Monday, January 15, 2007

Sunday Top 10: Saturday Night Sapphic Fever

Every now and then, we like to go to Nation on Saturday nights to remind ourselves why we don't go to Nation on Saturday nights anymore. As I've mentioned before, I am not the biggest fan of "going out," which is why we always have to go out in costume, because it makes my favorite part of the night ("getting ready") even more fun. (My other favorite part is "the part where we go to Pancheros." All that stuff in between is an elaborate and expensive game of hide-and-go-seek.) The costume of the day was "Willy Wonka/Stripes," p.s., which made sense to us.

Have you ever seen that movie Bar Girls? I tried to but I got super-bored. Like I did when I tried to watch Go Fish. And The Incredibly True Adventures of 2 Girls in Love. And Everything's Relative." And "Citizen Kane."

SUNDAY TOP TEN: WHAT WE WERE MISSING BY FOREGOING SATURDAY NIGHTS AT NATION FOR SEVERAL WEEKS, A.K.A. CENTRAL CASTING FOR GIRL-NATION


10. The Fake ID Squad: Inspired by Spencer and Ashley, these young fresh-faced girls venture into "The City" from the 'burbs (while their classmates drink stolen gin in the basement of vacationing parents and stick their tongues down each others throats) or to midtown from their NYU dorms (while their classmates drink overpriced gin in a seedy East Village bar that "never cards"), armed with glossy black fingernails and giddy ripe libidos. (Here's the thing: are t-shirts-over-long-sleeve-shirts the new "flannel shirts"? I have seen more women sporting this "style" at Nation than I have just about anywhere else since 1993. There's nothing wrong with it, really. Just sayin'. And while I'm sayin', I'd like to show you how to do it right:
See how the under-shirt is tighter than the over-shirt? Really the most important part of this illustration is that the under-shirt is tight. That's really key.)

(Side note: In last Sunday's top ten, I was wearing shortalls, and even though I was like, 11, in that picture, just keep that in mind when I offer fashion advice.)

You can feel them nearing you, blinding you with the flash from the camera they are using to capture precious moments for their myspace pages. You will note they have nice shoulders from playing lacrosse or rugby or softball. You will notice that they appear, in general, quite fuckable, that they'd make up for inexperience with enthusiasm (which is something) e.g. the cute blonde wearing the shirt with the number "11" on the back this past Saturday night. Maybe she's reading this from her living room in New Jersey, or--giving her and me the benefit of the doubt--her dorm room at Barnard--and she wants to move in with me and be my concubine while I help her with her Algebra, or whatever it is the kids are studying these days.

9. The Tall Beautiful Black Girl: She is the first girl you notice and the only girl who's movements you realize you are furtively tracing. She is the best dancer in the room and she is usually rocking a fashion statement that you've never seen anyone pull off besides her, ever, e.g., skinny jeans with ankle boots, e.g. 3/4 length sleeved color contrast vintage baseball jersey, e.g. blazer with nothing underneath. She's not there with a girlfriend because she doesn't have one, because she doesn't settle for second best. Her friends barter for attention from the Troposphere. You cannot dance when you are near her. She makes you look clumsy and thirteen, and you start panicking because you can't find your fake ID.

8. Those Swedish Girls: They might not be Swedish but they are blonde. They read about Nation in their PlanetOut travel guide and took a cab from the Marriot Marquis because they didn't realize it was within walking distance. Maybe they are lovers, maybe they are friends, maybe they are ex-lovers, you can't tell, maybe they are French and don't French people kiss each other a lot for no reason? All you know is they won't leave their perch which is inevitably in a prized area like the bar or the back corner that has shelves so that you can lean great or set drinks upon them and have full usage of your hands. Sometimes they aren't from Sweden. Maybe they aren't ever from Sweden. They won't speak to you but if you speak to them they will perk up, smile and nod, eagerly answer questions like: "Is this what gay bars are like in Denmark?" and then you can feel like you learned something. Which is something.

7. The Girl Who Really Wants to Dance on the Bar, Like BADLY: You notice her cleavage first and that's the last positive impression you have of her all night. You will watch, or rather, try not to watch, her futile attempts to climb aboard the slippery bar and make her debut. The bartenders stop her before she attracts any attention. She watches the paid womanservants (the bar is their domain, they dance the hell out of it) who pour alcohol down the open throats of the eager birds below. When it gets to be that time, the girl eventually will climb on top of the bar where she will either make out with a womanservant or will bring up all of her friends and they will rub their butts to each other's genitals. They might do this to a techno remix of "Since You've Been Gone" by Kelly Clarkson. Sometimes she is a straight girl with a lot of lesbian friends and she just got dumped by her boyfriend, sometimes she is just a drunk gay girl in a low-cut shirt who is glad to be out of Peoria.

6. The Girl You Either Made Out With In Line for the Bathroom at Henriettas OR maybe She's Just A Girl You've Seen On Myspace: You can't remember which. Also it seems possible that she just looks like someone you saw on some reality TV show. Maybe one of those Road Rules/Real World competition shows. The Sword in the Stone, or something.

