It’s Friday night and you are deep into an episode of “Snapped,” the Oxygen show that profiles lady killers, when you get a call from your token high school friend who is sticking it out in suburbia with you after college.
“What are you doing right now?” she asks.
“Just eating a bag of Dorito’s and learning how this lady poisoned her husband,” you say.
“Fascinating…. Let’s go out,” she demands.
“I don’t know, I’m really tired. I had a really long week at work and this lady is about to explain how she used arsenic to slowly poison her abusive husband over the course of a week, so I don’t think so,” you say.
“You’ve stayed in three weekends in a row, if you keep this up you’re going to have no one but your stuffed cat to poison in 20 years,” she says.
“…OK, fine. I’ll go out. But I’m not going anywhere that is farther than 15 minutes away and if our divorced middle school P.E. teacher is there and hits on me again we are leaving,” I say.
That’s typically how you are guilted into going out in the burbs’ on a Friday night.
First things first, you need to get dressed. For chicks, this outfit is usually skinny jeans and a cute top.
When going out in the suburbs you never want to get too dressed up, you’re not going to some swanky tequila bar in a large metropolitan city. You’re probably going to a Mexican restaurant in a strip mall near Target that removes the tables in the dining room on Friday and Saturday night and turns it into a ‘club.’
But just because the bar isn’t in a big city does not mean that the drinks will be cheaper. In fact, the drinks will probably be similar in price if not more expensive than their big city counterparts.
My theory on this is that the majority of patrons in the suburban bar are probably parents over 35 who probably won’t have more than one or two drinks. They can’t be impaired when they have to drive home by midnight to relieve the teenage babysitter after all.
So the bar doesn’t have a bunch of twentysomethings downing 10 drinks in one night, except for you of course, and needs to turn a profit somehow. That’s why the drinks are so expensive.
Another thing that will happen at the bars in the burbs’ is that you will run into a ghost of high school past, probably more than one. In general, these encounters will never get easier. If you run into one of the popular girls, you’ll still feel that tinge of insecurity. Luckily you will have the company of alcohol to make you feel less awkward.
Just remember that she is in the same boat as you, living at home and trying to figure her life out, and if she is still a total jerk you can always throw a drink in her face.
Which leads me to other people you might want to throw a drink at, older overly aggressive single people. There will be many of these types of people. Most of the time they will keep to their peers and not bother the younger people. However, there will always be a few older men and women that try all night long to get with someone much younger.
No matter how hard you try to politely brush these people off, they will not leave you alone. Maybe they haven’t gone out in 10 years, I don’t know, but just be nice. Eventually they will have one too many gin and tonics and the bartender will call a cab for them long before last call.
Cabs, yes they have these in the suburbs. I, nor any of my friends, have used a cab service in the suburbs because we all live in family oriented neighborhoods that are located about 3 to 10 miles from the nearest bar. It would be too expensive to take a cab home, so we trade off being the designated driver when we do go out.
Having a DD for the night is actually great though because he or she can drive you around at 2 a.m. while trying to find some place open to grab a greasy snack. McDonald’s or Taco Bell will probably be the only place open at this hour, so read up on those value menus.
And even then you might have to settle for some Bagel Bites in your friends freezer because the 18 year old keyholder at McDonald’s decided to skip out on work early to get drunk at the playground with his girlfriend.
I know what you are thinking, it sounds like the nightlife in the suburbs sucks and while I can’t say that yes, it is just as fun as barhopping in a big city, it can be enjoyable in its own way.
For one, the music is usually a mix of oldies and top 40 hits which can be a nice change of pace from the endless drone of EDM that big city nightclubs play. Sometimes you may run into someone you like from your past and it will be fun to catch up.
If you go out on a semi regular basis to the same bars you’ll get to know the bouncers and bartenders who may forgive the cover charge (I know right) or $10 minimum on purchases with credit cards when you forget some cash.
You might even start to feel like you are a part of a community…have a home if you will….again. There’s something comforting about that. So enjoy it while you are here.
Hey, sometimes your parents might be nice and offer to be your taxi for the night.
It’s not all bad. I promise.