Saturday, September 5, 2009

Diving Lessons

I remember when I was younger I heard talk of "dives" or "dive bars" and I was confused and curious. What is a "dive?"

Since turning 21, or even during the month before the birthday when friends and I managed to crash a truck stop bar on I-5 outside of Eugene, Oregon, I have gained vast amounts of experience with so called dives, even tending bar at a dive or two.

Still, even in terms of dives, I had my standards, damn it. Until yesterday.

Girls' night started out as classy as can be. We all primped and had dinner at the Gold Room at the Baranof where we were certainly a bit uncouth, but our server was happy to tolerate our antics, especially when those antics included trying to touch our elbows together behind our backs. It's along the same lines as that creepy kid in middle and high school who used to run his finger up unsuspecting girls' spines to get that chest out reaction. In any case, after a delightful dinner we went to the Breakwater which is now Troxel's. The Breakwater was known for being a dive. I had never been. Not only is it all they way over by the high school, it just had that reputation of being sort of sketchy. But with the new ownership, the place has risen above. It's got all the nautical kitsch you could ever want, with a raised platform gated off with thick rope, but without the sketchiness. Deering and Down played and I don't think the poor bartenders were prepared for the onslaught. The place was packed with people who usually inhabit the Alaskan or the Rendezvous. But before the band even stopped playing, an exodus occurred - where did the people go? We never found out.

But it wasn't the Alaskan. Around 12:30 or 1am we went downtown and discovered that the Rendezvous had Karaoke and a scary crowd (scary-oke) and the Alaskan had some familiar faces but we didn't leave the Breakwater to listen to the Killers' first album playing from someone's iPod. We were feeling adventurous and decided to head to the Imperial, only to stumble upon some friends at the Triangle. We, a then ragtag group, turned around and headed past the Rendezvous and straight to The Lucky Lady.

I had never once set foot in the Lucky Lady. I even had a free drink token once and I gave it away because I was CERTAIN that I'd never go. But go, I did, and I don't regret it. We all drank cheap beer out of small pitchers ($5.50 a piece) and Mr. S and Miss BR took over the jukebox (yes, there was a jukebox) so we got an ear full of Flaming Lips (Mr. S had seen them in concert recently) and some sing-along worthy 80's hits thanks, probably, to Mr. MW. After a point that blueberry mocha martini, 5 shots worth of vodka, and the glasses of cheap beer kicked in full force and I experienced "time travel" as some like to call it. I blacked out and was lucky enough to find myself on my couch wrapped up in a blanket this morning. A few key things that make the night, overall, a success: Waking up without a stranger, with my glasses near me and un-broken, and with a blanket to keep me warm. Score 1 for Melissa, 1 for alcohol, 0 for, um, sobriety. Let's face it, booze and me are on the same team.

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