Friday, July 29, 2011

So tonight I did a favor for my friend Pam, the editor of the Punta Gorda Herald. She's working on her next issue, focusing on the theme "Girl's Night Out." She's been talking to women about what they like to do and where they go when they get together. There aren't a lot of options around here, and she'd been to several places already. Tonight, she wanted to go take some pictures at Jack's -- a restaurant in downtown Punta Gorda that has a ladies' night later in the evening on Thursdays -- and since she didn't want to go alone, she asked me to go with her.

Now, I did a bit of clubbing in college. Nothing too crazy, but I certainly owned the de rigeur black clubbing pants and a couple of skirts that were, in hindsight, probably too short. I hit the Late Night Library ("tell your parents you're at the library!" was their tagline), a few times (where, one night, someone opened up an entire can of pepper spray, causing the place to be evacuated since no one could breath), and got grabbed by drunk guys at the country-western bar (the name escapes me, but for a while there I could line dance with the best of them). But the regular clubs that played nothing but music with a throbbing bass line were never really my thing. Before too long, the only clubs I went to were to some of the bars to hear local bands (6 Degrees!), to Floyd's for Old Wave Night (which a number of us from the Catholic Student Union used to hit after Mass and dinner Sunday nights for the 80s music) and, more often, either Gordo's or Atlantis for hours of salsa dancing.

So as Jack's morphed from people eating a late dinner into a club, complete with flashing lights and deep thrums of bass (no one was dancing to), I just felt out of place. Actually, I just felt old, despite the fact that I was certainly younger than some of the other people there. It all just felt very surface. Women gathered in clumps near the bar and men, beer in hand, stood in separate groups eying the women from across the room. It reminded us both a little of junior high, actually, only with alcohol. It was so loud, we could barely hear each other. Pam, who is six years younger than me, said she felt the same way. After she got the photos she needed, and we'd had a drink apiece, we both decided to leave. It had only been about an hour.

I can't imagine going to a club (or a club-like environment) with the intent of meeting someone. And while I like going to one of the local pubs for a pint or two, even when I was in college I didn't go out drinking just to drink. It never held any appeal. I suppose it's because I want something more than just the superficial.

Anyway, on Sunday afternoon, Pam, myself and a few other ladies are going to have our own girl's outing, something with a little less bass and no strobe lighting. We're going pottery painting. :)

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