Phew. W's Dirty 30 birthday weekend is over, and I survived. We had a really great time and partied like we were 21!
Punky (W would appreciate that nickname) loves to dress up so I decided for her big night, we should all dress in our best 80s outfit. Ringing in her milestone decked out in the decade of our youth. She looked slammin’ in an off-the-shoulder black sequin top, jean skirt and leggings with black and white stars. What really clinched it was her Kelly McGillis hair. I wore a bright pink dress with sequins, silver leggings and bright pink heels. And a rad side ponytail. Our other friends were rocking 80s gear too, and one wore a flashy yellow jacket. I kept telling him he looked like he just walked out of a Peter Gabriel video. I wanna be your sledge-ham-mer!!
At 7 pm, we arrive at a Japanese restaurant/karaoke bar. There were 12 of us total, and we were the only customers. The manager looked a few years older than us, which was confirmed when we explained we were dressed in the decade of our youth, and he pointed out that he was older than us and the 80s weren’t even the decade of his youth. He asked why we weren’t wearing Hammer Pants, and we answered honestly – “Because that’s not cute.”
We whisper about how hot the manager is in that “bad boy” way. He had piercings and tattoos…including barbed wire around one of his bulging biceps.
By 7:30, my 22 oz. Japanese beer bottle is half empty, I've already gulped down a Cosmo (it matched my outfit) and Punky finished her bottle of saki. The table has already downed two shots. We are drunk and getting louder by the minute. I shout, "Woo! 30 is awe-some!"
By 8:00, large quantities of alcohol have been consumed by the table. Food has been devoured. We are drunk and demanding karaoke start time be bumped up from 9:30 to right the hell now. Hot Manager says no.
Five minutes later, we decide to start karaoke anyway, and our table sings “Like a Prayer” acapella. Still the only people in the restaurant, and the sushi chef looks like his ears are bleeding.
Punky and I try to talk our friend, JP, into taking another shot with us, but he tells us we are already too drunk for 8:30.
Eventually, Hot Manager caves and begins karaoke early. Drunk girls victorious! We promptly start the evening off with shouting “Like a Prayer.”
The next hour is a bit of a blur. Another 22 oz. beer. And it seemed as though we sang every other song. All I knew was Punky was picking them, and then dragging me up with her. Here are the ones I remember – “What I Got," “I Kissed a Girl” (we didn’t select this, but I think Hot Manager did in hopes we would act out the lyrics…we did not), “Don’t Stop Believin’,” “Rock Your Body,” “Love Shack”…other songs I can’t remember…I do remember some guy sang “Livin’ on a Prayer,” and I made fun of him for not knowing the words. Everyone should know that song – it’s the national anthem of bars.
After singing “Oops! I Did It Again,” I walk past Hot Manager on my way to my seat. I ask if we’re annoying him with our bad music yet. He laughs and lies that no, we’re not, and then points out that I never have the microphone. I tell him that’s because I’m not a good singer, but I provide decent backup. He says he noticed I was a good backup dancer. Ooo ahh Hot Manager is flirting. I giggle back to our table where I attempt to share this tidbit with my friend Elle, but have difficulty because our side ponytails keep knocking into each other.
At about 10:30, my “date” arrives.
Ok, so the night before JP told me about a guy he went to law school with that just moved to DC. He thought we’d hit it off and wanted to introduce us. After a fair amount of peer pressure from my friends telling me, “Don’t be lame!” and “You need to get some!” along with JP’s promises that the guy was both nice and cute, I said sure. Friends have such persuasive arguments. Lucky for me, JP wasn’t lying. Dude was hot. And smart and funny and nice. But his most noticeable characteristic was his hotness and his hunky man arms. He’ll be known as “Guns” from here on for obvious reasons – he should have a permit for those things.
So Guns shows up, and we exchange awkward smiles. It’s an odd thing to be set up while all your friends are watching with wide eyes and nodding enthusiastically…and when you’re drunk. We talk for about two minutes before it’s Saki Bomb time. Saki Bomb! Saki Bomb! Saki Bomb!
A little after 11, we’re ready for our grand finale. Punky’s all time favorite song is Joan Jett’s “I Love Rock and Roll.” We shout and shake and throw our fists wildly in the air.
Everyone scampers to the door, but I see Hot Manager waiting to say goodbye. He tells me I’m a good dancer. Aw. So I tease him and tell him he should have danced with us. He says, “No, I can’t dance,” but that’s what all guys say so I tease again, “Oh, I’m sure that’s not true! You just don’t try!” And then he says, “No, I really can’t dance. My leg was severed below my knee and re-attached.” Then he lifted his pant leg to show me. Holy Scar Tissue, Batman. I think my jaw literally dropped. Drunk and rude, I asked, “Oh my gosh! That’s awful. How’d it happen?” I expected “
Drunk and clumsy, Punky and I hop down to the sidewalk where I learn we’re on our way to a bar a few blocks away…and then to a strip club! She decided that she did want to go to one before she turned 30 after all. I decide that for this to take place, I need more alcohol.
We walk several blocks, while we comfort our friend, Gov, who just got dumped via text for telling the girl he was going to a strip club. I called him Gov because he has a good government job. All my friends are smart, serious people by day, but him especially. This is important to point out because he later gets obliterated like a street vagrant in Amsterdam.
Nothing too interesting happened at the next bar, but Punky and I did try to make friends with a girl in the bathroom. I thought she was also at a party because she was wearing a flapper dress. "Oh good! You're here for a party too! I thought we were the only ones in costumes! Hee hee!" She was actually just wearing a flapper dress. Oops. But seriously, who does that?
