On my first night in New York, I joined my host, Jenny, and a few of her friends for a night of salsa dancing.
I changed and put on some black flats, the closest I had to dancing shoes. Jenny and I took the train a few stops where we met up with G and her friend J.
Half an hour, a few trains and two blocks later, we were at our destination. G, who had brought along a special pair of dance shoes, gave her ID to the bouncer. He nodded, gave it back to her and she went through the door. J, the token guy in the group, did the same thing.
Once J and G had entered, I stepped up and handed the bouncer my recently renewed driver’s license. I turned my head and looked down the street, but turned when I heard the bouncer.
“That’s not you. I’m not letting you in,” he said matter-of-factly.
“What? That’s me.”
The first two stopped and turned around, curious about the commotion.
“No, that’s her,” he said and pointed and Jenny.
Jenny held up her own driver’s license and protested, “No, this is me.”
The bouncer shook his head.
I tried arguing. It’s a new picture, only a year old (by the way, I actually like my photo). That’s me in that picture, I repeated in hopes that if I just stated the truth he would believe me. I offered to be quizzed on the information on the card. I could easily recite my address, birth date, height, weight, eye color, and driver’s license number. I didn’t mention what I was thinking: come on, I haven’t lost that much weight that a stranger does not believe September 2009 me is not August 2008 me.
It didn’t work. The bouncer gave me back my card and once again told me I was not getting in.
Jenny, J, G and I huddled outside the club, trying to figure out plan b. A few minutes later, we hailed a cab and were off to try and salvage the night.