"Youth is when you're allowed to stay up late on New Year's Eve. Middle age is when you're forced to."
It has been quite some time since I felt the need to present myself at an obnoxiously busy club on New Year’s Eve, ready to get jostled by a pack of strangers and drink one glass of free “champagne” at midnight of a quality that could be used to clean floors if strictly necessary. No, those days are long past and good riddance. There is no joy in being crushed on a dance floor, sweaty and desperate to sit down thanks to your painfully sexy new shoes. New Year’s Eve is almost always more hassle than it is worth. Still, there is the pressure. The pressure to have plans, to be going somewhere nouveau and cool, to be doing something more exciting than sitting at home in front of the television with a bag of chips, some knockoff champagne, and your mother.
This past New Year’s, I managed to acquire some respectably exciting plans that didn’t make me want to curl up in a ball at the very idea of them. Jazz Club Hipnoza in nearby Katowice was having a special evening, complete with jazz performances, buffet, and requisite glass of champagne. Matt, a friend and fellow teacher, plus his girlfriend (Kasia), her friends, Magda and I all planned to go. Katowice isn’t far from Gliwice, so Kasia’s dad offered to drive us there, and we decided to get a taxi for the trip back, thereby eliminating the issue of parking/walking that so often plagues nights on the town.
We were told that we should dress in a casually nice style, so I chose to wear my favorite gray wrap-around sweater with black pants. Unfortunately, upon arrival, it was apparent that most women had received a “Skimpy Black Dress” memo that had clearly passed me by. Having no skimpy black dress, or the figure to wear one, perhaps it was for the best. And anyway, there’s no use trying to look nice around Polish women dressed to the nines; it will inevitably end in failure and humiliation for a plump American girl such as myself. They are usually tall and lanky, with supermodel bodies. I have an hourglass shape, which is really more of an hour and a half, to be honest. In a room full of anorexic giraffe women, there’s no point in putting on airs.
The jazz, itself, wasn’t entirely bad. It started off vintage and hoppin', but soon segued into modern jazz, which does nothing to inspire me and mostly sounds like elevator music. Eventually, we retreated from the main room to one down the hallway, which was filled with tables and a buffet. The food on offer was a tasty assortment of salads and pasta dishes, so we hung out in there for quite a long time. As the night wore on, we decided to get some dancing in, so we headed back to the main room once the music changed into DJ selections. They played a crazy mix of hipster favorites, from 60s to disco to punk and back again.
Hipster really was the word of the night. Every person within 5 miles wearing black-rimmed glasses was present, including me. The purposely-ironic outfits, the smattering of English and other languages being spoken throughout the crowd…clearly, we were in a happening and painfully-hip venue. At one point, a man in the crowd pulled out a trumpet and started playing along with the music. Nice.