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Moving to the city means different things to different people. As a twenty-something from a small city, moving to NYC was about, first and foremost, advancing my career. But I must admit I was also excited about making mistakes.

This particular night of them happened on my friend’s birthday back in March. 

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The lessons I learned from Clarisse’s birthday shit show:

1. I, Claire, lose things. I should always carry my belongings in a purse/bag especially on a night that is preemptively dubbed a shitshow.

2. I cannot fly. I am not that strong. I am intoxicated. Don’t act on ANY desire to climb, jump, or lift. Dear, God. Just don’t.

3. I do not need to try to keep up with my friends’ alcohol consumption. I am small and despite growing up in Louisiana, I was never trained for heavy drinking. Not a bad thing.

For our friend’s birthday in the beginning of the year she had this wonderful idea of going to a sushi restaurant that offers unlimited sushi and sake for under $40. Sounds delicious, right? Everyone was fascinated by the idea. We kept telling her, “That’s going to be amazing.” “This will be so much fun.” “Oh awesome!” And every time we said anything positive, Clarisse responded, “It’s going to be a shitshow.” Not in a “This will be an insane awesome night” sort of way, but in a “You don’t understand. No really. We’re going to be a royal mess.” She tried to warn us–to make us believe her.

In preparing to go out I did things a little differently than usual. I made the conscious decision not to bring a purse–not normal. I had the two pockets of my coat in which I could fit my chapstick, wallet, phone, emergency cover up and aw hell, lipstick, too. But my wallet was a little too stuffed, so I emptied out everything except my two debit cards (one from home used for rent, tuition, tax returns, and any ATM that isn’t Chase) and my NYU ID and Louisiana driver’s license. I never empty out my wallet unless I’ve just bought a new one. I don’t know if I would call this psychic or just ironic (in the incorrect way the word is used today).

I underestimated the power of wanting to fit in/keep up and the strength of Japanese alcohol. Sake bombs were repeated until we lost count, which doesn’t take long, of course. We ordered our sushi and continued to drink the water, beer, and sake in front of us. Like any smart wait staff, especially in the city, they kept the alcohol coming so that we never had to look around and say, “Hey I think we ran out. Sad face.” Well, Clarisse was right. It was a shitshow. For me, anyway. Maybe I was the shitshow.

I don’t remember paying. I was intending to pay with my card, but 6 months in the city told me that a place with a great deal like this is likely to only take cash. Plus, NO RESTAURANT IN THE CITY lets you split checks except right down the middle. I’m still not used to that. So at some point Clarisse told me it was time to pay and what I owed, and I had grabbed enough cash to pay for that with 20 dollars to spare. I gave her the cash (apparently) and we moved on to the second part of the night. It was originally going to be karaoke, but the plan changed according to our sobriety. We only trusted ourselves to walk down the street that the restaurant was on. Next stop turned out to be Coyote Ugly. Yes, you’ve heard of it. Yes, there are bras all over the bar. No, females are not required to take their own off, but it seems that many have chosen to do so.

I don’t remember–but I know that I did–showing the bouncer my ID to get in. Then we entertained the idea of climbing on the bar. I don’t know if I knew better than to try or if someone convinced me not to, but I stayed on ground level and took pictures of my friends dancing on the bar. Which is no indication of my relationship with gravity for the rest of the night. Sad face.

Somewhere in the next couple of hours I succeeded in losing my wallet twice and testing my strength and acrobatics. When intoxicated, I test my strength by picking up my friends, then my acrobatics by jumping on them. Mostly females. I’m horrified by this in hindsight, but it does make for entertaining stories. Anyway, the first time I lost my wallet, the bouncer handed it to my friend who handed it to me. But not having brought a purse or having any place to hold it besides my stuffed pockets, it was destined to fall out again. The theory is that it fell when I jumped on Clarisse and we fell on me.

Yes. I lost the battle with gravity. Yes. I was that girl. I’m just grateful we didn’t fall on her. I would have felt like 100 times more of an ass if that were the case. She spent half an hour looking for my wallet with me, but then I gave up and called my banks to cancel my cards. The next few weekends were spent in sobriety since I had no ID to get into bars and I was just a bit mortified by my performance.

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This post was written a week after this embarrassing night took place. Since then, I have learned that my time is better spent on great conversations with my friends, exploring city landmarks like Central Park, or discovering great restaurants (sans shitshows). And just about anything is a better use of my money than too many drinks and a replacement license.

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