Don Jean

Sometimes you have self respect, and sometimes you go to Monte Vista. On a Tuesday night.

You might then awake the next morning with a text from your friend saying that not only did you conclude the evening at Imbibe, but that you actually proclaimed your love for the place on multiple occasions. Apparently the eradication of the plight of the non-smoker is a huge draw for my intoxicated alter-ego, “YOU MEAN MY FRIENDS CAN TAKE THEIR SMOKING BREAKS INSIDE INSTEAD OF LEAVING ME ALONE WITH ALL THE DRINKS AND JACKETS WHILE THEY HAPPILY CONVERSE OUTSIDE?!” Somehow, this was considered a good thing at the time. Grounds for comparison to heaven, secondhand smoke for all!


Let me rewind a bit.

A drink at Copper Lounge’s infamous Taco Tuesday led us to agree upon plans to later brave Monte Vista. Upon further reflection, maybe I should have changed clothing or at the very least showered before embarking on this grand adventure. However, at the time writing it off as an anthropological mission, I thought I was secure enough in myself to blatantly look semi-repulsive. Turns out, as a female this is never a good idea..insecurity and self doubt are engrained in our DNA and in the future I will always, always shower and/or attempt to look somewhat presentable in public places.



We arrived just in time…to stand in line downstairs. I read somewhere once that humans enjoy standing in line, that it gives off an air of exclusivity that we crave. I take Monte Vista as a prime example of this: I mean, why sit downstairs in a booth immediately upon arrival with your friends and enjoy pleasant conversation when you could stand in line for thirty minutes to get upstairs where you can attempt to push your way to the bar, stand around in a room equally lacking in both oxygen and personal space, and run into everyone from high school you forgot you never expected nor wanted to see again.

Drink in hand, finally upstairs, I proceeded to awkwardly stand in the crowded pathway leading to the bathroom. For God knows what reason there are bar stools in said pathway, which seems highly impractical to me considering no one has room to sit in them. ALL I WANTED TO DO WAS SIT. But no, instead I managed to knock over one of these bar stools when bumped into simultaneously from the front and back by two girls dressed almost identically.

I was unaware that there was a dress code for Tuesday nights: heels, short skirt, and tank top. Obviously an appropriate outfit for January! These girls were surprisingly strong, this clearly wasn’t their first trip to the bathroom in an overpacked bar. Cram this many people into a confined space, add alcohol, and people are going to get physical. It was like survival of the fittest; a freaking Discovery show channel. Admittedly this whole thing was somewhat fascinating, but mostly concerning in regard to the bruises I was bound to find all over my body tomorrow. I was shoved to the left into a coveted bar stool, which was then pushed to the ground just in time for me to trip over it. Don’t worry, I have reflexes like a panther, or a panther-like animal of some sort, so naturally I grabbed onto the unsuspecting individual immediately in front of me causing their drink to spill a little and me look like a drunken fool, but my body did not hit the ground and everyone was still alive so I considered this a win on my part.

Luckily no one noticed this whole thing because they were distracted by the photography taking place in the corner. It was rather mesmerizing, five girls all adjusting their boobs for a photo reminiscent of my highschool cheerleading days. You know the position, that weird crouching thing where everyone scrunches together and does one group squat. I remember this positioning well, and it is SO uncomfortable. Everyone will fit in the picture if you just stand up straight like normal humans, and not like whatever it is on the evolutionary progression picture that comes right before modern day Homosapiens (is that capitalized? Hyphenated? I’m not sure. My autocorrect didn’t recognize that as a word, and wanted to change it to homosexuals which is not quite what I was trying convey.)

It should also be noted that the girls in question were following some kind of unspoken of dress code as well, each rocking some version of tights-as-pants, long jewelry, and heels. Can I just say that I am no fashionista but I despise when tights are worn as pants. I could actually see their underwear or lack thereof. Tights are see through people! How did their mothers let them leave the house like that is what I would like to know, as I assume they still live at home based on how old they looked.  Later, I would find out that this attire is evidently conducive to the systematic objectification that occurs at Imbibe, but I did not know this now. Horrified, I set the stool straight and vacated the area.

