A while back, I noticed a strange personal phenomena of sorts. Let me break it down. I love dancing. I love drinking. I love spending recklessly. And I love hanging with friends. But put the combination of all five elements together in a building that’s not someone’s house, and it becomes… terrible. The math just doesn’t add up, but then again I’ve never exactly been good (read: competent) at calculations. So what is it about clubbing that sucks the fun out of some time-honoured millennial past times?
In every other place around society, there’s a degree of awareness and respect with personal space. Everyone is entitled to the bare minimum of a little personal space orb, at least part-way between an arm’s length and… a… leg’s length, I guess? Is that a thing? I don’t know. You get the point, though. Personal space is king, get out of my face etc. When you go clubbing, it’s like you’ve stepped into this parallel universe where every particle of oxygen must be shared by at least ten other people, so you spend the entire time there trying to fight for that little orb of personal space. Slip up for a second by losing focus and you soon find yourself nuts to butts with a stranger that’s mid-gurn, sweating harder than a Kardashian/Jenner at the prospect of having to get a regular 9-5 job.
Obviously at the volume a club atmosphere would have, it goes without saying that talking to someone can prove challenging. But beyond that, the conversations held usually goes one of two ways. Basically, it’s either drunken confessions punctuated with fits of sobbing and another gin and tonic, or it’s idle chit-chat with a stranger as you try not be appear outwardly bored with whatever they are going on about. Suffice to say, there’s no profound discussions about the changing face of post-modernism or overcoming the inherent inadequacies borne from modern life, not that those topics specifically constitute riveting conversation, but you get the gist.
You struggle over basic additions and subtractions day to day, but after an hour or two, and however many drinks that equates to, you become a goddamn economist. Example: on average, one vodka lemonade costs $8.50. Three vodka lemonades will cost $25.50. With roughly the same money, you can buy an entire bottle of cheap, albeit borderline lethally disgusting, vodka and pour a whole tonne more than the three watered down shots you were given. After a while, your wallet starts to hurt. Badly. Rinse and repeat a few weekends, and you start to figure out how else you could have used the money you squandered on a mediocre turnt. Maybe even an airline ticket to any place but a club.
When You Want To Bail but Can’t
As the night winds down, everything and everyone else starts to come down, and the non-fun starts to set in, you find yourself waiting to go home. You sit there, pretending whatever the tipsy girl next to you is saying about her friend matters, thinking about the next day and how early you have to wake up. There’s that awkward period of indecision where you try and figure out when is a good time to bail without your friends calling you out as a ‘lil bitch, something I have personally been victim of a lot, so much so I myself have bought into my ‘lil bitch label.
In the end, it’s really just about the moment and appreciating what you can, while you can. Clubbing may be overrated for the very reasoning of personal space, shit conversations, troubling wallet economics, and end of night boredom, but it’s still an attempt at enjoyment. And if there’s ever a moment that’s too horrible to work out on the holy dee-eff, then I don’t want to be a part of it.
By Garry Lu
photo crew: kodakdisposables