13 May 2015

What a night out is like for me, aged 23


"Have fun, and make sure you enjoy yourself", was a text from my adorable younger brother that I received last week. It took reading it to realise that I couldn't actually remember the last time I did either of those things - have fun or enjoy myself. It made me feel pretty crap, to be honest.

Because isn't that what your twenties are for? These are meant to be the "act now, think about the consequences later" years. And then your thirties are to deal with the stupid decisions you made in your twenties.

With this in mind, I went out last weekend. I thought, screw it, I haven't been out to a club for about 8 months, and I want to. Forget that I have no money. Forget that I'm not really dressed for it, or the fact it's going to be impossible to get home afterwards. I just want to go out and dance and pretend like I'm the same as every other 23 year old living in London.

And here's a rundown of how it went down, in present tense.

*****

I realise that at quarter to 12, and a bottle of wine down, that I'm not quite as drunk as some of my peers. Then I remember that I shouldn't need to be drunk to have a good time. I was with friends, and we were about to head to some club that apparently had good music. We were on the guestlist, so no queue, and no club entry fee. Brilliant.

We get in, and the club is rammed. Personal space is for the weak. You can't dance without accidentally grinding on someone, and if that someone happens to be a girl, a guy in the vicinity catches your eye and smirks. I turn away, close my eyes and listen to the music, swaying absent-mindedly and hoping I don't look as ridiculous as I did that time I caught sight of myself in my bedroom mirror dancing. I look around for my friends. Drunken "I love you"s are shouted, even though we're less than a metre away from each other. We hug. We clumsily kiss each other. More smirks. More turning away and ignoring them, slurring about misogyny as eloquently as we can 8+ units down.


With every person that cuts through our "circle", I get more annoyed. With every elbow in my side and drink spilled on me - my hair, my leg, my arm, I sober up a little. It's sticky. And then the music changes from Taylor Swift to something I don't know, or don't like, and I stop dancing in indignation.

But glancing at my friends, it's like everyone is oblivious to the music change, or knows the song and likes it, and I wonder what's wrong with me. Why is everyone else having such a good time? Maybe I need another drink. I remember at the bar with my friend earlier, a single mixer was upwards of £5.00, and I internally grumble. But I'm thirsty. My mouth is dry, and I'm sobering up, and I don't like this song.

Luckily a friend buys a round, which is such a generous, kind gesture, and I feel awful that I want the drink but equally I can't really pay them back, but they drunkenly insist. More "I love you"s are shouted, and I drink and I'm slightly less thirsty, but it doesn't make me feel any foggier, or any more inclined to enjoy the music. And it's not what I was drinking earlier, so in the back of my mind is a niggle that I'm mixing my drinks and I'll feel all the worse for it in the morning. I ignore it. I dance. More drinks are spilled on me.



This is meant to be fun, right? So why do I not feel like I'm having any? I feel like the most boring, lame person in the world. Sometime I wish I was someone else, with lower expectations and never disappointed.

When a friend needs the toilet, I join them. In the cubicle, we talk about this and that. I feel slightly nostalgic for university when sharing toilets was a thing we took for granted, and I can't remember the last time I tipsily shared a toilet with someone. We chat about the guy she fancies, and other things that aren't important but make us laugh. On the outside, girls are close up to the mirrors to see clearly so they can top up their lipstick, their foundation, their eyeliner. I used to do that, but now I can't be bothered. I self-consciously touch my lip. Is it age, or apathy? Then I remember my friend has my lipstick, and I promise myself I won't forget it because I'll be so bummed if I do, and I don't know the next time I'll see her.

The next time I'll see her. Because I don't see my friends much anymore. And then I feel bad, because I should be enjoying this night for them more than for me, because I don't know the next time we'll all be together like this. I shouldn't be so selfish. I feel more sober than I am, but I don't want to leave by myself, and I don't want them to think it's anything against them. Suddenly I want a drink again, but then I remember I'm broke, so when I squeeze up to the bar I ask for a water. I'm still thirsty, and I don't want to feel hungover tomorrow. And then I get angry at myself for not living in the moment, and why can't I turn my brain off for one night? Jesus.



The music is still rubbish, but it's typical that as everyone is in optimum drunk mode, I'm anything but. I wonder if it's because of my meds that the effects of alcohol don't seem to work on me anymore. And then I remember I shouldn't drink when I'm on them. I snap out of it, as one of my friends has pulled the guy she fancies and we all start cheering and oh my god, this is such a good result. Look at them. And then the affirmations start up, from one friend to another. "You look so beautiful tonight, you really do. I love you". Isn't it lovely that the more alcohol you consume, the more loving you are? Or the more inclined you are to exaggerate. I love that I'm out with my friends. I smile and try to enjoy myself.

I wonder why, if I look so good, has no one tried to hit on me? I know I shouldn't care, and in everyday life I don't, but clubs bring out university insecurities in me where all of my friends attracted guys and girls like bees to a bright, beautiful flower. And I just felt invisible. Is it my nose? The fact I don't have boobs? Is it because I'm not really dressed for a club, and don't look up for it, whatever the heck that means? I push the feelings down, down, and sidle up to my friend instead and dance with her, because I know she thinks I'm beautiful and that's all I want to care about right now.

