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What it’s like to go clubbing in your 30s

Posted on 19-12-2013

You just fucking don’t.

Despite what your friends may say, despite how awesome the venue sounds, despite your brain telling you “You’ve earned this night out”, don’t do it.

Clubbing in your 20s is different. When you hit 21 you can finally saunter into a club without having to bribe the bouncer or sneak in with your older friends. At 21, you’re officially a member of the night crowd, and your nights blur together as you become intoxicated with the clubbing scene. You have no problem leaving the house at 11pm and coming back at 8am before downing a latte and getting on with your day.

But when you hit your 30s, things are very, very different. Going to a club no longer becomes a fun night out with your friends, but is instead an absolutely exhausting exercise. Before you even get started with anything, you need to figure out what to wear. Fashion has taken a convoluted turn in past years, where suspenders, bowties, drainpipe pants and rib-crushing vests have become the norm (I will confess that I own at least two of these wardrobe staples). A club’s “smart casual” dress code could mean anything from figure-hugging denim paired with a wild-print polo to flat-front chinos held up by red suspenders.

Finally when you reach the club and get in, the first question you ask yourself is why the hell everything is so fucking LOUD. Seriously, you don’t recall the music being so loud that you can feel the fluid in your inner ear starting to vibrate. You try to mouth your drink order to the bartender (who is now referred to a ‘mixologist’), but this goes mostly ignored since the chick with boobs pushed up to her face has just flagged him down for another round of shots that looks like small servings of mouthwash.

Apart from the insanely loud music, you become aware of how everyone in the club is impeccably dressed and presented, and how you can feel at least seven pairs of eyes judging you already. If they’re not judging you for your outfit, they’re judging you for your age. I’m sure there are plenty of people in their 30s who can rock the clubbing scene, but let me tell you something honey, it’s not going to last very long. Going to a club in your 30s means that you enter into some kind of timewarp where your watch may say it’s 10pm, but your body thinks its 2am and is already entering shutdown mode. You try to dance a bit to stay awake, but your so-called dance moves are dwarfed by the slender guys writhing around on the dancefloor as if they’re possessed. This, apparently, is what’s called dancing. Eventually the noise and crowd begins to overwhelm your brain, and you wish you were at home catching re-runs of Games of Thrones interspersed with The Mindy Project. But you fight the urge to crawl under a table and curl into a ball, and try to stick it out for another twenty minutes, flashing a smile to your friends so they know your consciousness isn’t slipping away. The worst part is when you actually recognize a dance tune, it’s being played because the DJ considers it ‘retro’ when you could have sworn it was something that you heard on the charts only yesterday.

Or in 1998.


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