By the time four o'clock rolled around yesterday I was deep into a productive day that included a job interview, a hard core workout and completing a laundry list of errands. And when I picked up my ringing phone to the sound of my friend Z's voice suggesting we go out to dinner, I didn't think for a second that dinner would lead to 4am Disco Fries at my neighborhoods stankiest diner. I don't think that's what Z was expecting either, but somehow that's how our night shaped up.
After a couple glasses of wine over a quiet dinner at one of my favorite local restaurants Z and I were digging through my closet getting dressed for a night on the town much to my husband, T's, dismay. The wheels were in motion and what I thought was going to be a quiet evening of scrapbooking with a glass of vino was transforming into an all night rager with velvet ropes and diamond-priced vodka. Ever since I was laid off from my job I swore I would take advantage of having my weekdays off and party with people who's beautiful faces and bodies allow them the luxury of never having to work a 9 to 5, only I've always felt too guilty to actually do it. Until last night that is when the lure of a night out with one of my besties and the thrill that comes with dressing up one of my friends in my clothes got the best of me and I was raring to go.
So at 9:30 last night Z and I headed out dressed in my Sunday best, her teetering in a pair of my size-bigger-than-hers platform stillettos and started our night at one of my favorite Lower East Side spots, Fat Baby. It's probably not a good thing when you walk into a place and the bouncer recognizes you as the girl who sat in his truck eating the Pringles you had bought for him last time you were there, but that's what happened and after two palpatation inducing RedBull Vodka's I was once again best friends with Mr. Bouncer Man.
Upon hearing that there was a little-person tossing event at Fat Baby that night and wanting to really take advantage of our freebie Wednesday night Z and I decided to head out to one of New York's toughest doors, 1 Oak. It's infamous doorman, Ben is armed nightly with the excuse, "Sorry, tonight's a private party" and an I-don't-give-a-shit-who-you-say-you-know attitude normally reserved for someone of much larger stature. So you could imagine my nerves that we'd be spending our big night out standing outside the door like losers begging to be let in, however, if I've learned anything during my years in NYC, it's that the key to getting in anywhere is to go early. Sure, you'll feel like a lame-ass for first hour when you're one of only a handful of people in the lounge, but before you know it you're another drink deep, the room is filled up and no one knows that the only reason you got past Ben in the first place is because you showed up at the embarassing hour of 11:30 when everyone knows the party doesn't start until 1. And so we rolled up behind a group of four other losers, dropped a generic name like Joe to Ben saying, "he knows you" and he must have been feeling generous because after walking away for 30 seconds he came back and ushered us in.
We were greeted with an room empty save for a duo of cougars excitedly sitting at a booth and just thirty minutes later we were running up the bar tab of the only two dudes in the place with $18 Vodka Sodas. Somewhere between Vodka number three and water number two the place filled up with some seriously beautiful people making me feel like a 5'5" midget. Forgetting where I was, I started telling some model about the "steal" I got on my BCBG dress when she complimented me on it and she gave me a look like I had just whipped out a coupon to buy myself a drink. The night wore on and my next trip to the bathroom with Z resulted in me earning my entrance into 1 Oak by cleaning up the projectile vomit she spewed all over the bathroom for five minutes before heading back upstairs where she snuck another drink on our "friend's" tab even though I begged her to pound a water. Not one to stop a party, I slammed a water, ordered another cocktail and hit the dance floor with Z alternately rocking my best moves and talking shit to people who are way cooler than I will ever be. I think I may have gone so far as to use the words "industry" and "fierce."
Then, just as we were desperately trying to order another round with two devestatingly pretty gay men whom we had just annointed our new best friends, something clicked and we were officially over it. Looking around and the over abudance of scarves, neon hoodies and purposely messy hair Z and I realized that at 29 years old, with wonderful men waiting for us at home we really didn't care all that much about seeing or being seen by people whos priorities are seven years and 10 pounds behind ours so we left. But we weren't headed home.
Anyone who knows Z knows full well that a night out with her doesn't end with leaving the bar, it begins there and what happens between 3 and 4am is more exhausting than the previous five hours of dancing. Over the next hour, to the best of my recollection, this is what happened. We got into a cab and when the driver pulled over to let us out I noticed the street sign and realized he dropped us off 8 avenues from where we needed to be. We got back in the cab, told him he was a jerk, to take us to where we needed to go and that we weren't paying for the rest of the ride. We stuck to our guns and our cab ride ended with him getting out of the cab yelling that he was going to call the cops on us to which one of responded, "For what? Being smokin hot?" I should've known that there was no way Z was just going to quietly go home from there and against everything I believe in (this week) she insisted that we hit up a diner. I begged, pleaded and finally relented as we walked through the doors of a diner I haven't visited since T and I masacared a pound of rare roast beef on another 3am morning about a year ago.
There I was, putting myself into cheese coma sharing French Onion Soup, Disco Fries and a Tuna Melt with Z, swearing to myself that I would spend two hours at the gym as soon as I woke up). I was hopeful that paying the check would signal the end of our night, but as we both teetered home, having switched shoes Z announced that she had to find a charger for her dying cell phone and asked whoever roamed the streets if they thought the Verizon store was open. I don't know what made her think that Verizon opens up at 4am, but she was on a mission and when Z is on a mission, there's no stoping her. After 15 years of friendship, I've learned that what Z wants, Z gets. So after "quietly" bursting into my apartment and trying not to wake T as we kicked off our shoes and "tip toed" into the bedroom to see if his charger would fit her phone, both he and I were watching her head out the front door.
So while Z was out scouring Manhattan for a cell phone charge at 4am, T and I sat there arguing over what to do about it. He insisted that I go after her, I insisted that he go back to bed. After all, this is the same Z who once ordered a pizza from her car in parking deck at 3am because we refused to go to a diner. After calling her dead phone forty times and after 30 minutes of arguing with each other, there was finally a knock on our door. T opened it up and in waltzed Z proudly holding her new cell phone charger which she procured by having a cabbie driver her halfway across town and refusing to pay him unless he waited for her while she found a charger that fit her phone at the only open Walgreens in NYC. And so T was finally able to get back to bed three hours before he had to get up for work and five minutes later found himself snuggled up with two girls sporting cheese fry breath. Now being in bed with two women would normally be every man's fantasy, only it's not so sexy when you find yourself clinging on to the only corner of bed and sliver of blanket your sleep-talking wife and her sleep-thrasing best friend haven't claimed as their own between snores and kicks.
By 12pm today Z and I were fully awake and hungry once again. After a trip to another diner for breakfast and Z hitting up three parking garages before figuring out where she'd parked her car it was time for me to clean up the Tornado named Unplain Jane that swept through our apartment last night just in time to meet my husband for an after-work (or in my case, after-nothing) cocktails event. Ouch.
If I learned anything last night it's that nothing good happens after 2:30am and maybe I'm getting a little too old to be sucking up to bouncers for access to places I am no longer cool enough for, but at least I can say I've been to 1 Oak and am over it. (That's not to say that if Lindsay Lohan had walked in I would've creamed myself and returned every Wednesday night for the rest of my life.) Not to be a sap but nights like these always serve as a great reminder that velvet ropes, over priced cocktails and fancy people desperately searching for the next-best-thing don't equal good times. Good times come packaged as hilarious best friends and amazing husbands. Next time we can skip the lines and the pretty people because it's a lot more fun to sit around getting fat and having laughs with your friends and family over an underpriced meal.