Night Clubs and Friendship

Have you ever been to a fancy nightclub, the kind you see on TV filled with young and beautiful people dancing to electronic music, overseen by a DJ who is worshipped by the crowd? I have. I hated it.

To be fair, I probably hated it because I was there just three weeks after I’d been dosed, so my tolerance for drunk, hip people was low. And it really wasn’t my scene; what the hell was this middle aged babe doing in a club filled beyond capacity with gorgeous 22 year olds? I was invited by a much younger friend who has spent a lot of time dancing to ear shattering music under black lights. I love new experiences, so I decided to go for the adventure. When I was younger, I was too broke to go out, especially to a dance club to hear a new DJ. So there I was, wandering a brand new club in high heels and a woman’s tuxedo, feeling 80 years old.

The club was a maze of dance floors with a raised area for the DJ to create his magic. A long, well lit bar crammed with people screaming for drinks was the most visible landmark. The rest of the club was dark, illuminated only by hundreds of multi-colored lights that swam across the ceiling, the floor and the crowd in time to the music. The girls wore the uniform of the hip and cool: clinging short dresses and platform high heels. The boys dressed with more variety, but every one looked rich. Several Go-Go dancers performed on blocks, waving light wands that changed color.  The moment you stepped into the room, you were punched in the chest with music and confused by the swirl of movement.

As we shoved our way through the crowd (it was too crowded to actually dance), I saw roped off VIP areas adorned with scantily clad young women. Many were passed out on velvet couches. People kept dancing and drinking, ignoring the girls who were so messed up they could actually sleep despite the primal thump of the drum machine. Why didn’t anyone help them? One girl had her short sequined dress pulled up over her hips, exposing her tiny lace panties. Why didn’t someone pull her skirt back down? Where were her friends? Her date? Her mother?

That’s when I knew I was waaaaaaaay too old for an ultra hip dance club. Every one of these girls could by my daughter. That boy with his arm slung over the shoulder of that girl wobbling on too high heels could be my son. If he were, I’d kick his butt for not taking better care of his date.

Later, when I asked my friend why no one helped those passed out girls, she just laughed. Why should they? It’s every girl for herself in a club like that and if you’re dumb enough to get that messed up, you’re on your own.

I felt so sorry for my young friend. When I go out with friends, I know they all have my back. On the night I got dosed, three friends came to my rescue; no one left me lying on the floor. My young friend has actually been left on a couch, passed out and unable to defend herself, while her friends laughed at her. When she went out with me and my friends, she was shocked by how much we cared for each other. Her feet hurt and a friend of mine helped her. I drank too much, and another friend held my arm so I wouldn’t fall down. If anyone had thrown up that night, at least two friends would have come to the rescue. That’s just what friends do.

When I was young, I had wanted to go to clubs and party and dance all night, but I had to work to pay for college. I envied the cool crowd with their gorgeous clothes and spending money. But maybe that world wasn’t so cool. The people are lovely, the music intense, the decor beautiful, but the attitude is cutthroat. Going to a club is like playing a vicious game of King of the Mountain with the winner being whoever is most beautiful and can drink the most without falling down.

I think I’ll hang out with friends my own age, preferably in the wine bar like the middle aged chick I am. Being young and hip is far too dangerous.

The rules to keep from getting dosed in a bar

To the man who dosed me in a bar,

You are a prick. I hope someone doses you sometime so you can understand how terrifying the experience is. And then I hope someone drags you out to the street by your cock so everyone can laugh at you while you freak out in the cold. Hopefully you’ll get hit by a car.


The woman you dosed two Sundays ago. 

While visiting friends in San Francisco, I was dosed by a stranger in a bar. I was out having drinks, celebrating a few days of relaxation away from the stress of life at home. My husband sat only two bar stools away from me. And while no one was looking, a man dropped a drug into my gin and tonic.

He slid against me and leaned on the bar, as if wanting to order a drink, and when I saw him every alarm bell in my body rang. His pupils were so dilated he didn’t look human anymore and he didn’t blink. He just stared at me, then he stroked my thigh. Shoving his hand away, I glared into those frightening eyes and said, “No.” He smiled. I turned my  back to him so I continue the conversation about Prague with the gentleman on my left, a funny guy who was friends with the man my husband was talking to. I sipped my drink, chatted more, and then realized that I was touching the funny guy’s bare arm. He was so warm… so soft… leaning against him I felt his t-shirt against my chest. Suddenly, he was gone. I gripped the bar and stared at the people around me. Where was my husband? The scary man was still standing beside me, smiling.

