Yup, I’m venturing out in public on a Saturday night and the picture above is how I feel when I’m out these days – like a cheesy dad! I know I am actually a cheesy dad, but you know what I mean.
The pubs and clubs are rammed full so you can’t move and when you’re a teenager you enjoy brushing past the good-looking girls, but as a man in his mid thirties you avoid physical and eye contact with young girls wherever possible in fear of being called a sleaze or worse. The fact that they all look too young to be out is the first issue and secondly rather than leering at them you find yourself wondering if they are warm enough in that outfit. What if it rains or gets colder later?You eventually get to the bar where people are ordering the most bizarrely coloured drinks and shots from bartenders that look far too young to be serving. Being taller I do manage to get served fairly quickly at bars but then there’s the getting back through the crowd dance without spilling the drinks.
You try to sit far enough away from the speakers because the music – if that’s what the young people are calling it – is far too loud to have a decent conversation. I avoid dancing for the simple reason I have lost any sense of co-ordination since we had kids and my stomach doesn’t play along with the “suck it in” routine anymore either. People say you should just let go and enjoy yourself on the dance floor but as a bloke you have two choices: Go for it and look like a dick, or be ironic in your dance moves and look like a dick. I feel like I’m being judged by the younger ones – also you hope that there aren’t any pupils in the same place you are because that’s an awkward one too if you’re caught mid move.
Then there’s the fact that I don’t really drink much these days so I get annoyed at the really drunk people who stumble into you or speak constantly at you, slurring their words as they try to say a simple phrase. I think the main reason I don’t drink much is that I’m out of the habit after gigging at weekends for years and no if I do have a few drinks my body doesn’t thank me for it the day after as it used to. Hangovers are for kids not grown men who should know better. I’m not a beer of cider drinker either just a spirits man so I have to watch as people often buy doubles to compensate which is always messy.
Then there’s the decision where to go and when to go – it was a natural instinct when I was younger you had a routine and you stuck to it. Now I look at others blankly after naming half a dozen places that have changed their names or shut down altogether realising I’m old and out of my comfort zone. Finally the taxi queue full of drunk, angry and confused people who all shout when an individual gets in a people carrier as if it’s their fault it pulled up at that point. At this point I’m usually sober, cold, fed up and wanted to be home ages ago.
Of course it’s just because you’re no looking to get drunk or hook up with anyone that nights out are different these days. When you’re younger it’s a laugh but you get to a point where a cup of tea and a sit-com is the preferred option. It’ll be good company tonight but because it’s not been part of my life for well over a decade now it just feels alien to me. I’d rather sit in a bar or in a beer garden and chat and laugh and chill out than face the obstacle course to the bar or the toilet.
So, here’s to a great night out!!