1. There is a lot of waiting involved. A LOT of waiting. You try so hard. SO hard. You try to be responsible even, and leave the club early to beat the mad 2 AM rush for cabs. But somehow you still find yourself, standing in heels and sequined shorts on the corner of 13th and Chestnut, shivering in the 27 degree night air. Waiting. Waiting. Still waiting [and getting splashed by road sludge].
2. Have you ever noticed the way that cabbies in Philadelphia [other cities too?] drive around with their light on, even when occupied? I mean, really, what’s a girl supposed to do? Of course I’m going to think you’re available, your light is on for crying out loud! But alas, no. The cab slows down just enough to flaunt the fact that there is already another girl inside, all warm and cozy, and on her way home.
3. When a cab finally does pull over, the driver will decide to take advantage of the situation and the four pathetic, shivering girls sitting on the curb. “How much to Manayunk?” your friend asks. “$25 a head,” he replies without blinking. $25 a head? That’s a hundred bucks! You gotta be bleeping kidding me you bleeping bleep. Trying to rip off 4 innocent girls on NYE, oh the nerve. Head held high, you slam the door in his face. Sure you’ve been known to lower your standards from time to time, but you’ve also learned that you have to draw the line somewhere.
4. At some point you start to get desperate. That’s when the frantic phone calls begin [Maybe so-and-so can come pick us up?? I have a card that a cab driver gave me a year and a half ago, let me try that number!]. Then comes the pathetic flirting [C’mon Meghan, flash some leg. It can’t hurt.] Then, in the ultimate Millennial move, you resort to social media. A facebook status, snarky tweet [#freezing], artsy instagram [rise filter for life], and snapchat selfie later you are no closer to being home, but at least you’ve received a few ‘likes’.
5. After all of that, it somehow just comes down to a stroke of good old fashioned dumb luck. Being in the right place at the right time. Not wanting to take advantage of someone else’s misfortune, you know you have to jump on this opportunity, as it may be your last. A cab slows down right in front of you. The driver flings open the passenger door and out stumbles a girl, about 2 seconds away from hurling all over the inside of his vehicle. Her boyfriend leaps out to assist, and before anyone knows what’s happened, your friends climb inside, grab your arm, pull you in behind them, and slam the door closed. The previous passengers stand in disbelief, but that cab is no longer theirs. The destination is finally yours to choose.
But you know what? After all of that. After the 45 minutes in the cold. After the frantic and sometimes pathetic hailing, 3 location changes, and a near altercation. Once you finally slam that door. Once you finally start to regain feeling in your fingers and your toes. Once the cabbie turns on the meter, cranks up the heat, and starts to drive, you look beside you. You see your best friends. The women who were stupid enough to stand out on a curb hailing a cab with you at 2 AM on NYE. You feel grateful to be surrounded by such incredible people. And you’re grateful simply to be moving. Even though you know your driver is taking you the long way, just to make an extra buck, you don’t complain, because despite the cold and the fear and the embarrassment, you know that you’re on your way home. And that, my friends, is why being in your twenties is EXACTLY like trying to hail a cab on New Year’s Eve.
And that, my friends, is also the EXACT reason that I’m not going out on NYE this year.
Cheers to friendship, happiness, and life lessons in 2014!!