The Ego Has Crash-Landed: The Degeneration of a Night Out with How-Old

It’s a bank holiday weekend, so it was deemed a good idea to have a (selected) staff night out. Eating is always a great idea. Drinking with banging music less so. I’m at the age where a top tune comes on and the realisation strikes that everyone else is dancing ironically. I hate those people.

So, faced with a queue to get into a shitty bar where once again I wouldn’t a) recognise the tunes and b) be able to hear the conversation, I called it a night and bailed. (The joy of not needing a taxi! Town might be shit, but it’s my town.)

So, instead of indulging in overpriced drinks served by someone I could’ve feasibly given birth to, I’ve come home to a hot toasted muffin (who needs cheesy chips?) and solace in How-Old.

Up until tonight I was loving the app. When you’re 40, but ‘analytics’ put you at 27 it’s going to be your new bff.

  
27?! I’m taking it!

Ok, in group shots it’s less generous. None of us came out favourably in our works picture.

  
Poor old Shaz didn’t even merit facial recognition!!!

And to be honest, sometimes it’s off by a mile.

  
A) I was hoping to compare myself with my sister.

B) the ’75-year-old’ in the picture is a kid!!!

But, I thought, as I headed out the door for some fraternising with the youth of the town, how will staying up past my bedtime affect me? Alcohol and late nights are not my friend!!!

At the start of the evening I was judged to be an optimistic 28.

   

Waiting in the queue for said saddo bar the ironic-I-swear-and-yet-I’d-probably-be-better-off-NOT-pouting-cos-of-wrinkles drunk selfie aged me by 6 years – I was now 34.

 

My friend is actually younger than me by several years though, so ouch!

Still, I was definitely feeling more than those 34 years as I waited in line very definitely without the need for ID amongst a throng clutching their driving licences. 
What I didnt quite expect was the end-of-the-night shot. Walking home and climbing into a darkened room suddenly made me 81!!!

  
Which probably says more than enough about the effects of two shared bottles of prosecco and more vodka than is wise. I wonder what my hangover judgment will be, or do I really really not want to know?!?!

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Dear Saturday Night Out

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.

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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.

GSM x

Mums’ Night Out

I’m writing this from the floor of my bathroom. Thank heavens for auto-correct. If I happen to have hit Publish I apologise. If it makes any coherent sense at all, that is a small miracle.

Of all the TV characters out there, right at the minute, I would least like to be Doctor Who. To be able to revisit your past, but to be a different person – it’s not necessarily pretty. Especially in a small town, the ghosts of drunken nights past lurk around every corner.

It’s also too much responsibility to be one of the last people standing and in charge of your newly-single friend now that I’m actually a grown-up. (I do remember leaving a friend in a nightclub securely fastened in the bouncer’s handcuffs in more carefree days. So much easier. She bears no grudges, I hasten to add – she was amongst our number tonight.) I advised Rae, my gorgeous dance mum friend, whose husband ran off with her best friend, on her next manoeuvre with sweater-man and made sure she made it safely to the taxi rank. Any accountability for her subsequent actions aren’t mine. And to be honest, my bedtime had been hours before.

Suffering from hideous hiccups and in desperate need to remove the Spanx before all circulation is cut off I think it best I bid you adieu.

Sleep well. Xx