“Don’t turn around,” she says. “I’m completely nude!” A few minutes later, she emerges from a closet wearing tight black pants rolled at the ankle, platform shoes, and a push-up bra.
“Do you think I should wear these?” she asks, holding up a pair of silicone breast cutlets. Without waiting for a response, she slides them in her bra. She throws on a see-through button-down black-and-white striped top, tucks her nearly waist-length perfectly curled blonde hair behind her ears, and sprays on so much perfume I go into a sneezing fit.
Meanwhile, Katie sits in front of the mirror, running a curling iron through her hair to create long, cascading curls.
“It smells gross,” Kirjah announces, scrunching up her nose. “Like burnt fake hair.”
“Don’t be jealous that I have sicker extensions than you,” Katie says. She bends down and straps on green stilettos with a plaid print on the heel. They go with her short green shorts and sheer white blouse. “I can go in the ocean tomorrow with this hair and whatever new boyfriend I’ll meet tonight, so shut up, bitch.”
All three of the young women crack up.
“We go to clubs every weekend and during the week,” Amy says. “I usually go to the Gaslamp on Fridays and PB on Saturdays. For a while, I was going all the time. For three weeks straight, I went to a club every night of the week.” Amy wears black pants and a low-cut red tank with black spots. Her long brown hair is stick-straight.
“That’s when we all had good jobs,” Katie says. “We were skinnier back then, because we worked so much we hardly ate. God, we were hot.”
Twenty-five-year-old Amy worked primarily as a promo girl before landing a job doing the books for Thirst and Taste, a downtown sports bar. Kirjah organized party buses before becoming a full-time nanny to two neighbor boys. Katie — well, Katie doesn’t seem to like answering questions.
“I worked for a company called Sinsational Events,” she finally says. “They outsource different companies for you to do promo work for. Through them, I worked for Hornitos and Jim Beam. On Cinco de Mayo, I worked for Hornitos, handing out T-shirts and shots. You have to take pictures with customers. Sometimes, it’s creepy taking pictures with all the drunk guys. I worked a golf event once where they had bars set up at every hole. It was a big party on the golf course. I got paid 150 dollars, and another $200 to pour beer for a bunch of guys. It was really fun.”
All three admit they don’t pay for their drinks when they go out to clubs.
“We never have to pay covers,” Amy says. “Everyone knows us. They just let us in. Guys pay for all that.”
Kirjah nods. “Guys become stalkers. They follow you around all night, just for buying you a drink.”
“Even when I say I need to go to the bathroom,” Amy says, “they wait for me outside the door.”
“We don’t date those guys,” Kirjah explains. “When we go to the clubs, we know everyone there. When we see guys down there, I can name at least three people they have already slept with. No, thanks.”
Katie says, “If you wanted a relationship, you aren’t going to meet those guys in a club. Everyone has hooked up with everyone. I started internet dating last summer. I did that for a little bit. The guys are creepy.”
“They’re way worse than club guys,” Kirjah says. “They’re just looking for sex.”
Kirjah, Katie, and Amy all agree that San Diego has a great nightlife.
“San Diego has one of the biggest scenes,” Kirjah says. “It’s the next one from Vegas. I know people in Vegas that get nervous when large groups of San Diegans come for the weekend. L.A. is mostly stuck-up people going out to look good. They’re either hipsters or gay. San Diego people like to party.”
In the Gaslamp, Amy, Kirjah, and Katie frequent the Side Bar, Fluxx, and Taste and Thirst. In Pacific Beach, they go to Miller’s, the Tavern, Beachwood, and Bar West.
“I’m already getting tired of going to bars,” Amy admits. “When I turned 21, my boyfriend and I broke up. That was four years ago. I’ve been regularly going to bars since then.”
I ask the three of them if their parents have an opinion on all the partying they do.
Amy says, “Growing up, Mission Bay High School was definitely a party school.”
“We all went to Mission Bay High School,” Kirjah says. “My house was the party house. My mom would say, ‘Why do you have so many boys over here?’ But she would party with us in the Jacuzzi.”
“I think my parents are oblivious,” Katie says. “They had property in Palm Springs. When I was in high school, they would go there for a week. They would leave me and my sister all by ourselves. They used to buy us alcohol to have our parties with while they were gone.”
Recently, Amy moved in with her mom to save money. It only lasted three months. “She would make comments about what I was wearing or about me going out too much. She would say she could tell when I wasn’t drinking as much anymore, because my skin looked healthier.” Amy rolls her eyes.
I ask if the guys at bars make them feel like sex objects. “Don’t you feel used?”
Katie laughs loudly. “Why would we feel used? We are using them. We don’t pay for shit. We’ve grown up in the bar scene. We don’t give a flying fuck.”
Kirjah pulls up a recent text message and hands the phone to me.
“You’re not showing her the penis text, are you?” Katie asks.
I see a text stream from a guy named Mike (not his real name). There are several shirtless photos and messages that say things like, “You are gorgeous. Call me. I can’t stop thinking about you.”