One of my close friends is getting married in a few months, and for her Bachelorette Party, she chose a club near where we worked together that specializes in Throwback Hits rather than Top 40.

That didn’t sound completely terrible, especially when you realize they’re considering “Hot In Herre” by Nelly a “throwback.”

In other news, I’m fucking old.

Lately, I haven’t been fond of drinking. Every time in the last 6+ months that I’ve drank, I’ve felt like GARBAGE afterward. This included my first 30-something-old St. Patrick’s Day in which I pounded 3 Pots of Gold (Red Bull Summer + Jameson) and a shot of Patron. So, after realizing how shitty alcohol makes me feel, I decided to dive into this foray of Throwback Heaven. Completely sober.

I get to this club, and the whole group hasn’t arrived yet. I get a little antsy, especially since I’m not ordering a drink, and I’m circling the room like a vulture. Then I realize how loud the speakers are and how the whole room vibrates with the sound. I immediately retreated to the bathroom to put in my Ear Peace earplugs that I keep on my keychain at all times, mostly for concerts that I have to photograph. I found this intense bass so annoying that in went the earpieces in while I took a drag on my Ooze Pen. So, okay, not 100% sober, but Marijuana is my medication.

The party arrives and I found myself sitting on the club couch, people watching. Old men singing “I wanna feel the HEAT with somebody,” or a man in a puffy Old Navy looking vest and flannel drinking a beer and checking out the girl shaking her ass adjacent to him. I even saw a thicc girl get motorboated by what I assume was her boyfriend – but you know what they say when you assume.

This is where it gets tricky. The group didn’t arrive until 10, and I have this long-standing rule since I was 20, going to clubs in Ann Arbor: “Nothing good happens after 1AM.” It was constantly quoted by me to get my friends to tab out in our early twenties, along with the promise of Taco Bell.

What happens after 1AM? I find that’s when girls start crying, guys start getting far too handsy, and when you start to lose people to buzz brain. But here’s the thing – when I was preaching this, it was for all drinking situations, but what I didn’t know is I would be adding a clause to this rule after tonight.

If you’re in a club specializing in throwbacks, you need to dial it back an hour, making it Midnight when the clubpocalypse happens and grown-ass adults start acting like horny disasters, spilling drinks, making poor decisions, and losing their cell phones.

The club in question resides in Ferndale, which I’ve typically always felt safe in. But this atmosphere was another kind of animal. The atmosphere was super predatory, and you could say “Well duh, it’s a club,” but this was much worse than I’d ever encountered unless I was just noticing it now because I was sober.

After what seemed to be a decent time despite the vibes, it turned into one of the girls in our group getting sexually assaulted by a man on the dance floor. He fastened his hands around her waist and wouldn’t let go, and squeezed her tighter when she squirmed. She apparently was screaming, her friend was pulling her away, and the guy wouldn’t let go. She even tried to get other women’s attention for help around them, none of which came to her rescue (shame on you, you bitches broke “Girl Club Code”).

Now, obviously, this is super traumatic, and when she got free, she ran into the bathroom sobbing. Her friend joined 5 minutes later, and both of them were crying, and it was time for me to do my professional drunk wrangling. It was nearly 12 AM, and I was in awe of how this night’s proverbial Jenga blocks had collapsed, especially for how early it was.

I asked my friend if she wanted me to take her back home, as she started not to feel well, and she and her more sober pals opted to pull the plug on the crew, as the rest were wasted already. We went our separate ways outside the club, them in an Uber, and I hoofed it (sort of concerned to be walking alone) in my platforms down the slick street to my car.

All I could think at this point while clutching my keys as a makeshift brass knuckle-stabby device was that I needed to text my life-long BFF to let her know the addendum to the 1AM rule, and how it needed to be bunny-eared in our mental handbook.


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