Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Bars, Clubs, and Parties, Oh My!

The last few days of holiday celebrations have been a whirlwind of parties, dinners, new experiences, and new people. With staying up until 4 or 5 am each night, drinking way too much, and running around the city all day, I've had little time for blogging or sleeping, but I have to admit I've had a blast.

I came back to New York at the end of last week after spending the holidays with my family in Houston, Texas. My first night back I went out with one of my close friends from college, Pele, and a group of her college friends to Puck Fair. Most of the guys were what I would describe as typical frat boys. They were big drinkers, not terribly interesting, socially unaware, and a little full of themselves. Initially, I felt awkward in the group, as I sometimes do in situations that call for meaningless small talk. I can turn on the charm when I need to and talk about books, traveling, politics, and other things I'm genuinely interested in with people I'm interested in getting to know, but have no interest in talking for the sake of talking.

During the course of the evening I ended up meeting two other men at the bar who were not part of the college group, both of whom worked for Apple. They were nice guys and gave me a lot of information about the changes happening over at Apple and it's transition to becoming Windows friendly. I allowed them to buy me a beer and then noticed that one of them, who was clearly very interested in chatting me up, had a wedding band on his finger. Immediately, I lost any respect for him that might have developed. The idea that married men go around town chatting up pretty young things is disgusting to me. I would never want my partner to do that, and I most certainly am not going to be one of those skanky, men-centered-women who sell their sisters down the river behind their backs. I ended up excusing myself from the two men to rejoin my friend's group, but not before the married man gave me his card and told me he would like to get together with me. Men can be such pigs.

When I rejoined my friend's group, they were in the middle of a game of quarters. Apparently their development stopped sometime around freshmen year of college. Not that drinking games are a bad thing, and not that I didn't join in with competitive zeal. It's just that I think men in their late 20s and 30s should have developed past the point of getting trashed over drinking games as their main method of social interaction. At one point, the guys started betting each other to do gross things. One of the guys, an investment banker that gave off an unmistakable sexist vibe and also had a disturbing habit of forcefully pushing the women next to him for emphasis as he was speaking, took $10 to drink a nasty concoction of the warm backwash-filled leftovers of the beer bottles littering the table. Pele and I joined in the betting, her offering $20 to whomever would drink a half bottle of ketchup and me giving verbal encouragement. I never bet money.

In the midst of this, as the testosterone energy was getting amped up, our waitress delivered 4 car bombs to the table, three to our friends and one to Pele and I. I rarely do shots, so immediately declined, as did Pele. The guys focused on us and started urging one of us to drink the shot. We kept saying no thank you, when all of a sudden the I-banker pulled out a $50 and put it in front of me. Pele and I both glanced at the $50 for a second, both of us mentally calculating what our cab fare home at the end of the night would cost and me gauging how much more hungover I would be after another drink and whether it was worth it. We arrived at the same conclusion. She swept up the $50, I downed the shot, and the money disappeared into my bag. Apparently, I can be bought for $50! I would have felt bad for taking the boy's money, except that a bet is a bet. If he didn't want to lose the $50 he shouldn't have put it down, and if he really thought I couldn't handle the car bomb, he deserved to be corrected.

Two days later, after I had almost recovered from my night with the frat boys, my brothers came into town for the DJ Tiesto show at Crowbar. Before the show, the three of us had dinner at Angelo & Maxies with our mom's cousin and his daughter, who also lives in New York. We hadn't seen each other in years and had such a great time catching up. The food, wine, and conversation were all excellent, and I loved spending time with my brothers in that setting. I'm not sure what my mom's cousin's daughter is in relation to me (second or third cousin?), but regardless she was super cool and I'm looking forward to hanging out with her again. She's yet another person who was here in New York all along, a part of the rapidly expanding social circle I didn't realize I had until relatively recently. Ever since I shut the door on my last relationship, all of these other relationships and opportunities have materialized. It's been amazing.

