On the evening of Feb. 22, 2017, this Bobcat infiltrated an elusive experience previously reserved only for Bulldogs: Wednesday night at Toad’s Place, or more simply, “Woad’s.”
As we all know, there is always a solid showing of Quinnipiac students in New Haven on the weekend. On Thursdays, there’s Box, Bar and more recently, Brother Jimmy’s. On Friday, brave souls venture into Gotham. And on Saturday, we crowd every corner of Toad’s.
However, rarely do we hear of the student who spent a Wednesday night in our nearby city. Maybe this is because the university does not offer downtown entertainment shuttles, or maybe because we simply have too much studying and work to catch up on. But now I realize there is another reason to consider. Perhaps Wednesday nights are for the Yalies.
My best friend from home, who shall remain nameless for her own protection, is a senior at Yale University. Armed with impressive amounts of grace and intelligence, she offered to smuggle me into this Yale-only event that she’s told me stories about since freshman year.
She informed me that I could wear whatever I wanted, because it was “low pressure” to look hot. Also, it was cold outside, so everyone would be wearing coats. This was shocking to me, since I have, against my better judgment, joined fellow Quinnipiac kids in running back from the shuttles without enough layers of clothing many times before.
It seemed strange to me, but I followed her lead and walked with her and some of her wonderful friends in warmth. Ironically, I didn’t even need the coat, because Toad’s is practically her next-door neighbor. Part of me dreaded having to hold the coat all night, since when I asked about a coat check, she told me there wasn’t one on Wednesdays.
After less than 10 minutes in line, a brief wait time that felt like a blessing to me, but that my friend thought to be appallingly lengthy, we showed our IDs to the bouncer and walked in, free of charge. Once inside, we were officially “woadsing.”
It was a familiar scene — people dancing, loud music, green lights. Drinks were served in little plastic cups, but there were some unique sights that would startle any Saturday night regular. Open space on the dance floor. A floor free of the solid coating of alcohol-based slime. Yale t-shirts and other comfy, casual clothes. There were many girls in jeans, rather than the tight dresses and skirts that boys too-often think are an open invitation to grossly invade our personal space.
Surprisingly, there were coats everywhere, piled on chairs and tables or tied around railings. The stairs up to the Lily Pad were covered in warm, wonderful coats — out of the way, protected by an unspoken understanding that none would be stolen and ready to envelop their owners on the cold walk home. So smart, right? No wonder these people go to Yale.
The most startling difference of all, however, was the women’s bathroom. It was empty, except for one other girl who politely said, “Excuse me,” to pass us on her way to a stall. So many manners! The floor wasn’t the slightest bit sticky. There was no vomit to be found. It smelled like soap. Amazing.
In awe of the clean facilities, space to breathe and promise of a warm walk home, I had such a fun night with my friend. It was easily one of my favorite nights in New Haven. But be warned, Bobcats: you need a Yale ID to get in. Luckily, my friend had a spare. We danced and drank, and even better, no one seemed to mind if my Quinnipiac identity was revealed.