Club-goers brave the line in River North. (Chuan D. Vo )
No one likes waiting—not for the train, not for a crush to text you back, and certainly not for the damn self-checkout lanes at Dominick's. But no waiting game is more soul-crushing than the line outside a club.
It's a special and horrific kind of social abuse that we willingly invite as we shift our weight from aching foot to aching foot, texting in that desperately nonchalant way and wishing someone would just LET US IN ALREADY PLEASE FOR THE LOVE OF BEYONCE. Here's how to make it through the line with a scrap of dignity intact.
1. Don't show up already wasted. Hey, I know how expensive those club drinks are, so I won't begrudge you a shot before leaving your apartment, but keep it to one or two. The biggest jerk waiting to get past the velvet ropes always is the drunk guy or girl who doesn't realize how obnoxious his or her whining is. Plus, bouncers don't want to let potential riff raff in anyway.
2. Don't name drop. Unless you and Avicii have matching tattoos and are planning to chill together all night, do not utter the words: "I know the DJ/manager/bartender/server/girl who hands you a towel in the bathroom." If you really do know management, they should make sure you get in without you having to grovel.
3. Don't buy in to the beauty pageant. It's tough not to spiral into an existential crisis when you see bouncers letting other people through the door while you're still stuck outside breathing in River North traffic exhaust. "Is it my hair? Is it this dress? Should I be more tan right now?" Stop it. Yes, sometimes pretty people get special treatment in life, but that's unfair and lame and there's no reason to think you're a lesser person because of how close you are to ordering bottle service.
4. Don't try to latch on to your friends inside. Clubs don't work like green cards—having friends inside doesn't grant you automatic club citizenship. Asking them to interrupt their good time to try to drag your butt through the door is lame and probably won't work.
5. Be patient. Yes, young grasshopper, this is the only way to survive. Find your inner Zen place (as much as you can in 4-inch heels) and wait your turn. If the waiting gets ridiculous, head to another bar—no club is the only game in town.
What's in the tips above is as important as what's not in there. You'll see nothing about bribing bouncers, sticking your boobs out, flirting with people ahead of you in line or complaining about how badly you have to pee.
If you're one to employ those tactics, I don't want to be hanging out with you in the club anyway. Me and my crew will be the overdressed ones posted up at the dive bar down the street because we got sick of your nonsense.
Kate Bernot is RedEye's nightlife reporter. She once left a club line to use the bathroom at Starbucks and thinks waiting is always better when you have a scone in your purse.
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