5.The Why-Did You Leave the House Anyhow If You Aren't Gonna Talk To Anyone But Each Other: They are making out usually, or grabbing each other suggestively, as if they are all alone. At home. Where they live. Together. The funny thing is that when they are at their mutual home there is not so much grabbing and/or making out, but out here with all the potential for jealousy and flirty eyes beckoning beneath backwards baseball caps, there is more grabbing. You try to play the eye contact game with the cuter one. This fuels the other girl's fire, and we all go home a little bit lit.

This is what happened before they came to Nation:

Girlfriend 1: We never go out anymore.
Girlfriend 2: I thought you hated going out.
Girlfriend 1: Yeah, I know.....but maybe it would be different now?
Girlfriend 2: Now? Why would it be different now?
Girlfriend 1: Because I'll be with youuu.
Girlfriend 2: You're with me right now.
Girlfriend1: I just don't want to become one of those couples, you know?
Girlfriend 2: What? The kind that don't go to places where they have historically consistently always felt semi-miserable?
Girlfriend 1: You won't be miserable if you're with meeee.
Girlfriend 2: Jesus Christ. Put on some mascara, let's go.
Girlfriend 1: Mascara? Are you joking? I'm not wearing this!! I need more than mascara! I have to go change!

(Girlfriend 1 dashes to the other side of their studio apartment in Red Hook and starts surveying her closet, filled with hope and optimism, while Girlfriend 2 checks her email and ruffles her hair a little.)

4. The Gay Guy: These guys are trying to be in monogamous relationships with their boyfriends, which means they aren't allowed to go to boy-bars because they'll probably end up in the back room with Brian Kinney, and they aren't allowed to go to straight bars because they'll probably end up in the back room with some girl's bi-curious boyfriend. Or they are accompanying their best friend who just came out and doesn't have any lesbian friends yet. Or they didn't know that Saturday was girls night.

3. The Straight Bartender: She tells all her friends (she lives with 3 other girls, all fellow students at AMDA, in Astoria) that she loves working at Nation because she doesn't have to deal with men "like, hitting on me!" She thinks that all people are beautiful and that everyone is bisexual at heart but there was "society conditioning" that made us into boys and girls. She thinks kissing girls doesn't count as cheating. She wears a cute headband and never puts enough liquor in anything. She wishes her ass looked as good as the asses of the womanservants on the bar.

2. The Are-They-Or-Aren't-They Team
These are two girls who could be best friends or could be girlfriends, sometimes it's a blurry line, even for them. The couple themselves kinda love it or are kinda over it, but either way it won't change anything. This is further complicated by the third possibility which is that they are two girls who are good friends and both drunk and kinda lusty, and so they keep touching one another suggestively in order to seal the deal that they can be one another's back-up plan if it comes to that. Which it probably will, because they are ensconced in a circle of dyke drama so thick you can sense the laser-lines of complicated history from the other side of the room. You can sense it from fucking coat check.

1. Me, Us, Whomever I'm the girl with Owl-ADHD, we are heads turning, jerking, looking over (I'm taller), surveying, assessing, wondering, hoping, noting the cliches, judging and being judged, dancing like no one/everyone is watching, what am I looking for? What are we looking for? Do we want to be looked at, looked for, looked after, look look look. Smile. Flash. Look. Drink. Who knows why we do it? Who knows why we keep going out into this specific world, all I know is that we do, and we will, and again. Maybe even soon. Maybe even this Saturday. Maybe the blonde girl will be there wearing her same t-shirt. Maybe that's her going-out shirt. Maybe she's dumb. What does it matter the next morning, besides, just another phone call to ignore, another aggressively amorous e-mail to negotiate or the opposite of that, another phone call to wait for, another google search, another moment where you care too much or not enough or maybe both. Maybe, I think, both.

14 comments:

Rachel said...

posts like this make me wish I could negotiate a deal with whichever diety I believe in today that I could kill one person for each day I want to age & mile I want to move so that, after eliminating most of an entire race, I would find myself 21 years old in a town with a place like the Nation, except Anchorage probably does have a gay bar, except everyone there probably hasn't caught on to the t-shirt-over-long-sleeve-shirt thing and is still wearing flannel. Because Alaskans love flannel.

word veri is mysorfk. it sounds like "my sore fuck". I feel sorry for it.

marie lyn bernard said...

You don't need to be 21. We could find you a great fake ID. It's actually quite stunning at first. My favorite thing is to bring people to Nation who have never been to a bar with young hot lesbians in it, and see them alternately gape and cower.

http://www.alaska.net/~madmyrna/

haviland said...

Oh, yes! I adore bringing newbies to the girl bars - they always get so excited, and it renews my sense of community, etc.

But actually, I'd just rather do a photoshoot with Layla Love.

marie lyn bernard said...

