Cher drag impersonator at Bar @ 316 Charlotte NC

Stay Home Or Go Out (On A Saturday Night) in Charlotte, North Carolina

Written by Paul Myrick

It’s Saturday evening in Charlotte, NC and hottern’ell in September — 94 degrees at 6pm. Aside from absolutely hating the summer season (that just won’t quit) with its scorching sun, hot weather, humidity, bugs and sweat, now I’m faced with what to do on a Saturday night. I have basically two options:  stay at home (party for one!) or go out. Neither of these options are appealing at the moment, for various reasons I’m about to explain, but here’s how they’ll most likely play out.

Option 1:  Stay Home On A Saturday Night

  1. Walk the dogs two miles when/if the heat breaks closer to sun down. I’ll do the regular route on the Rail Trail from Carson down to Tremont and back to Carson. There’ll be at least one female who’ll exclaim how cute my two Golden Retrievers are and then want to pet them.  Note to straight men wanting to meet women:  get yourself a pair of Golden Retrievers and walk them on the rail trail.  This approach does not work for gay men wanting to meet other gay men — they do the usual avoid-eye-contact-at-all-costs-because-heaven-forbid-someone-might-be-nice-to-me.
  2. Make a cocktail (or two). There’s bourbon and Red Rocks ginger ale and lemons in the pantry. There’s also a bottle of Jacqueline Leonne Rosé Brut in the refrigerator — and a bottle of good limoncello (from Sorrentino lemons) in the freezer. There’s also an ABC liquor store within 5 minutes walking distance — so basically the sky is the limit.  Danger:  hangover threat.
  3. Tell Alexa to play Grace Jones radio on Pandora – on Sonos.
  4. Dinner:  make something quick and easy (a simple pasta, a quick chili) — or maybe just pop some frozen vegetable lasagna in the microwave.
  5. Flip through what’s on Netflix, Amazon Prime and Hulu hoping to find something interesting. There will be nothing.
  6. Check Scruff at least five times.  Nothing.
  7. Get tired at 9pm and go to bed.

 

Option 2:  Go Out For Dinner And To A Gay Bar

  1. Do step 1 from Option 1 above.
  2. Do step 2 from Option 1 above (but limit to one cocktail).
  3. Do step 3 from Option 1 above while drinking cocktail.
  4. Decide what to wear and iron something.
  5. Fret about where to go for dinner and gripe to myself about how bad most of the restaurant options are.
  6. Finally give in at 7:30pm and just walk to 300 East and sit at the bar for dinner— at least it’s consistent. I’d go to dinner later, but it seems most of the restaurant kitchens close at 9pm in this town.  Seriously, I’ve experienced the bartender at Sullivan’s (steak restaurant) closing up the bar at 8:30pm on a Saturday night.
  7. Have a cocktail at the bar at 300 East and fend off the bartender from taking my dinner order since it will arrive before I’ve even enjoyed half of my drink.
  8. Talk to no one.
  9. Discreetly check Scruff.
  10. Observe out-to-get-as-drunk-as-possible-20-somethings ordering Wongs* at the bar at 300 East.
  11. Observe we-drove-in-from-the-burbs-50-somethings  ordering Wongs* at the bar at 300 East.
  12. Talk to no one.
  13. Finish cocktail. Order a glass of wine and dinner.
  14. Discreetly check Scruff.
  15. Eat dinner alone at the bar.
  16. And now it’s 9-ish and wondering what to do?  Go out?  No one in Charlotte goes out to a gay bar until at least 11pm.
  17. Go to Bar @ 316 at 9:30pm anyway.
  18. The only patrons are just me and one much older man, who I don’t want to engage.
  19. Order a vodka soda.
  20. Hope people will show up.
  21. Order a vodka soda.
  22. Hope people will show up.
  23. Order a vodka soda.
  24. Five vodka sodas later (at 11:30pm), the bar is somewhat lively and the mix of old-school dance music and new dance music is good.
  25. Try to not visibly chair dance when the DJ plays “You Make Me Feel Mighty Real” by Sylvester.
  26. Watch the drag show that begins around midnight.
  27. Talk to no one.
  28. Stagger home at 1am and collapse in bed alone.
  29. Wake up with wretched hangover and think “what the hell was I thinking?” Also fretting over the $100+ I spent on a crappy evening out.

*Matilda Wong cocktail:  A mixture of gin, rum, triple-sec, wild cherry brandy, and citrus juices served in a plastic pitcher.  Limit 2.  Supposedly tastes like sweet tart candy.

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