An hour or so later, we leave the bar, which happens to be next to the strip club we’re about to enter. JP instructs us to “act sober.” He says they don’t let drunken idiots in, and I think this strip club has high standards for an establishment with naked women dancing about. I put my serious face on, but the bouncer starts talking to Guns about football. I cannot keep my mouth shut when football comes up. It turns out they’re both Eagles fans, and I contribute that as a Colts fan, I hate the Steelers. My cover is blown. The bouncer looks at me sideways and laughs, pointing out that they were talking about
We’re seated at two tables in front of the little stage the naked lady is dancing on. I order beer and stare at boobs. Guns tells me that his firm brought him here a few times when he was a summer associate, and it’s a nice strip club because the strippers don’t hassle you for money or gyrate on you. I am fascinated and appalled with a business culture where taking prospective employees to strip clubs for lunch is common practice. I decide this is an important cultural experience for me as my class on Monday will be discussing Ariel Levy’s Female Chauvinist Pigs – Women and the Rise of Raunch Culture.
I’m distracted by all the nakedness (do you know they actually wear stripper heels??), but Guns seems totally uninterested. I notice JP and Punky in an intense conversation, and I know that they’re critiquing the strippers. I drink more.
I try to talk to Guns about the stripper, but he couldn’t care less, which is also fascinating to me. For each girl, I make him tell me if her boobs are real. He shrugs and says, “No, almost all of them are fake.” We talk about music, and he tells me he used to be in a band. He plays the guitar. Seriously, Universe? I didn’t even pick this one out.
I’m on my second beer and though I’m still distracted by the naked ladies, I’m also interested in my conversation with Guns. It probably helps that I’m totally wasted. Over the course of the next two and a half hours, here’s a sampling of my conversation with him and JP and Punky’s conversation about the strippers –
Me: So what bands do you listen to?
Guns: Mostly old stuff, actually. I really like Pink Floyd and Led Zeppelin…I don’t know, most people don’t listen to that, though. What do you like?
M: I like some old stuff! I like the Stones, and I really love Tom Petty. I think he’s a great American hero.
G: You like Tom Petty?! I like Tom Petty!
JP: I mean, this one’s ok, she’s got a better ass than the last one.
Punky: Yeah, but her boobs are still fake, and that bothers me.
M: Almost Famous is my favorite movie.
G: I love that movie! It has a great soundtrack.
M: The best! The movie’s all about how important music is. And Kate Hudson is so cute in it.
G: Yeah! She is! That’s one of my favorite movies too! That's so cool!!
P: Ok, now this one isn’t even trying. She looks bored.
JP: Yeah…but they all have that look. Can you really blame them?
M: You lived in
M: Me too!
G: No way!
P: Why don’t any of them have pubic hair? I think that’s just weird.
JP: Yeah, you gotta have something. Otherwise it’s like a child, and that’s creepy.
G: I used to hang out at a bar up there a lot, you might know it. Did you ever go to Brother Jimmy’s?
M: I love that bar! I went there all the time! They knew me by name, and I went back a couple years ago after not having been there for like three years, and the same door guy was working. He remembered me and said, “Hey! Where have you been?”
G: That place was a lot of fun. I really like wings, and their wings are great.
M: You like wings?! I like wings! They had great wings specials for Monday Night Football.
G: Yeah! They did!
P: Do you think she’s happy?
JP: Happy? I don’t know. Does it matter? She looks alright.
M: Whoa! You like the Outer Banks?! I love the Outer Banks!
P: Oh, this one’s not as pretty as the last.
JP: Yeah, her face is wrecked.
G: You’re voting for Obama?! I’m voting for Obama!
P: Aw, I like this one. She’s enthusiastic. She really looks like she’s having fun!
JP: Yeah, she’s the best one. You should give her a dollar. [which is exactly what Punky did]
M: You breathe air?! I breathe air! [ok, this is an exaggeration, but around 2:30, we were about there]
It was at this point that I noticed Gov had his head on the table. I looked at Punky, and she shrugged. I see that while his head was on the table, his lips are moving, and he's in conversation. I figured he must be ok. He’s very responsible.
Several minutes pass, and I look back at the table to see that Gov is missing. Our friend in the Peter Gabriel jacket announces that Gov just threw up. In the strip club. He made it to the bathroom, but still…he puked at a strip club. Check, please!
Eventually, Gov comes back and takes a nap in his chair. We sort out the bill and all walk out…except Gov, who kind of shuffles. As I walk past the stripper, I thank her and tell her she is a lovely lady.
On the street, Guns and I have a little make out. At some point, he grabs my ass, and I giggle. “I’m sorry, I can’t stop thinking about the strippers. Can you? I mean, you just grabbed my ass, but all I could think about was all the naked asses I’ve seen in the past two and a half hours.” He laughs and says he can’t believe I just said that. But, come on, you know he was totally thinking it.
It’s late, and Punky and I have to get up early to drive home. Aw Guns is sweet and asks me to hang out tomorrow. He wanted to have lunch and watch football. I love this guy. But, alas, it’s way past midnight, and Cinderella needs to get her ass to bed. We say goodnight, and Punky thanks everyone for her best birthday ever. Gov snores.
I woke up early Sunday morning with crusty drunk eyes, but my side ponytail still firmly in place. The drive home was long and excruciating because, sadly, I am not 21 anymore. Not even close.