IT WAS A NIGHT out on the town with all the ingredients for a good time ready to be thrown in the shaker: fabulous company, dressy jeans for days and smart phones to document the shenanigans. Fast forward to brunch the next day, the ingredients still in place but now laughing at the night before. We had just heard the end to a hilarious story when a friend leaned over and said, “I don’t know how it happens, but we always seem to have the best time when we’re all together.”
His comment made me smile, because it was true. This got me to thinking, how do we hit so many homo-home runs when it comes to nights on the town? Is it just luck, or is there some rhyme and reason to it?
I wouldn’t go so far as to say that going out is a second career of mine, but I would say that to me going out for a night on the town is this gay American’s national pastime; and if an evening out were the ball park, I’d be in the dugout with the boys making the game happen.
To me, going out is like a fantastic real-life game where we all get to be players. What I’ve found though in my many innings at play is that some players seem to knock the night out of the ballpark time and time again while others find themselves on the social bench. The biggest difference between these players that I’ve come to realize is that many don’t have strategies for planning and navigating a night out. So, let me offer a few winning strategies that have helped take our nights to the World Series of Nights Out.
- Feed your team. Great nights rarely spontaneously happen, especially on an empty stomach; hungry homos are angry homos. Book a reservation so you don’t have to wait and add an extra seat while you’re at it. The extra perch is great for visitors, that unexpected additional guest or an impromptu coat rack.
- Walk it out. Pick an after-dinner bar within walking distance. This means that people can meet you out later if they missed dinner and you don’t have to hassle with moving cars. Plus strutting is one god’s gift to the gays, so fit it in whenever you can.
- Go gay or go home. Be happy and gracious and gay to every acquaintance. People go out to see and be seen. So see them in a big way by greeting them with enthusiasm and excitement. They’ll remember you and you may just find your next best friend or lover.
- Drunks are skunks; they can actually and metaphorically stink. Focusing on your drinky-drink may seem like the point, but if you do that and only that you are missing the point which is to be in relationship with others. Plus you can’t spell functional without “fun” and being dysfunctional makes you a drag on everyone else.
- Do a “fruit loop” around your playing field. Like Cher Horowitz taught us, you have to do a lap before you commit to a location. By moving around, you’ll see more people and increase your chances of random run-ins with fun people.
- Know and appreciate the staff who make you look good. Working on Friday and Saturday is horrific for everyone including your bartenders and servers so be kind and polite. Thank them for their noble service.
- Remember to keep a play-by-play. Much like the refs at a game, sometimes you need photo documentation to clear up disputes or remember an epic moment in all of its glory. Instagram-replay can be your best friend…except when it’s not. Delete any unflattering photos.
- Keep the fights in the locker room. When out, you’re on camera (sometimes literally). Plus, dragging your “team drama” into the game only leads to poor sportsmanship and it is a surefire way to make you the fiercely awful center of attention.
- Meet up after for the victory celebration. Epic nights need epic retellings. We all want our own Queer as Folk Liberty Diner moments, and a late night gastro pub or a classy brunch spot are just the places to share the anecdotes and antics of your evening.