After dinner, my brothers and I, along with Pele, went to see DJ Tiesto. By the time we arrived, a little past 11 pm, the line to get into Crowbar was insanely long. I was ready to wait it out, but suddenly Bacchus, who had gone up ahead with Frey, started waving me towards the front of the line. Apparently Frey slipped the bouncer $100 to get us in ahead of everyone else. The main dance floor of Crowbar was packed (as the above picture attests to), a writhing mass of bodies moving to the beats of the music. Frey surprised me again by dropping another $100 to get us upstairs to a lounge area overlooking the dance floor with it's own bar and a lot of space to move around in. I had no idea my brother rolled like that. The show was good. I'm not a huge fan of electronica (I like dancing to hip hop the best) but we all had a great time. My brothers amused me by basically acting like my body guards. Any time a male got too close to me (in their opinion), they moved in and made it clear that the guy should look elsewhere. At 6'1" and 6'3" they're quite persuasive when they want to be. We danced until about 5 am, then grabbed some food at a diner near my apartment before crashing at my place. My legs are still pleasantly sore from dancing.

The next night was New Year's Eve and my flatmate's boyfriend's dinner party. My brothers left my place early in the afternoon, after we had all woken up feeling extremely hung over, sleep deprived, and massively dehydrated, and then headed back to my brother's place in Connecticut. I headed out for some much needed coffee and a mani and a pedi. I found my new favorite red nail polish color: After Sex by Essie. My toes looked spectacular. I also treated myself to a 10-minute Thai back massage because I really needed it and I totally deserved it.

My flatmate's boyfriend is an extremely successful older gentleman who is very well connected in New York. He kindly invited me to the New Year's Eve dinner party he was hosting at his brownstone on the UES; a fully catered, lavish affair with many members of New York's upper crust in attendance. I was initially a bit hesitant to attend because, frankly, I knew there would be a lot of older people and I was worried the evening would be more conservative than what I would want a New Year's celebration to be. However, ultimately I decided to go and brought Pele as my date, the two of us deciding that regardless of how the evening went, we would surely come out of it with a good story or two.

I'm so happy I went because I ended up having a terrific time. Pele and I were the babies of the group, but there were people in their late 30s and 40s so we did not feel out of place. I met a number of fascinating people, had great conversations, and totally held my own with the sophisticated crowd. After the party, Pele and I went out for champagne and port with two men in their late 30s who were particularly interesting. One of them was Norwegian and absolutely gorgeous, but married, and the other one was his close friend. Hanging out with them was such a stark contrast to my evening with the frat boys. These two men both had a quiet confidence about them, were very smart, funny, and creative, and could talk about anything from indie music to film to relationships. Talking with them, it was the first time that I could actually imagine myself dating a man in his late 30s - not them, but someone in their age range.

I hadn't realized that men older than me could be so hot. And I'm not talking at all just about physical attractiveness, although there was that too. I'm talking about a confidence that comes with age from knowing yourself and being comfortable in your own skin, something many younger men seem to lack (and I think the reason a lot of them act like such immature asses). Thanks in particular to the hot Norwegian, my new dating range has now officially expanded all the way up to age 39.

I didn't get home on New Year's Day until 4:30 am and just barely managed to shrug out of my cocktail dress before crawling into bed. I'm back at work today and a part of me is relieved that the holiday partying has come to an end. Living on holiday candy, no sleep, and alcohol is not a sustainable way to live. It was, however, a perfect way to ring in the new year.


starshine said...

Happy New Year, Buttercup! Thank you for your well-wishes. I like your new acceptable age range for dating. It worked for me!!! :)

InterstellarLass said...

Oh my! Sounds like you had too much fun! When I come to NYC in Nov, you will have to take me around!

Ally Bean said...

What a great holiday you had with family time and friend time. Lucky you.

Happy New Year.

Anonymous said...

what a great holiday indeed!!

Yes, its a prerequisite to be a pig if your an investment banker, especially one in the big cities.

See, sometimes a little snow of the roof is good

Karianne said...

How fun it all sounds. Thanks for the posts so I can remember the holidays, pre babies. We went out to dinner and were all asleep by 930.

Happy New Year!

Gypsy said...

I am pea green with envy! What a dazzling and erudite young lady you are. :)

Buttercup said...

Starshine - It worked very nicely for you!

Lass - You got it.

Ally Bean - I do feel lucky. Overall, I had a wonderful holiday with the people I loved.

Sparky - "Snow off the roof"?

Karianne - I'm sure that was wonderful too.

Gypsy - I don't know about "erudite" but I'll take dazzling. :) I'm pea green with envy about your news!!

Anonymous said...


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