Reunited and it feels so old

General discourtesy and unearned cover charges are both pet peeves of mine, so it's a bit of a wonder that I spent a recent Saturday night at Reunion Nightclub, El Dorado Hills' bid for a place at the club kids' table.

Well, “kids” might be pushing it.

Opened smack-dab in the middle of the affluent suburb's shopping hub approximately a year ago, Reunion has already garnered a reputation for drawing the 30-and-(much)-older demo. The nightclub's name invites associations with quarter-century high-school reunions, while an ongoing promotion swaps day-care discounts for club receipts.

All of this explains why I was there, actually.

For the past several weeks, some friends and I have gathered the courage to escape our tired, “old” 20-something scene and experience how the other half parties. After all, the three of us at the center of this gambit are now in our early 30s and rapidly losing friends to marriage and children; might as well prepare for that long day’s journey into creepy bachelorhood.

Admission to this “Christmas yet to come” cost $5 each that particular night. As a deejay hopscotched from safe Top 40 plays to droning EDM squiggles, I felt for some cash (or, more accurately, waited for my brother to produce his). I held open the door for a stream of cowboy hats, big hairdos and Relaxed Fit Dockers, not one of whose wearers actually acknowledged my existence.

“You're welcome!” I huffed like a crotchety lunch lady.

Once inside, it was tough to tell the partiers from the chaperones. I flashed back to my very first middle-school dance, standing awkwardly on the outskirts while teachers tried to get it going with swiveling hips. Shudder. Some of my disorientation may have been due to Reunion's interior design—a generously portioned lounge area was swathed like a honey-hued opium den, while the spacious dance floor masked itself in strip-club blues.

But it also had to do with the crowd itself. Most were in their 40s. Many were in their 50s. Two ex-U.S. Coast Guards, clearly older than 29 (but sticking to that figure, anyway), claimed they saw dancers dragging oxygen tanks. And the bathroom smelled like someone's Lipitor didn't agree with the egg salad they ate for lunch.

This might all sound like complaining, but it's not. By the time I spotted a bald-accountant type in a full-length black-leather duster sipping a drink too strong for his face, I knew the future would be OK.

Yes, we all get older. We lose hair, gain wrinkles, slow down and eventually die. I’ll die.


But that doesn't mean any of us really grow up.

As one of the former Coast Guards and I joined the rest of the hopeless dancers, I thought about how our tastes in fashion and music arrest at some point. Someday, I'll have the haircut I'm always going to have. Shit, I already do. It's like being frozen in a sort of cultural amber.

At best, we can come to a place like Reunion and shake it badly in a futile attempt to catch up to the strange new beat. And thank the gods of Lipitor for that.

Trying to be cool is exhausting. I'm glad I'm finally old enough to just dance.