Dear Saturday Night Out
Hello. You might remember me. You and I used to be on close terms in my late teens and early twenties, but to be honest it’s been a while. With two small kids who have to be babysat and a Husband whose pretty much rubbish at said ‘babysitting’ (is it technically ‘babysitting’ when it’s your own children?) I don’t get out much of an evening.
Which may be why I had such a rubbish time as things have changed – and when I say ‘things’ I really mean mostly ‘me’. But it’s so why I’m so completely disappointed that I had such a rubbish time. When I do go out I want it to be special.
Maybe I just wasn’t feeling it tonight. It used to be that I could spend the whole of Saturday getting ready for a night out. There’d be a new dress, hours spent on hair and make-up whilst watching Blind Date and drinking a few Diamond Whites before hitting the bars and clubs. I’d be part of a gang, we’d know other people when we were out. We’d stumble back and stay up til the small hours and chat about God-knows-what. It may have only been a small town, but we felt like we owned it.
Today it was an afternoon spent at my mother-in-law’s, a delayed bus and dash into town for a birthday present (work + small children + shop opening hours = last minute panic). Then back to cook for Husband and kids, but NOT myself as the smallest was mid-full-blown tantrum and had to be distracted into eating his cheesy mash.
Getting ready was with an audience of the children, the youngest distracted with my phone, me keeping one eye on him in case he got delete-button-happy with my photos (it’s been known) whilst shaving my legs, using Husband’s razor and hair conditioner as my own razor has gone missing (thanks to eldest daughter ‘borrowing’ mine). Meanwhile youngest daughter laughed hysterically along to Peppa Pig, whilst demanding things. ‘Mummy. Mummy. MUMMY.’ Still, I applied make-up for you. I put in contact lenses for you. Needless to say, I ended up running late.
By the time I’d been ripped off with my taxi fare, to be fair, I wasn’t really in the party spirit.
The Pimm’s had already been quaffed by the time I’d arrived. I would have loved a Pimm’s. Not being a regular drinker, I don’t have the skills to negotiate the most suitable drink for the situation and went for my default of gin and tonic. I can only drink so much gin before I lose the will to stay awake.
But never mind. It was my friend’s birthday. I could suck it up. It was pleasant, all of us sat together outside as dusk fell. It’s just a shame someone invited the gnats along to the party.
We were driven inside. Not a good move. When I go out I like to talk – I haven’t caught up with these people in months. There were no small children around for once. We could talk in full sentences. So I don’t want to be drowned out by a mobile disco. I accept that that puts me in the ‘old’ category, but I didn’t intend to have to spend the evening shouting to the person sat next to or nodding along to words I can’t hear just to be polite. My friends are witty people. I want to hear what they have to say, not the cheesy DJ with the mic.
I also don’t necessarily need to watch people ram their tongues down someone else’s throat, become vicariously involved in someone’s domestic argument or have hotpant under hang in my line of vision all night.
Plus I’ve become too used to my comfy shoes to be tripping my way to my friend’s house in heels once time has been called. Still, at least I avoided the extortionate cab fare home.
So I guess I don’t mind that we won’t be seeing each other again for a while. I’m actually quite happy with my pyjamas and an early night as my regular Saturday night routine.
I know it’s not you, it’s me. You’re just there, doing what you’ve always done and will always continue to do. The things I’ve come to want out of a night out have changed. Maybe I need to shake things up a bit. Start going to more mature venues with an emphasis on food rather than booze, ambience rather than tinnitus-inducing-tunes. Maybe, Saturday night out, I need to accept that you’re not for me any more.
And now I have Gloria Gaynor whirling in my head…which really proves that I’m too old.
At first I was afraid I was petrified
Kept thinking I could never live without you by my side
But then I spent so many nights
Thinking how you did me wrong
And I grew strong
And I learned how to get along
And so you’re back
from outer space
I just walked in to find you here with that sad look upon your face
I should have changed that stupid lock
I should have made you leave your key
If I had known for just one second you’d be back to bother me
Go on now go, walk out the door
Just turn around now
‘Cause you’re not welcome anymore
Weren’t you the one who tried to hurt me with goodbye
Do you think I’d crumble
Did you think I’d lay down and die?
Oh no not I. I will survive
Oh as long as I know how to love
I know I’ll stay alive
I’ve got all my life to live
I’ve got all my love to give and I’ll survive
I will survive! Hey, Hey!
Thanks for the good times, but I’m moving on.