I had lunch with my friend Sam the other day and was telling her about our trip to Toronto. Sam is a beautiful 24-year-old and one of my best friends at work. Our age difference actually contributes to our friendship in some peculiar way. I don’t feel motherly toward her, though she is the same age as my son. I think I just appreciate the fresh perspective she brings to things, and she seems to value something about the more mature perspective I bring to the table. (Or so I like to think.)
“Guess what we did in Toronto? We went clubbing!” I squealed.
“Well,” I backtracked. “We kinda went clubbing. We started to go clubbing. We went to a place called the Bovine Sex Club.” Then I started laughing as I recalled the ridiculousness of the evening. “That’s when I realized that I’m not 20 anymore.”
Sam nodded. “Yeah. Sometimes I feel pretty wiped the day after we’re out drinking a lot.”
I burst out laughing. I might have even snorted. “No! It wasn’t the drinking that we couldn’t handle. It was the fact that the club didn’t even open til 9:00 and we didn’t want to be the first ones there, so we didn’t even leave the hotel til 10:00 — which is when we usually go to bed.”
I could see the sad look in her eyes, but I continued.
“Plus, we had no clue what we were doing. I went out and got clubbing clothes — something casual. I didn’t want to look dressed up, but it was a punk club and I needed something. And that was fine. But I got these really high heels and they made my feet numb.”
“Julie,” she started to giggle.
“So by the time we got there, all I could do was sit down, which was fine. Because of course, the one night we go clubbing, it was Pub Night and there wasn’t a band, so there were only about 8 other people there. All regulars. In shorts and t-shirts. I could have just worn my normal clothes.
But the place was so cool! Really kitschy and had great music. I wanted to take pictures, but didn’t want to look like even more of a dork than I already did. So I snuck a couple without flash. They didn’t turn out.”
“So we left sometime after midnight.” (I waited for her snicker, but she’s sweet and held back.) “We waited for a streetcar, but it was taking forever. And Mike had to pee. So I suggested we walk. My ankles felt wobbly like I was on ice-skates. So I decided to take off my shoes and walk barefoot. Through the streets of Toronto. For what turned out to be 20 blocks. I looked like an aging, punk-failure homeless woman with her shoes in her hand.”Sam chewed her food and nodded. I guess she could picture it?
“But you know what? I didn’t even stand out. I guess in Toronto, this isn’t an uncommon sight. If I’d waited a couple hours til the bars closed, I probably would have seen a few more women who looked just like me.”
Sam nodded, and I thought back to my twenties. “In fact, if I’d waited until the morning walk of shame, I bet I could have been part of a parade.”
Fess up. Have you ever walked home, shoes in hand?