Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Big Night Out

Guadalajara, Mexico

6:15pm Woo-hoo! We are free! After a quick good-bye to our life-saving babysitter, and a brief, “here’s what to do when...,” Carter and I run skipping and leaping out of our house. Did we remember to give her our cell-phone numbers? Ha! Who cares! We’re out!

6:30pm Giddy as a virgin at the senior prom we launch into our evening full-steam ahead by hitting a martini bar/Argentinean steakhouse before our sushi dinner. As we walk towards a table we realize we are in great danger of being surrounded by families who are finishing up a late lunch. I am not about to spend my get-out-of-jail-free card oogling at other people’s babies. (Check the time, that’s right, I said LUNCH. In Mexico the big meal of the day is called comida and starts at around 2pm). We quickly veer towards the bar and take a stool. Perfect.

7:30pm The uber hip sushi restaurant we had carefully chosen for our Big Night Out had everything going for it: big buzz about town, a sleek modern interior, psychedelic jelly fish floating in a tank by the door, swanky highly-stylized leather lounge chairs perfect for sipping sake cocktails, chill down-tempo beats sealing the scene. So why were we the only people in the restaurant?

We knew why. It cannot be blamed on the new trend towards penny-pinching. We were tragically unhip. You see, in Mexico, it takes more than just picking the talked-about spot, you really CANNOT expect to dine among the living until the sweet hour of 10pm. This is siesta culture. The life we were trying to dip into did not start until much later, and those who live it were napping.

9:00pm Full on sushi, we leave the still-empty restaurant and try to find a happening place to have a drink before we meet up with friends, who are mostly likely throwing matches all over their floor and sticking things in their outlets…. because they don’t have kids and they can. We are still pretty amped up with the naughty feeling of getting away with something, but as we roam the oddly quiet streets the momentum begins to fade.

Really?! Is it possible that at, and now it is 9:30pm on a Saturday, a city of seven million can actually feel empty? There isn’t even the pre-party hustle of a liquor run, a last-minute dash to the bodega, or a … N-O-T-H-I-N-G. The city is eerily quiet. We walk to a couple bars we know will have lines out the front at 1am, and I swear they are mopping the floors in anticipation of the merry-makers. I am starting to feel like I am trying to make something of nothing. The lack of distraction is allowing the grim reality of the sad truth to sink in: the baby-sitter will not be there in the morning. You see, it is the thought I always have in the back of my head, but if everything is going well on a Big Night Out I can lethally push it to the back of my mind and wait to deal with it at 7am, when Oscar wakes up.

10:00pm The debate to call it a night or soldier-on has landed us at the bar where our friend’s band will be playing later that evening. We order a shot and make a couple calls, fruitlessly reminding people that we are on babysitter-time. As usual, they are on Mexican-time.

11:30pm People are trickling in fresh-faced and excited for the night to start. They have the same right out of the gates tear-on that was trying to find a venue in me FIVE hours ago. A second-wind looks to be hours away. I am thinking I will save my late-night babysitter points and cab it home. Oscar has five hours of sleep on me at this point, and sometimes, at 7am, I think he is rubbing it in.

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