The Door Guy is a veteran of countless clubs around town. People say they've seen it all, but he's seen more. Write to him for everything from live advice to life advice.
Dear Door Guy,
I seriously don't know what happened. I think I made a ton of mistakes on New Year's Eve. I feel awful, emotionally and physically. It's all sort of a blur. Did I see you? Can you help piece it together?
This year must have been a rough one. You know how I can tell? Because you sent this on Saturday — three full days after your New Year's Eve revelry. (The fact that I didn't get to it for another two days, that's a whole different story.)
Now, let's start with the positive: You clearly went for it, and more power to you. That's about all the good news I can report. Did I see you? I have no idea, honestly. On the highest of Door Guy High Holidays, I see literally hundreds — sometimes thousands — of mistakes. Can I help you piece together what must have been one hell of an evening? Lucky for you, those thousands of mistakes tend to be the same ten, repeated over and over again.
Now, I can't go back in time and fix your problems. But what I can do is lay out what went wrong because it's what always goes wrong. Maybe print this out and hold on to it for next year. Maybe hand it to your friends when you're making amends, because I'm reasonably certain that they're pissed at you. But no matter what, read this, take it to heart, and please don't ever do whatever you did again.
10. You Were on a First-Name Basis With Booze
Booze, like the president of the United States, is more powerful than you. As such, it requires respect. If you're six deep into the evening and you're calling it "Jose," "Johnny," "Jim," "Jag," you're too familiar. The only exception to this rule is "Jack," but only if it's been married into the "N'Coke" family.
But that's what you always call it? Try again four drinks later when you're just calling it "blearggh."
9. You Dressed for the Party — Not the Weather
How you start your night is crucial. Way back in my very first column, I ranted about making sure you eat something before you go out partying. But how you dress is just as important.
New Year's Eve is December 31, for God's sake. Unless you flew to Costa Rica for your raging party, it's cold out. Don't leave the house without a coat and something on your legs and head. When I say "something," I mean "something more than a false sense of bravado and hope."
Yes, I know you want to look sexy or pretty or cool or badass or whatever. Guess what? It's scientifically proven that you cannot look sexy when your lips are turning blue and the snot from your nose is freezing to the end of your cigarette.
8. You Ended Up Alone
Remember at summer camp when you weren't allowed in Lake SewageRunOff unless you had a friend with you? It was called the Buddy System. Most of the time you never needed your buddy except to yell at when the water suddenly got really, really warm. But you did it anyway, because your buddy was going to keep you safe in case of emergency.
Same thing applies here. You have friends, right? Friends look out for other friends, correct? (At least they should.) Pair up with your friend. Keep your friend from doing anything stupid. Have your friend keep you from doing anything stupid. Have each other's back. Have an exit strategy. Don't break from the plan. Don't ditch each other. Remember this guy? Don't be this guy or his friend.
7. ...Or You Didn't?
When I said "don't end up alone," I don't mean in that dark, existential way that leads us to desperate, often terrifying, always unfulfilling hook-ups with someone you meet at the club after your OKCupid date and two subsequent Tinder hookups didn't pan out. You know that look your door guy gives you when you're leaving for a lame night of sloppy sex with a stranger? When he or she asks you if you're sure you're okay? It's us feeling sorry for you, your genitals, and your dignity.
6. You Made a Spectacle of Yourself
While you're at it, don't take your potential ill-advised hookup on a test drive in front of everyone. Eww.
5. You Expected to Get a Cab
Let's do a quick flashback: It's five minutes before closing time, you've violated literally every rule I've laid out so far, and you walk up and say, "Hey, can you call me a cab?"
Seriously? Your friend ditched you, you lost your wallet, you're a total wreck in more ways than one, you don't have a coat, it's ten degrees outside and five minutes before you are required to be out of the building — five minutes before I stop getting paid, thank you — you realize you need a ride home. On New Year's Eve. When the wait time for a cab is an hour and a half.
Suddenly that drunken hook-up is looking viable. Maybe you can cut them open and climb inside to stay warm like Han Solo did with Luke and the tauntaun in The Empire Strikes Back. It's better than paying Uber surge pricing.
4. Your Money and Wallet and Cell Phone Were All in the Same Pocket
This may seem like a small one, and it's definitely more applicable to the pants-wearing types than the purse-carrying types. I've seen it happen both ways, and it ends in the same tragedy. After a few drinks, you want to capture the moment by taking a sick cell phone pic with a bunch of other people, but somehow your phone has gotten strangely hard to grasp. You dig deep and pull it out. Your money, your credit cards, your wallet, your house keys, everything goes flying out onto the floor. You don't notice. A few hours later, you are very sad. But sweet selfie, bro.
3. You Willingly Ingested Unknown Substances
Seriously, do I need to explain this? Do all the stupid drugs you want so long as you a) brought them, b) don't do them in the club, and c) just fucking stay home so I'm not holding you for the cops while you're alternately sobbing and groping me while on Molly. Yes, dudes, I mean you.
2. You Vomited, But Not With Dignity
Here's a NYE story for you. One NYE about half a million years ago, I ended up in a men's bathroom with two co-workers trying to help a poor young woman who was literally projectile vomiting all over the mirrors, sinks, and urinals. The three of us dressed in black made it feel like the pea soup scene from The Exorcist if you added a nun to go with the two priests. Splatter factor of 10. The scene was so loud, so foul, so public that people were crowded outside the bathroom door trying to figure out if an elephant was giving birth.
When we were finally able to walk her out of the bathroom, I'll never forget how she handled it. Facing the world's worst walk of shame, she straightened herself, with puke still dripping from her hair, and did the best Queen Elizabeth royal wave to everyone as the crowd parted reverently.
You will never be that cool.
1. You Still Disrespected Your Fun Providers
This is not the first time I've said this, but it's worth repeating: The High Holidays of Bars are some of the toughest on club staff, from your bartenders to your humble little door guy. Be nice.