I’m 24 years old. 100 years ago, I would maybe be considered middle-aged. “There’s Caragh,” 12-year-old, newly married hussies would whisper to each other as I passed by. “Poor thing. So old. So unmarried. How do you think she will cope dying alone?”
But this isn’t 1912, it’s 2012 and 24 years old is just barely considered an adult. I essentially have a free pass for virtually any mistake I could ever make. I think that particular coupon expires somewhere around 27 years old, so I’m milking it for all it is worth. Now is the time for mistakes.
I’ve been trying to say “yes” to more things lately and I think the end result thus far is that I know myself a little bit better. I now know that it’s okay to hate most parties. I can honestly not recall the last time I went to a so-called “rager” of any sort. I haven’t seen a keg since I was 20. The only difference between hating parties in high school and hating parties now is that now I realize that my opinion is totally valid and I’m not a loser. The only thing more terrible than being squished in a beige living room with a bunch of drunk people you’ve never met before is absolutely nothing.
I’ve had some great experiences playing this “Yes Game”. I did a couple readings. One went okay and the other went so unbearably horrible that I’ve spent the last three weeks congratulating myself for not committing suicide. I applied for, and received, a grant to go spend 3 weeks in Israel next month. I’ve made some new friends, I’ve given myself permission to let go of old friends who weren’t good for me, and I’ve gone on some amazing weekend getaways.
I also went to a strip club for gay dudes.
What I found is that I’m too immature for a strip club.
This wasn’t my first time. Last September I went to a female strip club in Vegas (another trip I normally would’ve declined if I didn’t force myself to say yes). I was fine then. I even felt a little bit like a baller. As I sipped my vodka and Red Bull in the VIP area, wearing a dress for the first time in months, sitting on giant leather chairs while rap videos played on the walls around us, I couldn’t help but feel like I ran the world a little bit So I think I’ve regressed. Whatever part of the brain that is in control of strip club adventures has atrophied considerably. Is there a Stipper Lobe?
I think the difference between then and the most recent visit is that I could, and did, look at those females and think, “That girl’s body is nuts!” in a very appreciative, pro-sisterhood manner. But when it came time to watch muscle-bound, tan and handsome dudes get naked on stage, I turned into a giggle monster. I couldn’t handle how attractive these men were. My body rejected the experience. I spent most of the night looking at the tablecloth in front of me. Whenever my friend left to use the bathroom, I immediately started tweeting and sweating:
I’m 99.99% sure one of the strippers laughed at me, because of course that would happen. HE’S the one stripping, and I’M the one doing embarrassing things. Of course that’s the world I live in. He made eye contact with me while my friend was in the bathroom, so I naturally immediately looked down at my tablecloth as if something much more interesting and six-packish was happening in the pattern. I picked at the tablecloth a bit as if it held a piece of the Mayan calendar that had been previously undiscovered. When I looked back up, the stripper was chuckling. I think. I mean, it was loud, but his mouth looked as if it was chuckling and he was still looking at me. He watched my social anxiety unfold and he found it rightfully hilarious. A stripper laughed at me, you guys. While he was stripping. I’m still trying to wrap my head around how I manage to find ways to embarrass myself daily.
First image via Shutterstock