Disco misadventures

Studio 54


This is part of a memoir series on my friendship with Renee who I met in college and focuses mainly on our escapades during our late teens and early twenties. 


Renee was 19, I was 18.  It was the summer after our freshman year in college.  She grew up in Manhattan and I went to visit her at her parents’ coop.  We went dancing one night at some ridiculously expensive club where in 1982 it cost $25 to get in and $8 for a Coke.  Renee convinced me to leave our purses on a chair while we went out on the dance floor.

I protest: “Renee, that doesn’t seem like a good idea.”  She says, “Karyl, I don’t know how it is in DC but in NY you can leave your purse and I know my city.”  I have a bad feeling about it but Renee could be persuasive when she wanted. We leave our purses and go to dance.  We probably dance 2-3 songs.  We come back and no purses.

I immediately know what happened.  Someone had stolen them.  Renee is like “where are they?  I know they are around here somewhere.”  She continues to look around.  I am furious.  With Renee but mostly with myself. I make  her go into the bathroom to check trashcans.

She reluctantly follows me.  “I don’t want to touch that trash.”  I suck it up and pick through.  I find two purses!  But not ours.  I talk to the manager.  He says we can stay until closing and then look around place.  We never find our purses.

That leaves us at Times Square at 4:30 am in mini-skirts with no purses, wallets, cash.  We hail a cab and take it back to the Upper East Side, to Renee’s parent’s coop.  Her Dad comes down to pay the driver.  You should have seen the look on his face.  He says, “I expect this kind of behavior from my daughter, but what I can’t believe is that she’s found a friend just as dumb.”  I was so embarrassed!  How do I tell this man I let Renee convince me to leave my purse just sitting on a chair in a public place!

Her father ended up loving me anyway and me him.  I loved both Renee’s parents as she loved mine.  We were just two crazy girls.  Or at least one crazy girl and the one who listened to her.


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