BAR BELLE: Let’s drink again, like we did last summer

Where: 1073 31 St. NW
Dress: Salsa dancing shoes
Cover: free before 11 p.m., $10 after
Carded: at the door

The night started out so well. My friend called to tell me about this hot mariachi band at Paper Moon. Cool, I thought, who doesn’t love mariachi? Then he told me it was free if I got there before 11. This was gonna be a great night. Salsa music, no cover, a hot date, how could things go wrong?

I messed around my room for a good two hours before getting in the shower, so by 10:45 my hair wasn’t even dried and I was only at stage one of picking out my outfit. At least my date didn’t showed up WASTED while I was getting dressed. Oh wait, he did.

We high-tailed it to G-town in a cab to make sure we made it before 11. We didn’t. They made us pay $10. The place looked empty and I was leary about dropping a Hamilton without making sure my friends were there. I told the doorman I’d leave my ID for collateral. He looked at me like I was cheap. Guess what? I am.

I found my friends, went back, paid the cover, got some Coronas and the night seemed to be improving. The music was good – I guess the band hadn’t shown up yet. The dance floor was lively and it wasn’t so crowded, so we had easy access to the bar and the dance floor. And the matron in the bathroom soaped my hands for me and gave me gum and mints. I loved her so much I tipped her five bucks (you’ll notice my cheapness disappears as the night goes on).

I liked the Latin crowd at Paper Moon because it’s such a change from the usual Madhatter crowd of other Friday nights. I like getting kissed on the cheek instead of shaking hands when you meet someone new, and I like tangoing and salsaing instead of grinding. I liked the new design of the place (it’s an Italian restaurant during the day but they take the tables out of the back to form a dance floor and leave the ones up front for people to lounge. This encourages an older crowd — and when I say old think grandpa, not sugar daddy), which I also kind of like, it makes me feel more sophisticated.

With all the sophisticated fun I was having, I was starting to forget how awful I felt earlier. Then I remembered what happens when I start feeling sophisticated. I buy lots of drinks, like I know somebody, when, in reality, I don’t know anyone.

Because I had no cash from the cab and the cover, I had to open a tab. My friends aren’t supposed to allow me to do this anymore after an “incident” at Ozio’s last year, but I slipped it by them. Bad part about opening a tab, you don’t even care how much the drinks are, or how many you get, it just piles up on the credit card.

So we leave. I am flat broke and totally buzzed. The walk home was lovely. I was as drunk as my date so we drunk-dialed for a while and then had a lovely chat. Until we reached an intersection and I saw my friend, who tackled me. I fell to the ground and broke my knee. The lesson boys and girls? Don’t drink and walk.

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