EXPECTATIONS VERSUS REALITY
This is hallmark subject in my life and probably yours as well.
One of the most stark places where my hopeful expectations meet with pretty dismal realities is in the Club. Those hot, long-line having, Forever 21 crowd wearing bastions of dancing excellence.
I’m no clubber or club hopper (are these even the terms used now? See, I don’t even know.) But I will never say no to putting on a monochromatic dress and sweating to a bass beat whilst sipping my 73% water beverage in the dark.
I love to dance and I love to dance in the dark. I had pretty strict parents growing up and one of the only sanctioned fun times I had access to was school dances. Which are basically junior clubs sans alcohol (usually) and free-entry before 11 pm.
Maybe you are not familiar with what going to the club as a 6’3″ black woman with a gift of attracting weirdoes is like. It is a strange, surreal place full of much observation and moments that belong under It-Happened-To-Me headlines in XoJane.
I didn’t know that in the beginning. I truly, innocently thought my club experience was always going to look like this:
But, really, it’s a much more like this:
I know I am not alone. Or maybe I am, but writing this out loud fools me otherwise and helps my more traumatized Club-self deal.
I watched A LOT of MTV growing up and was always-up on the new music videos that dropped. Though I nary saw a woman who looked like me in these hip-hop and RnB videos as the male artists became more mainstream, I still had this swanky vision of my Club Self: pore-less and posed with a light blue drink in hand. I’d dance with my pick of men who would be courteous and smell like something piney and fresh.
LOL, young Hannah. LOL.
Clubs are where social nightmares play out in real time.
- I often sweat so much I look like I got done with Zumba.
- One time I heard a woman ask her friend who was an actual drag queen whether I was a drag queen.
- Most Club Nights were asexual experiments in time where I am coldly sober (I did not drink for a very long time) and jotting down notes for further writing down.
- If wear heels, I’ll get at least five asinine remarks on how tall I am: Damn Mommy! I wanna climb you girl! What, you like 6’9″?
- My friend got 86’ed for falling asleep and we all had to leave early on my birthday.
- I spent a NYE watching my basketball teammates ditch me and some Caribbean dude talking in my ear about how he was going to f&%$ me all night long. While on the phone with my sister.
- Weird men have chased me (literally) around a club on numerous occasions.
- A friend assured me we could skip the line and get in for free because she knew the promoter (everyone has a friend like this, I swear) and not only did we get turned away and have to go back in line, we didn’t get in at all.
I used to think it was just me and if I tried hard enough, had more “confidence” this kind of strange shit would not happen to me.
Then, I learned to just laugh at the comedy of my social life. I now realize that I often attract weirdness and that there’s nothing I can really do about 95% of it.
Maybe one day I’ll have my Ex-Factor club entrance moment. The next time I am getting mistaken for a drag queen or accosted by a 60 year old, I will recall the words I always repeat to myself in club settings:
One day, I may just write about this.