This weekend I had a night out planned. It was a friend’s birthday and we were going to paint the town red, or something like that. I was feeling pretty excited about the night and couldn’t work out why. A quick glance at my diary soon made me realise why.
This was to be my first night out since before Christmas.
It couldn’t be. I went back and double-checked but it was definitely true. Somehow it had escaped my attention that I was old.
Surely it was only yesterday that a night out at the weekend was mandatory? God I remember when I would have died rather than stay in on a Saturday night, even if that meant not going out until 11pm because you couldn’t afford to really drink. I remember when it was normal to for me to go out a couple of times during the week as well as on a weekend (aaah those heady days of working as a waitress and stumbling about hungover, or more likely, still drunk, serving people cups of coffee.).
But the sad fact is that really that wasn’t yesterday. That was years ago and slowly, slowly, ever so slowly, the nights out have been diminishing the older I’ve got.
I think this is due to a number of factors. As people have settled down the nights out have decreased – if there’s no need to go trolling for men then there’s no need to go out. As people opted for cosy nights in with their other halfs, town has been denied my presence more often. Also people were suddenly saving up for houses. Or saving up to do their house up. Or saving up for a wedding. Or spending their money on nappies. No room for a few cocktails when that kind of thing is on your list.
To be fair I probably haven’t noticed the paucity of nights out because I’ve had my own money worries – I might not be saving up for a house but I have been saving up to be able to stay in the one I’m currently in.
So on Saturday I made up for lost time. I didn’t feel sad that the nights out don’t have quite the same edge that they used to. No more shots and flirting with strangers. Instead, alternating alcohol with soft drinks and talking to friends’ partners and husbands. It wasn’t bad, it was just different.
I guess it’s what they call growing up.
Other signs that I am old:
- I complained more than once about how crowded the bars were.
- I complained that the level of noise was so bad that I couldn’t hold a decent conversation.
- And, despite being one of the last ones standing, I still made it home before my Dad and Step-Mum, whose house I was staying at that night. Jesus.