Last night was a babysitting night for my nephews, ages 11 and 7, while my sister and her husband attended an art opening for a friend. I got permission to initiate them into the world of the musical “Grease” and all of its dirty references with actors who were very obviously not teenagers – the boys immediately picked up that Stockard Channing was “old” (33 when the movie was filmed). The 7-year-old said the actors were “creepy.” But they still got up and excitedly danced along with “Greased Lightning.”
I told my sister that if any questions came up about dirty jokes, she was getting all the queries. I didn’t want to get in trouble for giving them any answers.
Back in 1997 to 2003 I was living in Cincinnati, and during that time I worked in a very large law firm that expanded from 50 people to 350 people by the time I left. If you’ve never worked with lawyers, just know that they can drink. It was a great place for me to be really social. I did a lot of dancing. Sometimes I can’t believe that my Friday nights now are so different from 20 years ago. TWENTY YEARS.
We used to bring our going-out clothes to work on Fridays (if we weren’t already wearing them), and then all pile into the bathroom with our curling irons and hair spray and perfume and body glitter and high heels and makeup. We were a core group of four but sometimes there were more, and we’d rent a hotel room to stay in so we wouldn’t drive home drunk. If there were 8-10 of us, the hotel room would only end up being $10-15 downtown for a decent room, and maybe even a suite with a living room and pull-out couch.
One of the nights that we had a larger group for a friend’s birthday, there were 10 of us total, and four people got two bedrooms, and the rest of us were out in the living room. Two of the girls were doing full body barrel rolls over one of the guys on the floor. Now, let me tell you that I have no idea how we got this guy to party with us, but we did. He was younger and he worked in the mail room next to our area and we built up a good rapport with him, and he was fucking hot. There’s just no other way to say it. He was hot and he had a big, tight body with muscles everywhere, and we all wanted to jump him. So at the end of the night my two friends were rolling around on the floor with him, and I was sure that at some point it was going to be a threesome and I was going to have to pretend to look away. Unfortunately for them, it didn’t happen. A few days later one of them whisper screamed to me that he had the biggest penis she had ever had the pleasure of bumping into and she might have been a little scared if she would have been sober. I was a little sad that no one deflowered the mail room guy. It was some sort of male dance review fantasy.
Every time we went out I managed to play kissy face with some random stranger. I’ve been accused of putting out a scent, but maybe it’s because I just shake my ass when I’m dancing. One time on the dance floor I was minding my own business when a guy who was exactly my height started dancing with me and immediately put his hands on my shoulders and started pressing down really hard. Maybe I was bouncing around too much? He was really drunk and it’s possible he wanted the world to stop spinning. My friends were watching this happen. They said they could see the instant that my face changed from “I’m going to see where this goes” to “Oh, HELL no!” After he succeeded in immobilizing me, he tried to suck my face off with his lips. I couldn’t move my body away from him, only my neck. Back, back, back went my head like a chicken, and his lips kept stretching forward like a cartoon. I finally pried his hands off and climbed over my friends to get to the corner of the booth and he eventually went away after he couldn’t figure out how to find me again.
A bunch of the bars in the Over the Rhine area of downtown Cincinnati change ownership and themes often, but back in the late ’90’s the popular ones were Banana Joe’s (a chain that some of you might remember in other cities) and a ’70’s disco place called “Have a Nice Day Cafe” and one of those light-up disco dance floors. I remember that some dumbass maced someone else on the dance floor and the whole bar had to be evacuated one night, and all of us were teary-eyed and gagging. It was not “nice.”
Banana Joe’s had $1 rail drinks from 5 pm to 9 pm, so we would race from the firm to get there as soon as possible and pound down those drinks before they became full price, and to dance before the floor got packed. I was often the first one on the floor. I can still hear my friend saying, “There go her hips!”
One night in particular we had a bigger group of about 7 meeting up for drinking and dancing, starting early as usual. It included a gay couple and it was on a chilly night; we were all partying on the cheap and there wasn’t a coat check, so we just piled our coats in the corner by the DJ booth and danced near it, per the usual. On that night, though, there was a guy who was coming up to all of the girls and humping all of us in a distasteful way and wouldn’t take no for an answer, so we were throwing him dirty looks and edging away from him – and further away from our coats.
