A few weeks ago, an acquaintance invited me to her drag show for her birthday. She had invited me several times, but I often couldn’t go because of scheduling or just because I rather stay at home and watch Netflix. I’m a huge introvert and would prefer to hang out with a select group of people with some brews and a movie going on. Sometimes I go out with my sister to a small bar, but it’s mostly her friends that go. I don’t go to clubs and certainly not by myself.
She told me a few days before the event that some people have flaked out on her. I flashed back to my 23rd birthday… nobody showed up. After all, nobody likes you when you’re 23 but my feelings were really hurt. It was a time where I was really understanding that friends I had in high school were growing apart. I didn’t want her to feel that way, so I told her I’d go. I was trying to challenge myself to try new things and put myself out there. I didn’t want to be the lonesome girl again on a Friday night hanging out with cat (it’s sad but true – I’ll own it.)
The night of the event, the sky was rumbling with thunder and the clouds threatened a downpour any second. I was in bed, watching Star Wars, and in true form, contemplating if I truly wanted to go. Then I got a text from her reminding me of the event. So I went all out – I dug heels out of my closet and a dress I bought two years ago but never wore because, truth be told, I’m a jeans and tee kinda girl. But fuck it, right? I was going OUT that night and I was going to look good.
Y’all. I mastered the smokey eye, my eyeliner was evenly winged, and my brows were on fleek. This is a rare occurrence. It happens only once every 3 years and usually on a day I don’t see anybody. I felt confident. I felt like I could take over the world.
I plug in the address and it’s downtown. On my way there, it starts pouring and in a panic, I question again turning back and going home. Heels were a bad choice. But, damn it, I was determined! I made it downtown and it stopped raining. Although it took me 30 minutes to find parking in an unsafe neighborhood behind the club, I made it.
I walk in and I realize that literally nobody is dressed up. Everyone is in jeans and regular shirt. I over dressed. By a lot. I wonder to the back area and find the woman of the night and see some other acquaintances. Before I could get over to them, a guy steps in my way and says in a drunken stupor, “Hellooooo, beautiful!” And then proceeds to put his face between my breasts and motorboats me.
I’m shook. I have no idea how to react. Is this normal in a gay club? If I react negatively, will I be a bitch? I’m humiliated by the attention it draws, but I realize this guy is trashed. I gently pushed him towards his friends and chuckle.
I finally make it over the people I semi know and they were floored to see me there. I got a lot of surprised, “OMG YOU LOOK SO DIFFERENT” exclamations. Then, she walks in. By she, I mean awful she-devil that hates me for no apparent reason. We’ll call her Brittany. She doesn’t out right say anything rude directly to me, but she makes backhanded compliments and always tries to make feel less than my worth. My heart deflates.
Everyone greets her and she looks at me up and down and smirks. I suddenly feel completely ridiculous. I feel like I’m right back in high school when Lauren Busybody decided she didn’t like my hair parted a certain way, so she tore down my homecoming locker decorations and kicked them as I tried to pick them up.
My temper flared. I’m an adult, damn it. I’m nearly 30, damn it. I wasn’t going to go down like that. I tried to interject myself into conversations and a few of the others were trying to include me, but she faced her back toward me and stepped in front of me anytime she could. I was losing confidence fast and try as I might, I wasn’t wanted there. I wanted to prove to myself that I wasn’t going to give up and I wasn’t going to let Brittany get the best of me.
When it’s time for the show, we go inside and I’m trying really hard to fit in but feel silly as I’m in a short dress and heels. She steps in front of me one more time and I had it. I had to get away before I made things even that much more awkward and snapped. I asked if anybody needed anything from the bar. They shook their heads and I went to get another drink. At that point, I couldn’t muster up the strength to get back over there. I stayed by the bar and lasted only long enough to see the performance. It was GREAT! She did wonderful! All the queens were so nice too. Once that was over, I said my goodbyes and left.
I still had to walk like 2 blocks back to my car, so I started the slow trek over there. I had my keys between my fingers prepared for any possible attackers, but my mind was racing. What should I have done? Should I have spoken up and told her to quit her shit? No, I think, that would’ve just given her all the more satisfaction of knowing she got to me. I was half way to my car, when it starts pouring.
Yep. This is appropriate. As I’m walking, a truck slowly passes me and the guy rolls down his window. He waves at me and I wave back all the while whispering to myself, “Please don’t think I’m a hooker… please don’t think I’m a hooker…”
As I cross the street to go down the last street to get to my car, he turns around and pulls up next to me. He asks me if I needed a ride. I shook my head vigorously and pointed to my car. I’ve seen this movie – spoiler: I die at the end. He stayed on the road and flipped on his brights, so I can cross the street (which is the most kindness anybody had shown me that night.)
I’ve seen this movie – spoiler: I die at the end.
It is then that I see there is about 8 inches of water over the street and I’d have to wade through it. In heels. I get across and into my car. I wait until the guy in the truck leaves (just in case he was a creeper) and I look at myself in the mirror. I’m drenched. My shoes are probably ruined. My make-up is running down my face. I just start bawling.
When I compose myself, I start the drive home and mull over the night. It wasn’t exactly what I had in mind, but I put myself out there. I chatted with a friend of mine later on and they said sometimes we really have to look it from a biblical standpoint. If that’s the type of person she is and they’re the type of people to let her be that way, then I’m better off without them. I was there to show support for someone who wasn’t even there the entire time and I’m sure she would not have let that fly. Additionally, if being a mean girl to someone else is what makes Brittany feel better, then you really have to feel sorry for her.
I won’t stop trying to put myself out there. I have lost touch with my social life and I really need to put myself out there. While the friendships I have are good and pure, I don’t really allow more opportunities for it and that’s to my own fault. How do you know if you don’t try? Root for me, y’all.
I’m still pissed about my shoes though.