The Sorrento

Last night was one of the worst nights out I have had in years.

Every year, a group of us head down the coast for the Portsea Polo. Actually, let me clarify; we get all dressed up and head to the Portsea Pub or the Sorrento Hotel in the early afternoon, skipping the massive line in favour of a chilled arvo in the sunshine, waiting for the crowds to arrive. The reason? We save $350 on a ticket, and skip the pretentious bullshit from the actual polo where we went one year and found the people too concerned about how they looked and who they were talking to as opposed to actually having a good time.

Our horrible night out started with the weather. It was raining on and off all day and by the time we were ready to head in at around 1.30 in the afternoon, it had actually turned bitterly cold.

Of course, I didn’t have a jacket. I could have keyed someone’s car with my frozen, pointy nipples.

At first when we arrived at the buzzing pub, we were pleasantly surprised by the crowd. The first thing that struck us was how amazing the girls were. They were overly genuinely complimenting each other, graciously giving each other way, apologising when they bumped in to one another and smiling at each other from across this room… this was genuinely shocking, and it was mentioned a few times within our first hour as we all experienced this in different ways – rarely can you feel such a vibe of women solidarity in such a venue, it was hard to explain, and I had never really felt anything like it… the closest thing I can describe it to is a club toilet at about 3am where all the girls are drunk and acting towards each other in such a kind, friendly and helpful way that you’d be forgiven for thinking they had all grown up together since kinder…you go first, no you go first, please let me buy you a drink, that lipstick looks FAB!

I started to think I had a misplaced bad vibe about this evening, and put it down to the weather.

Things were about to take a turn.

We were a few drinks in when our girls crew decided to join the d-floor. The DJ was positioned very close to the small outdoors smoking area and between the open door and all the windows, the smokers and dancers could easily check each other out.

The first hiccup of the night

That was when we first noticed him. Mr Off-his-face. He was looking in through the open door, making wildly animated facial expressions and waving and winking at us. We thought it was odd, yet funny, and decided he must know someone behind us.

It only took another 10 minutes or so until he made his way inside and tried to join our little circle. My girls are pretty down to Earth, and soon had all made room for him to have a dance with us. It was at this point, when one of us tried to ask him a few questions, that we realised he was speaking in strong European accent. The fact that he was also on some pretty hard-core gear which was making his face contort and his words slur didn’t help the communication situation. It was getting beyond funny and a bit full on. He was overly animated, would randomly shout things and was getting a bit too friendly.

It didn’t take long for us to discreetly move on and find a new area to park ourselves.

Not long after we escaped from Mr Off-his-face we found a new spot to dance. Let’s call him Mr Large. This man who must have been in his early 50’s was also clearly on his own planet. He was a solid, tall man, and for some reason, he walked past our group about 10 times in the space of 15 minutes, bumping into one of us each time, and sending us flying without any acknowledgment or apology. By the 11th time I had had about enough, I asked him what he was doing and if he was okay? The gibberish attempt at his response assured me that he was absolutely wasted, and he stumbled off into the crowd.

Things are starting to go downhill

Shortly after, I found myself next to Mr Large at the bar, waving two $50 notes in front of the frantic (and naively young) bar man, in an attempt to get served faster. As the barman turned to serve him, I was frantically waving behind Mr Large’s head, trying to tell the barman that he should be cut off (I’m not usually a party pooper but this guy was a fuck wit and was swaying all over the place, spilling drinks and being an absolute pain). Despite the fact that he couldn’t string a sentence together, despite the fact that he had to be asked 7 times what he wanted to order, despite the fact that his drink was $11 and he handed over two $50’s… he was still served.

The barman turned to me next. I told him I wasn’t sure if he could tell but Mr Large was a menace and if he was at all concerned about RSA, he should alert his manager to maybe cut the banana off for an hour or so… He nodded to me in a way that assured me he would do absolutely jack shit about the situation.

The bathroom situation

My sister Kritz and I had to go to the bathroom at one point, and we were met with a shocking commotion. There were 3 male security guards and a waitress standing around a poor girl who was absolutely comatose. From what we gathered, the girl had fallen off the toilet and hit her head, and was now laying in a pool of vomit and blood, with her knickers around her ankles.