I ended up standing next to the one older guy at the bar who clearly knew no one, sitting in the corner by himself. I was engulfed by sadness, but not quite enough to talk to him. Instead, I desperately searched for my friends in the crowd. They were probably outside smoking, and the trek to the other side of the room seems not worth the effort. So instead I was stuck next to this guy, who was radiating sadness. I didn’t even think that was possible, but it was. “Why are you here?” seemed like a rude way to begin a conversation, but it was the only thing I could think of to say to this sad, bald man so I chose to not say anything at all. I have a penchant for saying incredibly rude things to people sometimes, so I decided on silence and made my way to the bathroom.

When in doubt: go to the bathroom. The female safe space. I walked into the bathroom, which has this particular aroma of pine…and barf. There were definitely multiple girls puking in there. Seriously? I glanced at my phone, it read 10:45pm. I guess it was already that time of the night, here in the Monte Vista time warp. I waited my turn for the pukers to evacuate, no doubt to continue drinking once again, and once inside the stalls noticed these strange holes in the wall.

Holes in the wall are not in the top five things I like to see in a bathroom stall.

Top five things I would like to see in a bathroom stall:

1) A toilet, for starters

2) Toilet paper

3) Words of wisdom scrawled on the walls

4) A large sum of money

5) Not holes in the wall

Imagining a creepy perv commune on the other side of the wall peeking through the multitude of holes, I stuffed toilet paper into each and every one and exited the stall. The best part of restroom girl zone is the conversations we are able to have while waiting in line to urinate. I don’t remember what was said exactly in this particular circumstance, but I made a note in my phone that said “idiotic girl talk in bathroom” so I know that there was more than likely some idiotic girl talk in the bathroom. I only wish I could remember what it was. I do remember that one of the girls in line was sucking on a Ring Pop because aside from the disgust I felt at the unsanitary nature of this choice in terms of going to the bathroom logistics, I was mostly just excited to learn that those still exist.

My friends had returned, thankfully, and were currently being hit on by some dude who was insisting on buying them drinks. When he came back, the obligatory five minutes of conversation following the purchase of a drink by a male stranger commenced. It went something like this, “Thank you for the free drink. This is my name, this is my fake phone number, OH you are in business school at UNM that is so shocking, I like your popped collar it really brings out your eyes, is that a pinky ring? etc.”

Once the ten minute mark has been met you break off the conversation and drift away. This one particular guy really wasn’t getting the hint, as he insisted on talking about our respective weights/ how to lose weight. There is literally one rule about talking to women: Don’t bring up our weight.

Dude left us with the closing remark about how he likes to pre-game at MV for the “three dollar Long Islands” and then head to Imbibe. Or maybe it was the other way around. Either way, that sounds like a recipe for disaster if I’ve ever heard one. #alcoholpoisoning

Fast forward two drinks and the wise decision to follow the crowd to Imbibe. When in Rome and all that. In the smokey confines of Imbibe, flashing lights and vulgar rap music contributed to the mood. While conversing with my friends towards the back of the establishment, I noticed a very suave black gentleman with a cigar gesturing towards me. He seemed to be requesting my company, seeing as there was no one behind me, so I ventured over to him.

“The name’s Don Jean,” was his opening line. “Nice to meet you, I’m Kallie,” I replied. “Girlllllllll, I like what I see,” he said, in reference to me. Flustered, I really didn’t know what to say. “I don’t have to be SWOL to get girls,” he continued. A ten minute conversation followed in which he explained to me the meaning of SWOL because I was very confused. First I thought I was hearing him wrong, and then once the fact that it was the word he was intending to use was established, the definition had to be understood. We eventually came to the conclusion that it is short for being muscular. As in, swollen. I never considered this to be a positive thing, why would you want to be swollen? Don Jean soon tired of my questioning and wandered off leaving me to do research on my phone about the roots of this term “SWOL”.

I woke up the next day with a sore throat from all the smoke inhalation, a brutal hangover, and my etymological findings still on my phone. A brief text conversation with my friend informed me of my love for Imbibe.

And that concludes our evening at Monte Vista. Brave it if you dare. Or better yet, don’t.


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