It's getting late, and something's happened with a friend's boyfriend so we leave, and I hate the fact I'm a bit relieved. Our next stop is McDonalds, a  post-night out institution, but I don't know what I want, or even if I want anything. Chicken nuggets are the order of the night, and we pile the tomato ketchup and barbecue dips into our paper bags with no shame, because we're pretty sure they charged us extra for them. In next to no time my nuggets are gone, but I don't like the chips, because they aren't salty enough or crispy enough. I feel gross, my mouth is dry, my head is heavy and all I can taste is the vinegar from the ketchup. I try to drink my coke, but it's too fizzy and makes me feel sick. Everyone else seems to be on a bit of a comedown and our makeup is slowly travelling south, and our lipstick is faded and slightly smudged.



I realise that more than anything, I want my own bed. It will take me an hour to get home, and I have Sunday commitments I can't compromise. I download Uber, and figure out where we are, and when I see a figure close to £30.00 as an estimate to get home, I feel numb. I can't afford it, but I don't care. And there commences the longest hour of my life, in that taxi, desperately wanting to be home. I fall in and out of sleep, trying to track how far away we are, and I become more and more impatient. I wake up to see Goodge Street underground station and suddenly realise how tight my shoes are, so I kick them off, but my feet hurt. It's getting lighter and lighter and I think, I'm too old for this, even though I'm way closer to 20 than to 30.

And then I'm home, and my bedroom looks weird, and I realise I've never really seen it in 5am light. I strip and jump into bed, shivering with cold and contentment because god, bed is just the best.

But I can't stop thinking about the text from my brother. And I know that in my case, thinking equals overthinking and overthinking just makes mountains out of molehills, but even my sobered, sleepy haze, I can't help it. Have fun, and make sure you enjoy yourself. At 5am, I don't know what it all means. And so, I roll over and wait for the oblivion of sleep.

THE END.

* All images courtesy of WeHeartIt
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14 comments

  1. Hahaha love this! Exactly how I feel in clubs these days. And also brilliantly written, as per...

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  2. I can completely relate this post! Why does everyone else seem to have fun in da club are they just faking it too? I have pretty much stopped going to rammed bars with crappy music even though it makes me seem boring I would rather be dull than miserable and poor.


    http://www.emmainks.com/

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  3. I really relate to this, and I love the way you've written it! I have had some good nights out in the past, but often I end up feeling like you - wondering why everyone else is having such a good time when I'm not. Good to know I'm not the only one! xx

    Toasty

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  4. Scarlett London13 May 2015 at 19:04

    Fantastically written - perfectly explains how I feel on a night out! I've resigned myself to the fact that I don't enjoy nights out any longer (I'm not sure I see the point), I enjoy dinners/drinks where you can talk but the clubs with loud booming music (and as you say, suddenly changes from a good song to something you can't dance to) just doesn't appeal to me, and having to pay for the privilege.


    I don't think it means you can't have fun though, just that your fun is in a different way! I panic that I'm not a normal 21 year old because I dread nights out, but actually - I think more people feel like it than I think.


    Anyway, I'll stop blabbering on but this was so well written! x

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  5. Totally relate to this, except when I went out last week I made sure to leave the club in time for the last train home! So I guess that makes me even more boring...but it's true, nights out and post - club food binges just aren't the same after university :/ xx

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  6. Sofie-Eliza Price13 May 2015 at 22:02

    Honoured that you've taken the time to read this! Thanks m'dear. Stay safe and enjoy your travels x x

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  7. Sofie-Eliza Price13 May 2015 at 22:03

    Maybe they are just faking it! Yeah, I'll take pizza wine and my cat over bad music and busy clubs any day :)

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  8. Sofie-Eliza Price13 May 2015 at 22:04

    I used to have good nights out, but I had to be totally obliterated and I can't afford/don't want to do that nowadays. You're definitely not alone!

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  9. Sofie-Eliza Price13 May 2015 at 22:05

    I agree! Just had a lovely night out with pizza, a few drinks and a proper catch up with friends and it cost me half the price! Plus, I got home at a decent time and won't be hungover tomorrow. Thanks miss x

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  10. Sofie-Eliza Price13 May 2015 at 22:07

    I stayed out for my friends more than practicality, and should have maybe listened to my gut which told me to go home... And yeah, post night out food should be left at university. Urgh!

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  11. Sofie-Eliza Price20 May 2015 at 22:15

    Thanks Beth! Haha I hope you take care of yourself when you run away and don't return ;)

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  12. This is amazing. I thought I was the only person not "having fun" for ages after uni + then I talked to some friends + realised that our idea of fun had just changed a bit + there's nothing wrong with that. Will definitely be re-reading this if those feelings rear their ugly head again :)

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  13. Sofie-Eliza Price27 May 2015 at 17:05

    Thanks Sarah, that means a lot :)

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  14. Completely relate to this. I will do almost anything to get myself out of going on a night out. I don't know why I ever agree to them. You're definitely not alone in this sickly,frustrating misery!!!

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