For some reason, it took way too long for anything to happen. Two of the guards left, and the 3rd refused to touch her. For the benefit of the doubt, I am assuming this was for legal reasons. Her 2 friends (which seemed coherent and in a respectable state) were asking for help from the surrounding ladies, and in the spirit of the solidarity I felt earlier in the night, it was all hands on deck to lift this poor girl up and make her presentable before she was carried through the bar. A few held her up while another few tried to pull her knickers up – but they were those super tight spanks, and someone suggested just to pull them off. They finally got her out of the bar, but it took a painfully long time. Because her friends seemed to be so much more coherent, we could only assume that her drink had been spiked? Surely your girlfriends wouldn’t let you get into such a poor state? I really don’t know what’s worse, I just hope she was ok.

The drink spiking joke

We got back to it and I passed my drink to a girlfriend who was sitting nearby when I realised it was hindering my sick shape throwing on the d-floor. I saw her chatting to a guy and then he walked off, leaving her holding the glass up and inspecting it, moving the straw around as if she was looking for something.

Apparently, he had joked about putting a pill in the drink before walking off. I asked her where he was and she pointed him out. I stormed up to him and asked him if it was true to which he replied, ‘I didn’t.’ I asked him if he didn’t do it, or if he didn’t say it, and he simply repeated, ‘I didn’t’. I was trying to control my absolute and utter rage when I told him that I had actually been sexually assaulted as a result of someone spiking my drink, and that saying such a thing was not actually funny.

This mother fucker literally pushed me out of his way, not looking in me in the eye, not apologising, not reassuring me that he didn’t put anything in my glass; not even acknowledging that I was opening up my mouth and sharing something so personal and life changing. What an absolute pig.

The return of Mr Off-his-face

I was obviously rattled by this stage.

It was approaching 10pm, we’d been there for most of the day, and I had been exposed to a trigger which had left me feeling fragile and vulnerable.

This was when Mr Off-his-face returned, leaning on the bar, right next to our group of dancing girls. He was alone, his entire body facing us, watching us and mumbling and laughing to himself. We tolerated it for about 10 minutes before I leaned over the girls and asked him, politely, if he could please find another place to stand, as he was making me feel uncomfortable.

He just laughed in my face and didn’t move an inch.

It was directly after that another of my friends swooped in on him, and far less politely, asked him to move along, to which he told her that she looked pathetic and he wasn’t going anywhere… miraculously, he had lost his European accent and was speaking like your dime a dozen Aussie bloke.

What the actual fuck is wrong with people?

We were done. We called for our ride and were keeping a keen eye out for it. I went to find one of the girls who had gone to get water to tell her of our ride, and Mr Off-his-face watched me walk across the room and then swivelled so he could watch me search for my friend.

I’d had just about enough bullshit for one night.

I stormed up to him and asked him what his actual problem was. He laughed at me and asked me what I meant.

Yes, I am absolutely sure he was on drugs. But does this make that kind of behaviour ok? I refuse to believe that being so intoxicated can make you so blatantly disrespectful and spiteful; you’ve surely got to be an asshole to begin with.

I told him that he had been asked twice to move on because he was making us feel uncomfortable, and now he was more than happy to make it obvious how he was watching me from across the room and smirking and laughing to himself. And do you know what this guy said to me? He said, ‘I can do what I want.’

I don’t know if it was my over hyped emotions from the other events throughout the night, or if I felt my last hope on human decency slipping through my fingers, but I slapped this guy harder than I thought I could. I’m not proud of it. And I can’t even blame it on the alcohol, because I had well and truly sobered up by this stage. I’m not proud of it and it didn’t feel great, but what the hell is going on with the world?

I could go on and on dissecting this night, and talking about how it is such a symbol of the complete and common lack of respect across society as a whole. I could use it to talk about how some men still feel like they are entitled to behave in whichever way they choose towards women. I even could have spun this into a tale about how hard it is to find a decent guy in today’s day and age. But all I want to say is how sad it made me. How deflated and crap I felt on the drive home. How it’s been so long since I cried after a night out, and how it’s made me loose a little more faith in humanity.

So if you’re reading this, guy or girl, and you’re prone to acting a little like a fuckwit once you’ve had a few drinks or a couple of party favours – maybe try your best to still be a decent human… we’ve all got to look out for each other… and to all the girls that were being rad bitches on Saturday night – thank you… despite the atrocities of our night out, you restored my faith a little in the female species. So thank you.

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