The party life of nightclubs and glamour has an appeal, an allure that promises we’ll never get old. At least that’s how it looked to Sarah, a marketing manager who recently moved to downtown St. Paul. A veteran of the Twin Cities nightlife scene, she shares with us her take on moving from Minneapolis to the capital city, the differences between two, and why you don’t have to go out if you don’t want to.
This interview was conducted, recorded, and transcribed by Adrian Daniel Schramm. This is the first interview.
From party-life to couch-life
TiltMN: What is your ideal Friday night?
Man… (Laughs) Movies. And Popcorn.
Go out to the movies or stay at home?
Stay at home. They’re trying, but nothing is better than my couch.
So you’re not big on going out.
Depends. I don’t know.
Put on your best and hit the town.
I did. I mean I will still. I used to all the time.
(Shrugs) I don’t know. It got to be stressful.
What do you mean?
Get ready. Makeup and hair. Find parking. Well, honestly we got valet a lot. And we didn’t have to wait in any lines. They knew us downtown. Well they knew my friends and so they knew me. So I don’t know. I would just get exhausted. Party. 2am. Pizza at Luce. After-party wherever. And then all of a sudden it was 5am and the sun was rising and we were getting breakfast at Flameburger.
It got exhausting after a while.
So now you watch your movies at home.
(Laughs) Yeah, well, when I can. I mean I’m only 24. I guess I should be getting out more. I should be all about the party or at least more social.
Well if you don’t want to.
People say that I’m social. And I do love people. People can be great. But it was… it was a life I thought I wanted or I thought I knew I wanted but it was only because I thought I had to. Honestly home seems like the safest place in the world. Especially after work. It’s not a hundred faces I want to see. It’s only one. One other than myself. My bed, my couch, my television…
Your own space.
Sure. Yeah. I mean usually that’s all I want or need.
But not your friends?
Not as much. We were all about the drugs. Get some rolls for the weekend. God. Every weekend. The friends I had were obsessed. “Sip some lean because so-and-so got it from Marcus…” And so we would drink and we would dance and the whole world would spin until I fell over.
You didn’t enjoy those nights?
(Shrugs) I don’t know. Sure. It’s fun to look back on all the crazy nights. Sure. I don’t know. But I don’t really remember everything.
What do you remember?
I’d watch guys get in to fights. I watched a guy get knocked out by a glass bottle on the dance floor and like security just dragged him outside and left him like right on the sidewalk. I watched my friends throw up. And they would tell me the weirdest things while they did. Like, “I’m so sorry I love you and I’ve always loved you and toaster strudel and let’s eat toaster strudel together forever. I love you so, so much… do you hate me?” Or cry about a guy. Or better yet the guy would show up and they would get into a fight and it would be a friend of mine getting dragged off the dance floor.
So you had to do a lot of babysitting?
I usually wasn’t a good babysitter. I was pretty wasted myself! All night I would drink things I really don’t want to drink. Like those fruity shots that guys buy for us and they’re so sweet they make your teeth hurt.
Like a Water Moccasin?
Sometimes. We drank a lot of Lemon Drops. And I’d get drunk, finally, and then I’d go home with someone I didn’t actually like. Or I’d do something I felt stupid about the next day.
What’s your worst experience with a guy you met at a bar or club?
Oh, man. Really? (Laughs)
One guy was so hairy, and you couldn’t really see it with his clothes on, like I just thought he was the normal amount of hairy, but he was so hairy I actually got, I don’t know, like, rug burn from his chest hair. And I like a little hair. I mean hairy is in right now. But man. This guy. He was a sheepdog worse than my mom’s.
That was the worst? Doesn’t seem so bad.
Well most of the experiences were bad. There was never a, you know, connection or anything. Usually just a drunk guy flopping around and me counting the minutes… Oh. One guy started crying about his ex-girlfriend right in the middle of sex and he just rolls over and says he “just can’t” and I’m lying there naked like, okay, what do I do now? He was actually crying really hard. Sobbing, like. And then he called her.
Yeah. I’m actually pretty introverted. This kind of stuff freaks me out… I just thought, you know, this is what you do. This is what you have to do. You go out, dolled up, dance and take pictures and find a cute guy and dance and take pictures with him and at some point go back to his place and maybe get breakfast in the morning. It took a couple years to realize that I didn’t enjoy it. I didn’t enjoy getting really drunk and making bad decisions.
And then the hangover.
Well. (Laughs) I actually don’t hate hangovers. Is that weird? I mean like, sure I hate feeling shitty like everyone does, but it was such a good reason to just lounge around all day. I would eat big bagels with cream cheese and take long showers and it would be okay that I just sat around and watched TV all day. Like, sorry, can’t do anything, I’m hungover. Can you warm me up some pizza rolls? I’m hungover.
Put cream cheese on a bagel for me because I’m hungover.
Right. And I had this big sloppy dog, not a sheepdog (laughs), and he would sit on my chest and it was all warm and… I don’t know I guess I don’t have terrible memories of being hungover. I was home, warm and safe and sure I probably had a terrible headache or a little nausea, but nothing that a little weed can’t cure and it was kind of like a free day to watch movies and eat.
Like staying home sick from school.
Yeah. Sure. But I guess now I don’t have time for sick days, especially not when I do it to myself. Like I have just too much to do and even laundry is hard when you’re hungover.
I think laundry is hard even when you’re sober.
So now you don’t go out/party as much anymore.
I just got sick of it. I’ve lost so many phones in bars it’s not even funny. I’ve had guys grab me on the dance floor and what do you do when you can’t even see who it was?
Is this why you moved to St. Paul?
Not entirely, but partly. Sure. It feels far away.
The quieter city.
Yeah, it is. And the older I get the more I appreciate it. When I was younger still, like 19 years old and my 21st birthday was the most exciting thing I was looking forward to, Minneapolis seemed like a magical place. Minneapolis was where people party, St. Paul was where people still lived with their moms. St. Paul seemed boring.
It still does to a lot of people.
Yeah. Well it’s different now. Like St. Paul actually has things to do and places to go and you don’t have to deal with the, like, over-the-top bullshit like you do in Minneapolis.
But we have to keep this quiet. We don’t want too many people to know.
(Laughs) Okay. I’ll keep my mouth shut.