As promised, UnHinged is still here, croaing and groaning and expanding. If an idea doesn’t expand over time, was it really a good idea in the first place?
UnHinged first entered unchartered territory when talking about the world of online dating, but UnHinged is looking to complete it’s second exhibition. I believe there is a universal belief that the only correct adjective to use when someone is trying to pick you up in a club… is unhinged.
Let me set the scene for you. I had just sat on the bathroom floor while Nola cut my bangs, Maeve told me I looked liked a celebrity as I walked out the door, and now I was at a club with Naia feeling like the absolute shit. However it was a Saturdat night, which meant I wasn’t going to let myself stay out too late no matter how good I felt. I was in the lobby of the cub with Naia, telling her I was getting ready to leave when a boy walked past us and briefly, in a moment of drunken honesty, interrupted our conversation to say, “You are so beautiful, I just had to tell you.”
He kept walking out the door, following his friends though. I looked at Naia and we just laughed at the simple interaction. Before she could open her mouth to make some funny comment about the boy, he comes bursting back through the door and running down the hallways towards us. Maybe, just seconds earlier, we had both admitted that he was cute, but that doesn’t mean I wanted to try and talk to him, to spend any part of my night with him, to leave Naia to be with him. I go out to clubs to dance with my friends and have a good time, not try to have a screaming conversation with a boy who probably won’t remember me in the morning.
It’s easy to tell them ‘no’ without further explanation in a club setting – they generally won’t think about it for more than 20 seconds before they’re onto the next person. It’s also easy for me to just say ‘no’ without further explanation because it seems as though I have far too much testosterone for a female, and think I look a lot tougher than I actually do. Fear this 100 pound twenty year old!
I was about to tell the boy, standing in front of me now, “Thank you, but I’m busy” when his initial question intrigued me.
“I think you’re so beautiful, so I had to come back here and talk to you. So I need to know, what are your three biggest passions?” Maybe I should have been upset that he didn’t initially ask for my name, but I will never pass up the opportunity to ramble on to somebody about music, economics, sports, writing, photography…
Although I named these things, I didn’t give him much. There is nothing you should be in a club except skeptical. When I told him my favorite Kanye album was Yeezus and he responded, “No way, me too!” I saw the red flags go up in the near distance. Yeezus is nobody else’s favorite Kanye album. To be frank, I don’t even know why it’s mine. I simply latched on and didn’t let go.
I do not like being tricked or lied to, so I started being the one to ask questions as the conversation unfolded.
“What sports and positions did you play? What’s your favorite American football team? What other artists do you like? What’s your favorite movie? What are you studying? What do you want to do with your degree?”
It was crazy how it all lined up. Soccer, midfield, baseball, shortstop, Chiefs, he just saw Childish Gambino in concert, documentaries, he’s studying international business and wants to work for the UN… it was almost freaky how many things Miguel and I had in common.
Miguel asked me to go back in and dance. Although we had this strange connection and he seemed like a very nice guy, did I want to dance with a drunk stranger in a Madrid club? No. When you let people touch you once, they think it gives them the authority to touch you again, to expect something else from you. It doesn’t.
I told him I was just on my way home, that I needed to study. He responded, “You’re only in Madrid once, party!”
To which I rolled my eyes and responded, “I’ll be in Madrid way more than just once if I study.” I have nothing if not my determination.
I’ve studied the Hero’s Journey enough to know there’s always a step in the journey that includes being distracted by a goddess. Although it’s part of the story, it doesn’t help the hero in the end. The compliments were nice, but Miguel was not going to distract me on my own Hero’s Journey to work for an international company that allows me to travel prolifically.
He asked to walk me home, and I know I would have been safe with him. He had sobered up during our conversation and didn’t make the skin on my arms stand up like some guys I’ve talked to. However one of my favorite things to do is walk home after the club, and that’s only exemplified in Madrid where the city is so safe I can walk home alone. So I told him, “No, I don’t want you to walk me home.” He seemed taken abackb ut stuttering, agreed and said he was going to head out to meet his other friends.
I waited with Naia a few minutes after he left before promising her I’d text when I got home, and headed out.
An old best friend from high school that I swiftly cut off told me once that my obsession with maintaining good grades in school and being the best on all my sport’s team was my worst quality. She told me that nobody needed to be that obsessed with career and school an sports, that eventually everything would work out. What would she think about my actions tonight? What does it say about me that all I want to do after a night out is be alone?
Sometimes I talk to my friends after nights out and they tell me about the boys they met at the club and what happened between the two of them. I listen and act excited for them and seem interested but what I don’t want to admit that I find the entire thing comical. We are so young and we have so many amazing opportunities that are just laying down for us to grab and we are able to pay attention in a way that other people cannot and meeting a man at a club and kissing him seems so inconsequential in comparison to those big ideas. I do not tell them this though, for fear that it makes me feel judgemental or as though I’m making fun of them and feel that I’m better than them. I want my friends to be happy, but I also want to accomplish big things. What does it say about me that I don’t understand why anyone would want to dance with a random man in a club? Will I ever regret going home to sleep and study and try and grab at those big opportunities instead of staying out longer when I’m older? Could I possibly be doing both? Why do I think the thought of going back in the club and trying to dance with Miguel is so funny I could almost laugh out loud on this barren street?
I’m not sure, and I battle with those questions whenever I find myself leaving a night early while my friends continue to party and have fun. It’s 1am and the streets are just starting to become full of people everywhere smiling and laughing with friends, wearing some of the best outfits I’ve ever seen. I make my way back Home. Being alone in the apartment, it strikes me that maybe I should be taking the time to contemplate all of those questions I’ve been asking myself. To be honest, as I sit here on the balcony of my apartment on the second floor on a street which once housed legendary writers, I don’t feel the need to think too much about the answers.
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