When it's Too Cold To Try and Look Cute

I went out on Saturday for a friend’s birthday. Brandon is my best friend from high school, and even though we both live in Boston, we see each other maybe once a month. He told me some friends were getting together at a club downtown, and I was excited for a night of dancing. Saturday was one of those days where the sun is out, and you see it from your window and get all excited, and go outside with your light winter jacket and are immediately fucked because arctic winds are whipping through you and of course your hat and gloves are in the pockets of your heavy winter coat.

I’m originally from Syracuse, NY. If you know anything about Syracuse (besides how awesome the men’s basketball team is doing this year, holla!) it’s probably weather-related. There is more snowfall in that city than there is glitter at a Ke$ha concert. I went to college 40 minutes outside of Syracuse, on Lake Ontario, where the water made any wind-chill above freezing seem mild. I’ve never let bad weather stop me from going out, so I didn’t think too much about going out Saturday night.

When I was out trying to find the bar, I had a realization: I used to be the girl who didn’t let weather ruin her good time; now I’m the girl who’s drinking beers from the comfort of her couch. I met up with Brandon at a bar and he told me we were about to leave and go to a club. We headed out in the arctic again and got on line. The line was long and I couldn’t believe what I was seeing; min-dresses and stilettos as far as the eye could see. Were these girls in the same city I was? I was in jeans, booties, a blazer, my winter jacket and gloves and couldn’t stop bitching about the cold. These ladies must’ve been out of their mind. Or underage and trying to seduce their way in the club.

In college, my friends and I said you could spot all the freshmen girls because they were the ones in the tank tops and dresses in the middle of winter, not wearing a jacket because it would hide their slutty cute ensemble, gingerly navigating the snow-covered sidewalks in their heels. It only takes one winter of that before they give up on trying to look cute in the cold and assume all the beer will help them look cute under that turtleneck sweater; it’s like a rite of passage.

While we were waiting in line, someone from the club was working the line, letting people know the dress code and what wouldn’t be allowed in. Men weren’t allowed to wear boots, and since three of the guys in our group had on Timberlands, we moved on to the next place. Another club, another lame dress code. We tried four places, none of which allowed men to wear “work boots.” Brandon was ready to head home and drink his sorrows away, and I was ready to cut my losses and head home. One of his friends was going back to Brandon’s and offered me a ride home after, and I figured I was already out, so why not.

When we got to his apartment, he and some buddies were sitting around in the living room. I made myself a drink and decided to salvage the night. Back in October, my sisters and friends came to town for my 25th birthday. My one friend taught us Empire, a game we pregamed to that ended up being the hit of the night. Rules: Everyone writes down a famous person (athlete, historical/political figure/celebrity) on a slip of paper. The facilitator reads the names twice, and whoever goes first guesses who wrote down what name. If the guess is wrong, the next player gets to guess. If the guess is right, that player joins his “empire” and they keep guessing until they pick wrong. The object is to get everyone playing on your empire (that was a pretty confusing explanation; seriously, go Google it).

Bam! The mood of the evening changed. Everyone loved Empire (well, that, and the chips and dip Brandon brought out). I had met a few of Brandon’s friends before, but wasn’t close with any of them, which threw a wrench in the game, since it’s all about deciphering the other players (alcohol helped with this setback).

The next time you’re out in the freezing cold waiting to get in to some club that’s probably going to smell like a frat house and have twice as many douchey bros in it, I highly suggest heading home and playing Empire. If no one in your group is on board with that, take comfort in knowing that at least you’re wearing pants. And if you’re the girl in the minidress and slingbacks, then yes, everyone is laughing at you.