It is officially week two of being CL’s nightlife columnist. I have “come out” to most of my family about this gig — they all have decided I am an alcoholic who is using this as an excuse to party. Since my column debut, I have purchased another pair of sunglasses (to replace the ones lost during Halloween). And I’ve started comparison-shopping for optical “writer” glasses: a frame that is a cross between hipster and teacher.
Allow me to state the obvious: being out of college sucks. Reason No. 1? The war between being sleepy, productive or hungover rarely equals going out three nights in a row. But recently, the stars aligned and I was able to do just that. Somehow, I was able to cut my hangovers short and take full advantage of every night. This leads me to Reason No. 2: Hangovers are rarely satisfied with a breakfast bagel and coffee, and who has time for full-on breakfast in the real world?
“Set, hut!” Is that what they say in football? It was a Thursday night, and all eyes were on the Carolina Panthers. Or was it Cam Newton ... Luke Kuechly? (Reason No. 3: You no longer have access to the “football hotties.”) It’s not often that fans can experience a night home game. Tailgate consisted of Angry Orchard and Fireball (despite the articles circulating about its recall in Europe). If you ask me, tailgating is the ultimate pregame activity (the actual game equaling going out, of course)! And for people like me who really need some motivation for investing in a football game, a pregame is a necessity.
Needless to say, the walk up to the very top of the stadium to our seats was anything but fun. It was my first game, though, and weirdly I was excited. An eerie silence falls over the crowd when the ball is in play, and while there is no roof, it feels like you’re in a vacuum. There are very few feelings that can compare.
But then my friend got kicked out of the game, which ended my fun early. (Note to self: Don’t bring in mini bottles, and don’t sit in the nosebleeds.)
On Friday, we hit one of our usual spots, Tin Roof. During the summer, we often stopped in here after Alive After Five. What I love most about this bar is that they always have live music, and most of the artists come back multiple times. That night, it was pop country: the Sean Rivers Band. Even if you aren’t a huge fan of the genre, the performers do a great job getting the crowd involved. I have been on stage taking shots, participating in beer-chugging contests and being serenaded by the performers. No big deal. Not to mention, they have darts and a Galaga/Pac Man machine for those of us that get a tad distracted.
Despite the fun-filled (read: alcohol-filled) night before, I was surprisingly in good spirits Saturday morning and grabbed an Uber to a networking event. (Reason No. 4 why it sucks being out of college: You have to pretend to be interested in your future when all you really want to do is party like it’s sophomore year.)
“Oh hey, I had you last weekend,” said the driver, turning in his seat to look at me. “You kept calling me Floyd Mayweather.”
Creeped out, I nervously responded, “Well, you do remind me of good old Floyd ... um, when was this exactly?”
He laughed. “Last weekend. You were calling your niece and your friend was passed out in the back.”
I turned to my visiting mother, guilty as can be. “Oh yeah, haha. That would be me.” She was not amused.
That night, my friends and I hit Tilt. There, I drunkenly decided to speak in an English accent all night, which got me way more than my fair share of compliments and free drinks.
Speaking of drinks, the bartenders at this Uptown bar have a few tricks up their sleeves when concocting theirs. Apparently, they are some of Charlotte’s veterans. Tilt also has great specials all week long, which are hard to come by these days. (Reason No. 5: You have a job now, but you still can’t actually afford anything. At least when you were in college you had a meal plan, so all your extra money went to alcohol.)
But the biggest reason being out of college sucks? I started to run out of excuses to keep partying like I never graduated.
Luckily, this writing opportunity came along. It is for the greater good of Charlotte. You’re welcome.