In first person…Zoo story: Woman dodges wild beasts

Although I may be a little jaded, I still go to all the trendy nightclubs and bars because I have not yet reached an age where my head hurts from the blaring music, where my feet ache from dancing all night and I am too grumpy to drive to San Francisco from Marin. I am only 22, please!

Yet my tender years and my fresh face are not impervious to the repertoire of life after dark. Walking into a club is synonymous with entering the jungle: lions, snakes, leeches and wide variety of the canine family are lurking in every corner. My line of attack is to hold my head high and stride across the room, paying attention to only those men who have not transformed into beasts with the full moon and a beer by their sides.

Sometimes I have to play the role of zookeeper. For instance, one night I was walking through a crowd, wearing my cyberspace attire — a shiny silver fitted shirt — when I felt someone pawing my arm. I turned my head and he slurred at me, "I like the feel of your shirt. Is it silk?" And with a quick lash of the tongue, I retorted, "No, it is a polyester blend." At these moments, I wonder if my Jewish prince is really out there to rescue me.

Women need to possess a certain amount of savvy because it is their ability to navigate situations — whether this means politely excusing themselves to go to the bathroom or ostentatiously snubbing men — that will help them avoid encounters with the world's nudniks. A woman's social life should not feel like a game of dodgeball, always playing the defense. However, a female's demeanor and attitude are analogous to mosquito repellent — if you don't apply it, the pests will adamantly bite and annoy you all night long.