Archive for March, 2010


How to be in Girls’ Night, not of it

March 2, 2010

I would consider myself a fairly brave person.  Squashing a bug, no problem.  Climbing up the side of a waterfall, just an exciting adventure.  Even cleaning the disaster that is my room, something that would make most people tremble in terror, I just swallow and dive into.  But once a year, three little words strike fear into my heart: Girls’ Night Out.

Understandably, you might be confused right now, thinking “Girls’ Night Out; isn’t that supposed to be fun?”  The key word there is “supposed.” Lots of things are “supposed to be fun,” which usually means they’re not.  Family vacations come to mind, as does mingling at parties, scrapbooking, and all non-Disney theme parks.  And I’m sure for many people those things are a delight, but for me, they are as welcome as fruit for dessert (if there isn’t chocolate I don’t want it!).  Similarly, Girls’ Night Out makes me sick with anxiety the whole week prior.  This year marked the fifth annual event; I was first invited last year on the fourth anniversary. Let me be clear, the girls who plan and attend are all lovely people whom I really enjoy. We’re just different.

The previous four were held at a bakery downtown, but this year, since most attendees are now college graduates, it was decided that it was time to step things up a little, and the plan was drinks and dessert at the Biltmore. Now, Girls’ Night would be manageable, if it weren’t for the fact that I fail at three of the key things necessary to be a successful Girls’ Night participant: I don’t watch the Bachelor (or Sex and the City), I’m not a big fan of girly drinks, and I cannot for the life of me walk in high heels.

Now, high heels have been a long-running problem (see my Freak Show post below for full explanation).  But I have managed to find a pair of sensible pumps with a solid heel and good grip that I can maintain vertical position in 90% of the time, which is as much as I can hope for, really. Girls’ Night this year happened to fall on the first night of a conference that my department at work was hosting, so I had spent the week leading up working longer hours. That day was a whirlwind of last minute problem-solving, followed by several hours of constant fake laughter at bad jokes by professors who apparently think their PhD is in stand-up comedy. Trust me when I say it’s not.  All this was done in heels, so my feet were already struggling. As soon as we arrived at the Biltmore, I grabbed my seat and kicked my heels off under the table, only slipping them back on when I had to hop out of my seat for one of the 12,000 photos taken that night of every possible combination of people and poses. Problem #1, solved.

When I first turned 21, I loved the sweetest, fruitiest drinks I could find. The less I could taste the alcohol, the better, right?  Well, my taste has evolved over the past year and half, and now most mixed drinks just taste gross. Give me a glass of wine or a cold beer any day.  If I’m getting hard alcohol, whiskey and coke or a nice gin and tonic. But these are not acceptable drinks for Girls’ Night. Now, time to confess my cardinal sin in the church of Carrie Bradshaw: I think cosmos are disgusting. The combo of sickly sweet and bitter does not appeal to me. It was easy enough to get away with a glass of white wine though, and problem #2 was eliminated.

The last one is trickier though.  I have never watched a single episode of either the Bachelor or the Bachelorette, and several of the attendees were avid fans. I know because they watch in the apartment that shares a wall with mine, which is handy as I am able to keep track of the days of the week by remembering screams and giggles for an hour straight means it’s Monday. Girls’ Night this year fell towards the end of the season, so I knew it would come up at some point, if it didn’t dominate conversation the entire evening, leaving me out of a good portion of dialogue.  One option was to throw out random names of participants I had heard secondhand, but the danger there is that they may have been voted off weeks ago, revealing my sham. Then, a stroke of brilliance came. When dreamy Jake and his vapid harem inevitably came up, I threw in comments here and there, but only mentioning people in terms of stock characters that are sure to appear on shows like this. For example, “That catty girl was such a pain, I’m so glad she left early,” or “How about that one with the crazy eyes?! She was a nut.”  This allowed the actual viewers to monologue at length about Reggie and her mental stability, before I had to throw in another comment like “Ugh, how about that scandal? What a skank!” The benefit of this method was that I could let my eyes drift six inches above their heads to the nearby TV screen, conveniently tuned to the Lakers/Philly game, while nodding along knowingly at their analysis of the televised romance. This worked surprisingly well. “Come on!” I cried out in frustration as Farmar blew another open three-pointer.  “I know!” one of the girls replied. “Like Rozlyn could really expect us to believe her.”  “What? Oh, yeah, I mean, she’s just crazy,” I nodded vehemently. My fist pump at Gasol’s dunk was taken as excitement over the next bachelorette contestant, albeit expressed in a totally unladylike manner.

So Girls’ Night Out passed without any of my feminine failings being brought to light. Heck, I even had fun.  I like to giggle as much as the next girl, and have my own trashy TV vices.  I truly like all the women who were there, and I know they would all have been just as nice if I had been wearing flannel and swigging whiskey.  So maybe it’s okay to wear high heels every once in a while. I’ll still pass on the Cosmo though.