Dumb move. Not much time lapsed when one of the guys noticed that the nice $700 leather coats he and his boyfriend owned had been stolen by the obnoxious guy. We looked at the front door and the guy was on his way out. We girls were pissed! We shot out the door and yelled at the doorman to ask which way the asshole went, then we split up – two one way, two another. We circled the building, running to catch up, and by the time I did with the person I had paired up with, the other two girls had already pounced on the loser and retrieved the two jackets. They had seen him slinging them into a dumpster when he was taking off down an alley. They were yelling at him and he was holding up his hands as if he didn’t know what they were screaming about, then he slinked off into the shadows. We celebrated a little the fact that we kicked ass while the boys waited inside to see if they would ever get their jackets back.
I think about my Friday nights now, when I have a few hours with my nephews, or when I am looking for some diversion on Netflix or Hulu or Amazon. I’m so glad that I embraced every opportunity to be social, that I chased after an asshole who stole my friends’ coats and nothing bad really came of it, and that all of us survived the Friday nights.
I realized, just this moment, that every generation thinks that they are the ones that discovered wild. That’s not true at all. My nephews are going to figure that out too. They have no idea what their parents did or what I did because they think of us as the adults that are pretty quiet on Friday nights.
7 thoughts on “Saturday Morning Thoughts About Friday Nights”
This is great. Since I now live in Cincy, I loved reading about early Over the Rhine – which is growing up and getting trendy now, btw.
I don’t have the guts to post anything about my own wildings in New Orleans and NYC primarily, but I’m sure I would have liked Cincinnati A LOT more when I was a 20-something. It’s not the best city for anyone much older, I’m sorry to have to say – not especially welcoming to transplants and relative “newcomers.”
So it’s mostly me and my dog here these days – looking for a place to go when I can finally leave this city and finding community online until that time.
(Madelyn Griffith-Haynie – ADDandSoMuchMore dot com)
– ADD Coach Training Field founder; ADD Coaching co-founder –
“It takes a village to transform a world!”
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I’m glad to hear that OTR is being revitalized, because it was pretty darned rough. I worked at Music Hall for my second job and didn’t always savor the parking on the street thing when those nights rolled around. Even waiting outside the Aronoff was a battle – I was grabbed a few times by homeless guys when my ex was supposed to be picking me up after work. The problem with cities that only have night clubs as entertainment is that they lose everyone past the age of 35. I know that one of my friends runs events at The Mockbee, 2260 Central Pkwy, 45214, but that place might be higher energy than what you’re looking for. And oh, to be a fly on the wall for your days in New Orleans and NYC!!! 🙂
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You wouldn’t recognize OTR these days – bookstores, cafes, even a church! It’s not the energy that’s the problem, btw – its the age of the crowd. I’m older than many of their mothers, for pete sakes – and even the few men closer to my age seem to prefer the company of the females who could be their daughters!
Since I was a married grad student for much of my NOLA time, judging by what you wrote above, you’d have had *a lot* more fly-fun in NYC when I was a single actress — Studio 54, celeb parties, wealthy gents who loved the idea that I was then the age of their daughters, taking me to trendy places I would NEVER have been able to afford — to show me off and try to impress me with caviar and expensive champagne) . . .
I even have a story about a private birthday party thrown by the owner of Plato’s Retreat (google it). A playwright/song-writer I was dating at the time met him at an Esalen weekend thing, which is how I got invited as a plus-1. Not really my crowd (or my thing), but I knew then that I’d kick myself now if I let the opportunity pass.
In fact, the things I regret most are all the thing’s I DIDN’T do during the many years before I got serious – after my ADD dx opened my eyes to the reality that I could be so-much-more than a wild and crazy party girl.
If we ever meet in person, I’ll share. But if you even THINK about spreading it around I’ll swear you are exaggerating or flat-out lying! 🙂
The [now, unfortunately] competitive coaching field can be vicious with the gossip – even though it’s actually an ethics violation – and I’d hate to have my excellent reputation trashed. (Oh yes, a few have done it to others & would most likely jump at the chance to do it to me – they’ve already tried it, and OF COURSE someone reported back to me)
Wow! I know about Plato’s Retreat, without having to do a search – well done, you! What a story! My lips will be sealed, and I will do my best to get to your city if only to hear these stories in person. I can’t wait! I bow down to you, O Lady of Secrets Well Kept! ❤
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You said it best: the kids think they have the lock on wilding. They have NO idea!
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The good old days aye! Hey Merry Christmas and Happy New Year, i hope you are doing okay! xx
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Love you, sister! ❤