That Awkward Age
Think for a minute about the parties you went to when you were younger. I don't mean the ones where you played Pin the Tail on the Donkey and ate birthday cake; I mean the kind your parents would have disapproved of. The kind that involved alcohol and loud music and things people get arrested for doing.*
*Mom, if you're reading this, I'm just basing it off of ... you know, other's people's stories. I was too busy at the library to ever go to any of those parties. Yeah, that's it. The library.
Anyway, at those parties - and even the ones you went to later, like in your early twenties - there was always "that person." You know: the one who was a lot older than anybody else there but trying to fit in just the same. In the earlier years, this was the person who probably supplied the booze; in later years, when you were old enough (barely) to buy your own, this was the person who was just ... kind of pathetic. The person that was clearly trying to reenact his or her "glory days" by hanging out with a much younger crowd and trying - and failing - to be cool. And the older and more uncool they actually were, the harder they tried - like middle-aged hoochies in shorts they bought in the juniors' section, baring cottage-cheese thighs and crepe-paper cleavage. Or the skeezy older guys who hit on girls young enough to be their daughters. They may have thought they were hip and youthful, but in the minds of the kids they were hanging around, they merely served as a cautionary tale of what happens when you get old.
I swore I'd never turn into that person. But, like, I also swore I was going to be a perfect mother and we can all see how that turned out.
At the awkward age of almost thirty-four, I don't have much of a choice. If I want a social life that extends beyond children's birthdays and please-buy-this-overly-expensive-product-and-then-agree-against-your-better-judgment-to-book-your-own-party parties, I pretty much have two choices. One, go to a dance club feeling all hot and then walk through the doors and realize that everybody there is 21 and all their body parts are still firm and feel like an old piece of crap all night while watching them stumbling and grinding on each other and saying to their friends, "OMG, I'm sooooooo drunk right now." Or two, go to a sedate bar where everybody is quietly sipping martinis in dim lighting, looking like off-duty lawyers.
I don't like either of those choices. Because although I adore dancing, I'm of an age that automatically makes me "that person" at dance clubs. The old, overreaching one. And I appreciate a good martini and a relaxed ambience, but sometimes an oldster just wants to shake her (aging) ass to a good beat.
It's hard out there socially for us thirtysomethings, y'all. We don't exactly fit in when you plop us into the middle of a club full of people who were born when we were in, like, high school. Yet we're still young enough to sometimes want more than soft jazz music and an overpriced cocktail.
My friend Lindsey and I were talking about this the other day (she totally forgave me for the time I messed up her car, thank goodness) and she had a brilliant idea: someone needs to open up a club exclusively for people in their thirties. With a dance floor - devoid of perky twentysomethings - that plays at least the occasional '90s hit because seriously, who in this age group could resist getting down to, say, a little bit of Sir Mix-a-Lot?*
*If you just chanted, "I like big butts!" in your head, we could totally be BFFs.
The place would open at like seven in the evening so we have time to eat first - because when you're in your thirties you have learned that drinking on an empty stomach is a bad idea. It would close by one o'clock because hello, that's past our bedtime ... we still have obligations in the morning outside of sleeping off our liquor consumption. There would be awesome two-for-one drink specials since, in your thirties, you have real bills to pay like the mortgage ... or at least that arm-and-a-leg you forked over to the sitter for a night out. There would be a section to chill away from the dance floor when it gets too loud (because while "too loud" wasn't a thing in our twenties, it's a recipe for a headache these days). And an ibuprofen dispenser in the bathroom. And it would have a complimentary shuttle service: because by now we're mature enough to know that "whoever is the least drunk" is not a viable option when it comes to transportation.
I think it sounds like a fabulous, magical place. Who wants to open up the first location?
Hip-hop-hooraaaay! Ho! Heeeey! Ho!