No weekend is complete without a social event to attend. So, how do we go about choosing where to venture once the weekend has arrived? That’s the topic for this piece, kids: how the weekend process breaks down from why we go out to how we go out and then where.
JAM, Püre, Edge, Temple, Try-Angles, The Trapp, Paper Moon – have I missed one? The point is, it’s fairly easy to quickly spout off the gay establishments that are frequented on the weekend. But how are nights planned? Are they planned around a specific night (such as a political fundraiser or a “Halfway-to-Halloween Monster Ball”)? Or are they merely random interactions between friends congregating at a predetermined location?
The common denominator is that the community works hard during the week – whether it is working downtown climbing the corporate ladder or providing the best service at a five-star restaurant — the community (for the most part) works hard. Come Friday night, socializing is an inherit part of our social structure. That is the true underlying commonality. Wherever the plans are held, it is to momentarily displace ourselves from the reality of the work week and let go the stresses that go hand-in-hand.
Knowing how we go out is almost as important as knowing why we go out. The “why” is simple – to socialize. Socializing is nothing new. It’s nothing unique. It’s merely a personal, continuing process whereby a personal identity is acquired. Truly a starting point of where people learn the norms, values, behavior and social skills appropriate to our social position.
How, then, do we integrate plans and choose where to venture on any given evening? I’ve come to the conclusion that “group think” has a large part to play in the decision-making process. Group think is ultimately when people approach situations (or plans) which are best dealt with by consensus of a group rather than by individuals acting independently. This, coupled with individual moods and feelings, possibly dictate where we ultimately go. For example, if I have a lot of energy and am wanting the night to be filled with excitement, going to a classic romance movie at the Broadway is probably not how I will spend my evening. So, as an individual, I will seek out an environment where my mood is matched. Therefore, socializing is tied in by seeking out others who are in similar moods, and group think ties in with consensus on how to spend the evening.
The only problem with group think is that it promotes a lack of individual creativity, or a sense of personal responsibility. Regardless, both combine and are the basis of the initial thought process of the night’s beginning.
But when the drinks are ordered and the tab is started, worrying about such inconsequential things won’t even be an afterthought when engaged in a drunken verbal jousting contest with your peers.
I will end with three words: location, location, location. Every venue in Salt Lake City is trying to get our attention and cater to our general wants and desires for a night of “fun.” We are in charge, and the promoters/owners/janitors have no formula for the perfect party, mood or atmosphere, they merely hope that on any given night our mood is to go to their party and buy their drinks. Me — I’m versatile — I tend to follow and lead in a 50/50 manner.
I hope to see you all there, wherever it may be.