! LOL! That’s so my idea of dancing these days. The idea of getting dressed and being out all night and then fighting to sleep in the next day is just as tiring! So glad the dinner was just as important. Happy, happy birthday!

  6. this is hysterical. I can’t imagine going to a club these days!! And I can’t stop laughing over the glow sticks, or the safety points. Because yep, that’s me too! Oh, and where did you have dinner? I have an absolutely fav little quiet place in the village that sounds very similar, called Palma. I miss it dearly. Hmm. I may need to plan a date night with my husband there soon!

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