It’s Friday night and you and your girls are looking hot—new outfit, hair and makeup on fleek. There’s something extra special about going out in your 20s. Maybe it’s the suspense of who you might run into to; the blind faith that any night could be the one that you meet the one; or perhaps it’s the glaring truth that we’ll never look as good as we do now. Whatever it may be, our expectations tend to put the stakes at an all-time high. This past December, however, my best friends and I decided to enjoy a night out that turned out to be a complete disaster.
My friend Bethany* drove two hours hoping for a wild weekend with me. It’d been a while since Bethany went out and let loose, so I promised we could go to any bar or club that she wanted. I made it my mission to be her Messiah and deliver her the best night of her life. Two girls taking on the town tonight, I thought.
Another friend of mine, Natasha*, texted me earlier that day. Her grandmother passed away a few nights ago and she wanted my company. Another friend in need? Even better for this partying Messiah! That makes three girls taking on the town tonight.
Despite my excitement, I felt a hunch that the night wouldn’t go as planned. The two ladies joining me on our adventure had never met and were polar opposites. Bethany’s calm demeanor and inclination to planning would clash with Natasha’s spontaneity. Hopefully these opposites would attract, and drama would stay at a minimum.
Bethany and I decided to try a hot club we’d never been to before. It would take a 40-minute drive and a pricey cover charge, but the glamorous venue and dancing would make it worth it. We told Natasha to be ready by 9 p.m., but when we arrived at Natasha’s house, she wasn’t ready. Surprise, surprise.
I assured Bethany we would be on our way soon and kept urging Natasha to hurry up. “Stop dancing! Just finish doing your hair already,” I begged. My carefree friend was enjoying her long grooming ritual, though, so my pleas fell to the ground. Bethany and I were completely disgruntled and felt even more irritated when Natasha decided that she didn’t want to go along with our plan. She preferred to meet with other friends at the local bars. Instantly regretting my new outfit, I tried to look on the bright side: At least we would save money on gas and cover this way.
Just when we thought we were finally beginning our epic night, I realized my wallet was no where to be found. No wallet meant no I.D., which meant no entrance into the bar. We searched everywhere: Bethany’s house, Natasha’s house and everyone’s cars. Frantic and helpless, I was ready to give up on my Messiah mission and have a date with Netflix and cookies instead.
Bethany began crying in frustration. How had this night spiraled into hysteria when it hadn’t even started yet? I started panicking and begging for her forgiveness. Bethany didn’t want to go out anymore and said she would just drop me off at the bar, but I refused to let her go and promised that we would still have fun even if for a short time.
Without my ID, I had only one other option: my passport. Searching everywhere, I began sweating and felt my heart racing out of fear of further disappointing my friend. I refused to let the night be a complete failure. After creating a gargantuan mess in my room, I found the damn passport, and we were finally on our way to somewhere with alcohol. I definitely needed a drink.
We arrived at the bar and were immediately bombarded with 10 people from high school. Yuck. Not exactly what Bethany and I had in mind. The room was filled wall-to-wall with wasted fools. Did we have to become one of them to endure the chaos?
While Natasha danced happily with her friends, Bethany and I just did our best to avoid getting trampled on by the bar-goers. Some drunk guy bought us a couple of drinks, but no amount of alcohol could numb us from our disappointment. We made every effort to fulfill our hopes of creating an Insta-worthy college night.
Movies like Neighbors give the impression that partying with friends will lead to wild adventures and ultimately strengthen those friendships. But on this night, my friendships were put to the test and my expectations got crushed. As Bethany and I laughed at the stumbling girls and dopey frat dudes, I began to accept that I can’t always live according to the plan. I had no other option but to live in the moment with my best friend. After all, our days in college are numbered.
*Names changed to protect privacy.