I always envisioned a club as a place where I could decompress a week’s worth of stress with my close friends on a Friday night. Jumping up and down in a dimly lit room, I’d listen to pop music and slowly intoxicate myself with the happy hour menu. I’d meet a number of handsome guys on a spacious dance floor who wanted to buy me drinks. But once I entered the club, I was hit with reality that this scenario was almost non-existent. Instead, I faced a clustered atmosphere where college students were pushing themselves into each other and swaying their drinks back and forth, spilling beer onto my feet.
I learned that prepping for a night out is like dressing a model for fashion week. Flashback to a couple of hours before heading to the club (I state hours because apparently that’s how long women take when preparing for a night out). I learned that my attire of a cute ruffled sleeveless top and boyfriend jeans would be deemed unacceptable because it lacked the tightness and provocative look. I needed to show more cleavage (and that was embarrassing as I’m a B cup and have none). My friends groomed me, but instead of feeling ‘pampered’ I just felt uncomfortable. At the end of getting ready, I was showing more skin than I ever had before in my life. I definitely had to tighten my stomach with the black dress I was wearing. Would I even be able to breathe? Makeup has never been my strong suit. The most makeup I ever did was for a job interview and my first day of work, which entailed foundation and a pink lipstick. My friends insisted I put on mascara and eyeliner, making me look like a raccoon. Looking in the mirror I couldn’t even recognize myself – not in a good way.
The most uncomforable situations were yet to come as I stepped inside the dark club. From the outside the music excited me, but once I got in I could smell everyone’s sweat, and people glared at me to move out of their way. I learned that going to a club with your significant other meant full out PDA with no shame. A couple, mostly the guy, was pushing himself onto a woman in the middle of the dance floor – apparently this form of dancing is called ‘grinding’ as explained by my friend. As I took a seat in the bar area, away from the dance floor, I was able to see a couple about to go full-home-run as they were interchangeably on top of one another. I guess when you’re drunk anywhere can act as your bedroom. Watching this in action made me realize I never want to go to a club with my future boyfriends.
The best part was when a creepy guy tried to touch me and get me to dance with him. This happened as I took a break at a table. As I was sitting and texting a few people, he plopped himself next to me – allowing me no room to escape. He began asking me if I was alone and if I wanted a drink. I kindly denied as I wasn’t interested. He then reached over and started petting my hair, slowly lurking his other free hand on top of mine. I reached for my phone to text my friend – and he tried to grab it before I ended up telling him I was texting my boyfriend. He questiond me about my so-called boyfriend and why he wasn’t there. After a long, uncomfortable attempt at getting him to leave me alone, he eventually decided to go elsewhere.
Once my friends came back, I burst into tears. I hated how men felt like it was totally normal to creep on women who were alone. I hated how my friends left me alone. Most of all I hated myself for not standing my ground and speaking out. As much as I wanted to blame my friends for dragging me out, it was my decision to sit alone. I learned that in clubs, it’s impossible to avoid an uncomfortable situation. I should have just pushed him and walked away – but being timid, I wasn’t sure how. After what happened, I put my two closest friends and my parents on speed dial; therefore, if I’m ever in a bad situation again I can quickly send an SOS and leave.
To be fair, I wish I visited a club when I was in college – perhaps being younger would have changed my perspective. At the same time, a club isn’t for everyone. Some people love dancing among sweaty bodies and some prefer chatting in a quiet lounge. I don’t regret visiting a club though, as I learned what my comfort zone is and that I would much prefer an intimate beverage with close friends rather than a loud club with a bunch of strangers.