Or BOTH at the same time! Wouldn't it be awesome to do a photo shoot that looks like that photo of Brian and Justin above, where all the girls in the background are extras sort of awash in red light (Nation has red light, Babylon has blue light) and we're in the foreground doing something edgy and totally anti-strai?

Really, Papi.

LN James said...

Aside: I adored "You've come a long way, baby". It was so beautiful, it hurt to read it. I'm not joking, either. Very nice.

ps. And the fact that you are using 'strai' in conversation? Makes my little Midwestern heart swell three times its size.

marie lyn bernard said...

thank you! i'm really glad that you liked it and my midwestern-born-and-raised-heart is swollen by your flattery......an .fyi, hav has used it in at least 3 text messages since seeing it on your blog. we're taking the revolution east.

Rachel said...

I liked it too. That webpage is really ugly. and taking forever to load. they're really into the purple & rainbow thing.

heather said...

Oh lord yes … this exact visit was confirmation - in a major way - of how I have absolutely NO issues with sitting on my couch on Saturday nights: wishing we owned a Nintendo Wii – instead resorting to playing some old school Oregon Trail for hours (which we have recently downloaded) - and eating a pint (or three) of Ben and Jerry’s with the roommates.

*Note to Self* -- If you are in a bad mood prior to your venture to this bar, do NOT expect that mood to grow increasingly better by: flashing your ID, paying the $5, and joining the highly intoxicated crowd of ladies that grind on each other just beyond the bouncer. [And might I also note that we’re still not really sure which is the actual bouncer: the very threatening older woman (white hair, pony tail … we ALL know who I’m referring to here) who looks like she just stepped out of a gruesome scene from “The Last of the Mohicans” … or is it her less-threatening counterpart, the large African American gentleman who scans (poorly) those kinko-created IDs of the girls in front of you?]

And lest ye not forget about those scantily clad Jell-O shot girls, with their fancy cans of whipped cream and swanky dixie cups. I mean as far as I’m concerned, unless they’re re-creating the scene from “Varsity Blues” or plan on wrestling each other in a kiddie pool full of the gelatinous substance, they can take their vodka-less blue concoctions and go back over whatever body of water they crossed to get to work.

Riese – you are FIERCE … waddya say we go to Nation like EVERY Saturday from now on? Loving this … adoring you …

marie lyn bernard said...

re: the doorpeople
Obvs I know exactly who you are referring to. I feel like that lady is like the madam of girls night. The big dude checks to see if we were 21, and she checks to see if we are gay. Both of them fail in various capacities and are subject to loosening the rules for girls who appeal to their sexual appetites. I always imagined her to be like, that weird Mom who would drive her VW to pick up that kid in your class who always smelled like patchouli and didn't wash his hair and had never seen a single television show ever.

re: jello shots.
The thing is, as you say so eloquently, if the drink I get for like, a million dollars doesn't contain any alcohol, I cannot even begin to imagine what the Jello shots do (not) contain. Also, they should ONLY be used on special occasions, as a novelty item, and only ever used with irony. The Jello shot girls have no sense of irony. Jello shots remind me of Puerto Vallerta, somehow having them on a random Saturday night at Nation seems like wearing a hot pink wedding dress to prom at your alternative high school. I'm sorry: Morp.

Adoring you too, and your similar mastery of the extended hypothetical situations to encapsulate the true spirit of various objects and activities.

Saturday Night's Alright Allllright!

p.s. YOU GOT OREGON TRAIL NOW? BRING ON THE CHOLERA, BABY!

heather said...

can we PLEASE have an Oregon Trail party?? -- i'll totally volunteer to host such a soiree! it would certainly lend itself to something along the lines of "Top 10 Reasons Oregon Trail is better than Donkey Kong but not quite as good as Duck Hunt (but only because you don't get to use a gun)" I'll be sure to have plenty of beef jerky and cholera and dysentery for EVERYONE!!

Say yes, my darling.

(what was this blog about again??)

marie lyn bernard said...

Yes my darling, yes we CAN.

I've never even played Donkey Kong. I was raised by hippies. This post was about um...Mario Cart, I think?

10. Oregon Trail is educational. Unless you want to be a monkey when you grow up. Which, to be honest, I kinda do.

Stephanie J. Rosenbaum said...

Oh my god, this is hysterical. haven't been to Nation yet, but this post could double as a description of every girls' bar in San Fran in the 90s. they're all the same! OK, I'm going to put together a two-t-shirt combo now.

marie lyn bernard said...

Ha! Amazing! And when you figure out your two-shirt outfit, u MUST photograph and send it to me. Or wear it to Nation!!!

Diana said...

Wow. So you may have changed my life with your toaster revelation. Previously, I too was a subscriber to the "cool down" theory. After reading your blog, I inspected my toaster and low and behold, there it was, a little toaster emblem with a "1" next to one of the slots. Never again will I have to hear the noise of a ferret being electrocuted. I am forever indebted to you. Let me also note that I find your blog to be hilarious, and after stumbling upon it only a few days ago have been reading it incessantly.