“I’m so tired,” I said, and then lay my head on the bar. Someone’s hand reached inside my blouse and squeezed my right breast. I started to cry.

After that, everything is a blur, like a bad dream you can’t wake up from. You feel everything, every touch and sound and breath, but you can’t shake yourself awake, or make the fear go away. I remember being outside on the sidewalk with my friend holding me, but the scary man was still there. I told her he was touching me. Then I remember trying to walk back to the apartment where we were staying. I remember waking up because I was crying and screaming and I couldn’t stop. My husband was there but he couldn’t calm me down. Far away inside of me, I knew I needed to stop, but I kept screaming. Suddenly I was up and screaming louder, accusing my husband of letting a strange man touch me. And then my husband was gone but my friends were there and one friend took me to the hospital. The screaming finally stopped, but not the terror.

In the morning, I was calm and well enough to go home, so the hospital released me, saying I was exhausted and had experienced a break down due to alcohol. My husband picked me up at the ER and we drove home, silent and shaken from a night of chaos. What had happened? Why had I lost it so badly? Did I just have a nervous breakdown?

My daughter has a disability and is medically fragile, so every day is stressful. Add to that losing my job, marriage trouble and constant pain from a neck injury, and it’s no wonder I’m prone to hysterical weeping, especially if I drink too much. But this was different. This time when I cried, I was out of my head and ready to kill myself.

The next day, I explained to my daughter’s aid what had happened and she said, “You were dosed.”

“What? How? What are you talking about?”

“You were dosed. Someone slipped something in your drink when you weren’t looking. Probably that creepy guy who was grabbing you. You have all the classic signs.”

“But… I’m too old to be dosed. I could be that guy’s mom.”

She laughed. “No your not. You’re hot. And besides, you gave him the opportunity. Other people probably had their drink covered.”

And then she told me about the times she’d been dosed, how her friends had been dosed, what to do if you get dosed, and how to prevent it from happening.

But I still couldn’t believe it. Why would anyone want to dose me? I’m not a naive 21 year old girl; I’m an intelligent, savvy, full grown woman who doesn’t take shit from men. They tested me for drugs in the hospital and they didn’t find anything. The idea was crazy!

When I told the story to my friends under age 35, they all said, “Sounds like you were dosed.” I told my friends over age 35 that people thought I’d been drugged, and they all said, “That makes a lot of sense.” I went online and read about rape-drugs and side effects and how to protect yourself from being drugged, and even though my brain just couldn’t accept that someone would do it, I realized my friends were right: I had been drugged by the creepy guy.

The most disturbing thing about this, other than the experience itself, is how nonchalant my friends under age 35 are about getting dosed. Being dosed in a bar is as ordinary an event as getting a phone number from someone you meet there. Since it happens so often, everyone knows how to protect themselves. Unfortunately, I’m 46 and don’t go to bars very often, so no one taught me the rules. But here’s what I know now.

The Rules to keep from getting dosed in a bar.

  1. Always keep control of your drink. Don’t leave it on the bar, or on the table, at any time. If you have to pee, take your drink with you! Want to dance? Finish your drink first.
  2. If you do set your drink on the bar or a table, cover it with a plastic cup or the coasters bars give you. That makes it harder for someone to slip something into it.
  3. Never take a sip of a drink from someone, even someone you know. Do not share drinks.
  4. If someone wants to buy you a drink, go with them to the bar. Don’t drink anything that has left your sight. Someone hands you a beer? Only drink it if it is still unopened.
  5. Do no go to bars alone. If you’re on a date, reread all the rules and FOLLOW THEM.

The other thing I discovered is that hospitals do not routinely test for “date-rape” drugs. And many of the drugs pass through your system so quickly even if they do test, they might not find anything. The hospital I went to tested my alcohol level and checked for standard recreational drugs, like cocaine and pot, not Ketamine or GHB.

It’s a bizarre comfort to know I was drugged and didn’t just lose my mind one night. However, it is frightening to realize how violated I was and I’m thankful my friends were there to help me. What would have happened if I’d been alone?

For more info, here are some links I found: