cougars and hookers and blow, oh my!

Last night, I went to Bar Bar Nineteen 12 for one of my co-workers birthday party. This is the first time in months I’ve been out someplace that isn’t:

a) Bootie
b) a Venice dive bar
c) on the Los Angeles goth circuit.

Regardless of having to go out into “normal” Los Angeles, I was delighted to be invited. This was a celebration for a co-worker I actually like quite a bit, and who I am currently trying to recruit for my Emerging Technologies department. Her roommate and best friend is also one of my work buddies, a girl I chat with during the day. And I knew it would be fun to see socially the other colleagues from my team who were planning to go.

Nineteen 12 is the bar at the Beverly Hills Hotel, which was chosen because bottle service had been offered as a present to the birthday girl. The Beverly Hills Hotel is one of those few places actually left over from a glamorous time in the past, a time when movie stars started making Beverly Hills their home and their community. Being there always makes me feel like I’m in a Judith Krantz novel. Unfortunately, Scruples took place over thirty years ago, and is now quaint and outdated and classy in comparison to the reality of what happens in those elite bars today. First of all, the music was genuinely dreadful – remixes of songs that were already two, three, five years old. Second of all, even I can spot the difference between designer club tacky and Fashion District knockoffs, and this was the latter. And third, it was FULL OF HOOKERS. And not the high-end, post-Pretty Woman makeover escorts, but actual GLARINGLY OBVIOUS escort types, girls with lots of plastic surgery attached to older, tacky men.

Oh, and also, the bar was full of cougars. Ridiculously so. So much that I would have been afraid to take my friend Graham in there, because he was always a cougar magnet back in Vancouver. As it was, I feared for my male co-workers, who are in their mid-20s. I half-expected to see one of the Forever 21 clad cougars leap and pounce on one of the boys. As it was, when we left, there were four of them happily dancing to “Jump” on the dance floor, and one of them was actually doing a little Jazzercise type move when the chorus told her to jump. (I imitated this afterwards in the lobby of the hotel to great laughter.)

And did I mention the music was ridiculous? I heard such cutting edge tracks as “In Da Club”, “California Love”, and “Crazy In Love”. The most modern thing played was Beyonce’s “Single Girls (Put A Ring On It). Now, I KNOW I am out of it when it comes to what the kids are listening to – I can tell you the latest tracks at Bar Sinister, or about some new indie-rock, but I’m usually a year behind when it comes to dance and R&B. I didn’t even know who Rihanna was until I heard “Umbrella” mixed up at Bootie, which is my major exposure to mainstream music. But even I considered these tracks hopelessly out of date. And Journey is absolutely NOT ACCEPTABLE unless it is the Mysterious D mash-up. You know you’re in a cougar bar when all the tracks date back to an era when you were still young enough to be hearing the music for the first time in a trendy club.

Despite these factors, I had a wonderful time. I do genuinely like the individuals that I was out with. And it was just so nice to be out, at a bar, having my one drink and hanging out and chatting and generally being sociable. I was so excited to be out as a NORMAL PERSON, and not as on a Mom’s Night Out. I’m still struggling with the idea of being a mom on a night out now, as opposed to being just on a night out, as a normal course of action.

Oh, and we didn’t actually SEE any blow, but there’s just no way you can have that many hookers in a venue without someone doing coke in a bathroom. There’s a throwback to the Judith Krantz era right there as well.

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