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Jumping Right In

Catching up on everything I’ve done in DC with anything like the detail I usually like is impossible at this point. However I will make the attempt to add digest summary style entries of some of the most notable events while at the same time jumping right back into entries about my experiences as though there was no gap. With that explained, here’s the story of my Saturday night:

 

Saturday I wasn’t sure what my evening plans would be. Carolyn was off in Florida for her boyfriend’s birthday and there was the usual uncertainty about who might be around and up for doing stuff. Luckily, Beth, Carolyn’s roommate not mine, invited me to join her and several of her coworkers for a night out based around a birthday but apparently much more open. I headed to her place a little after nine for pregaming, a bottle of citrus-flavored vodka in hand. I hadn’t been to their apartment before but it was very nice, very fancy, and the apartment itself spoke very strongly of both girls’ personalities. While waiting for her coworker Kelly and Kelly’s friend to arrive we played around with some music. Beth is apparently a Kesha fan but hadn’t listened to some of the more amusing lyrics so I pointed those out as her eyes grew round with shock.

After her friends arrived and we had a few drinks (theirs mixed with the coke in their McDonald’s cups), we headed out to the Russia House, the first stop of the night. The Russia House is really a high-class kind of place. The bouncers had earphones like Secret Service agents, and apparently to book tables you had to ensure a minimum of three hundred dollars spent. It was only after I walked in that I realized Beth wasn’t with us. Kelly told me she had forgotten her ID and had to run back and get it. Slightly more nervous now that it was to be me and a bunch of people I didn’t know at all, I followed the two girls up the stairs to the reserved tables. The dark wood paneling and subdued red light everywhere made an odd contrast with the American pop and dance music playing that reminded me of certain bars I’d been to in St. Petersburg, only much more expensive. The place was full of people in better than average clothing, even for DC and I was glad I had looked the place up and not worn jeans like I generally prefer. The three of us sat down along the row of tables set up for the party and I introduced myself to the birthday girl, Olivia, and her friend and another coworker named Diva.

More people soon arrived. While I sipped a Russian beer and listened to stories about handcuffs and house parties from Kelly, Olivia had a six-vodka sampler and others tried a variety of interesting beverages. Beth eventually came back, ID in hand, and she and Kelly and I had some very nice vodka at the bar. Allison, the only one of Beth’s coworkers I had met before, and a delightful addition to any party group came along with her sister who was in town visiting. The fifteen or so people there probably made the reservation minimum without much trouble. I had heard some amusing stories over the last few months about a lot of Beth’s coworkers so it was really fun for me to put faces to names and anecdotes. Eventually Beth and Kelly and others started getting antsy because they wanted to dance. They arranged to meet up with some of the others later and I floated back down the stairs after the three girls and a fellow who was planning on meeting his rugby team at a bar very close to where Beth lives, Local 16 so we decided to go there at least for the moment.

I was not really impressed by Local 16. It wasn’t bad by any means, and it certainly had plenty of people filling it, but the movie playing on the large screen while people danced on the floor below it gave a sort of mixed message about the atmosphere. Beth and the other girls found a place to dance (Beth likes having space to dance, which makes things interesting at the very least) while the guy we’d walked in with vanished, presumably to find the sorority girls he had gabbled about being there on our walk over. We were only there about fifteen minutes before, by mutual consent, we decided to go elsewhere. Kelly’s friend was tired and wanted to go home, but Kelly, Beth and I were still up for another bar so we hopped in a cab and headed to the old standby, Mad Hatter, which is always a good backup plan.

We weren’t alone in the bar for long before Beth received word that others were coming in. Olivia and Allison, accompanied by Allison’s sister and friend from college named Ben came and joined us. Things got a little odd at that point as somehow, random strangers joined us and formed a circle for a dance-off that entertained even as it confused. Eventually, and far too early as always, the lights came on and after a memorable dance and sing-along by the girls to Barbie Girl, we proceeded to make our way out of the bar.

Many in our group were feeling that hunger that comes around three in the morning after a night in the bars. Happily, Julia’s Empanadas was just down the street and apparently never closes. We sauntered over and stood in the rather long line of drunk and happy people. I discussed Ireland with Allison’s sister while Beth fended off a dozen or so hopeful admirers until we reached the front of the line and arranged the purchase of several empanadas.  Everyone was pleased and the food was quickly consumed. We said our goodbyes and people drifted off home. Poor Olivia alas lives in an area unpopular with cabs and after a couple of failed attempts to convince drivers to take her there, I suggested a nearby corner frequented by many taxis. We ended up walking almost to my apartment building before she at last found a willing driver and headed home while I returned to my place and happily drifted off to sleep.

 

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