Saturday, March 04, 2006

The price of chic

Last night had all the makings of a great night out. I met up with friends at the W Hotel in Westwood, and upon giving the clipboard-bearing velvet rope guy my name, I was immediately let in, because I was on the list. I found my friend and she led me to the table next to the dancefloor where they'd all just been seated, to the dismay of a couple girls who'd been sitting there who were asked to leave by the hostess who let us in. There's fun music. The waitress shows up with a bottle of Grey Goose, ice, glasses and mixers. We hear that Ludacris is hanging out at a nearby table and wander over to gawk in the most subtle manner our drunken selves could accomplish. Little John showed up a bit later. (I know absolutely nothing about Little John that I didn't learn watching Chappelle's Show, but that little bit was enough to make me want to get a good look at the guy.) We talked (or at least gave it our best shot). We danced. We enjoyed feeling posh.

Then our bill showed up.

Clearly 'posh' is much more than just a state of mind. Our surprise bottle of vodka cost us $400. I ended up ponying up $50 for my single Grey Goose and cranberry. The one that I had to make myself. Another friend, who had none of the vodka but had ordered a mojito, paid $70.

Then another bill showed up, this time for the few drinks ordered in addition to the bottle of vodka. $70. I threw in another $10 for having some of a vodka and soda that had been brought to the table and never found its owner.

The night was ruined, for everyone. I'm still angry at what happened, and at the guy (a coworker, as it happens) responsible for it. It is absolutely inexcusable to put one's friends in that situation, making them financially responsible for your error in judgement without their knowing it. We trusted that, if a bottle showed up at our table, that someone had made an informed cost-benefit analysis. A mistake, clearly, and I won't be hanging out with that guy ever again.

I should put this in perspective. When I was in Chicago a couple weeks ago, I met my friend at a house party for someone's birthday. We didn't know the guy whose birthday it was, so we left to go to a club downtown, but her boyfriend, who did know him, and everyone else hung out and then all went to a club in Boystown. At least, that was the plan. One of the girls at the party went around offering to carry everyone's cell phones and wallets in her purse so they wouldn't have to worry about them. And just about everyone complied. They cabbed it to Boystown and, upon trying to gain entrance to the club, realized that the girl who'd tried to do them all a favor left her purse in the cab.

I wasn't even affected, but the sheer idiocy of the person so careless with her friends' belongings still makes me angry, and I suspect that's why I can't let go of what happened last night, either. No one's asking that people have all their wits about them and exercise common sense at all times (I'd recommend it, but realize that it's a standard I myself could not live up to), but they should at least try to do so when people other than themselves are involved.

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