Full disclosure: I hate going out. What used to be a favored pastime in my early twenties has since become a bona-fide punishment, an ordeal that essentially starts with me mentally fast-forwarding to the moment that I get to go home, remove all traces of makeup, and cuddle up to my dog.
It was supposed to be fun and glamorous and liberating, wasn’t it? I blame the misconception on Sex and The City, the OG Fake News that sold us a warped version of being single in your thirties. Every weekend, Carrie & Co. would put on 3K worth of brand-new designer clothing and strut out to the Manhattan hotspot du jour and blow another few hundred bucks on fancy food and nasty pink Cosmos and have the time of their damn lives. MOMENTS LIFE IS MADE OF. Oh, and there would be brunch the next day.
Sure, these nights do happen – once a year, to be exact. Those are the rare moments when the stars align and the weather doesn’t f*ck with your mood and you manage to attain the perfect happy-drunk sweet spot that allows you to let loose and dance to good music and maybe even meet some decent human beings. When you find yourself actually enjoying yourself rather than daydreaming about your breakfast menu. The other 95% of “going out nights” read more like a clusterfuck of Ubers and bathroom lines and crumbled-up receipts and a lingering, palpable sense of disappointment.
To start, there’s the What To Wear deliberation, which used to be easy when the goal was to be naked but has since turned into a three-dimensional challenge of 1-avoiding repelling men, 2-avoiding freezing to death and 3-avoiding looking a hooker. Which means that I ALWAYS end up in a black blouse (sexy! safe! sad!) and jeans.
(Bonus question: How come the women of SATC didn’t feel like baby prostitutes in most of their outfits? Weren’t they cold?)
Then, there is the Where To Go debate, which is just as taxing because, no matter how many options you have, no place is perfect. Take New York for example. You can go to a cool bar in Chinatown but then you will probably end up with a Raya douche in a ski cap and white sneakers. You can go to Williamsburg but then don’t blame anyone but yourself when you get stuck conversing with Bob from Milwaukee who doesn’t have a passport because he has been flying with his ID his entire life. You can skip the bars and head to “exclusive” places like Casablanca or PBG or Blond*, but then you are fully liable for the refined douche you encounter.
*Keep in mind that, if you do decide to one of the douche places, you will have to “get in.” Since we all know that “private party” are doorman code for “you’re not hot enough”, your evening then largely hinges on the disposition / bowel movements of some random guy with a clipboard.
Once you’re “out”, you need to have Faux Fun. Which is that charade of pretending to have an amazing time while simultaneously scanning the place in search of a savior while also trying to avoid that desperate vibe that surrounds a group of women who are out to “pick up men.” Especially women who are visibly sick of “putting themselves out there” and might as well be holding signs that say: “I don’t know what I did wrong in a past life to have ended up here rather than in a nursery consoling a crying baby like all of my elementary school peers.”
(Why were the women of SATC always so friggin happy to be out?)
And, even if somebody does approach you, how exactly do you speak to them, considering that the DJ is blasting One Direction and you can’t hear a thing? Do you dance with them? Isn’t dancing with a stranger awkward? In my twenties I used to drink so much that nothing was awkward, but now I’m too old to know cool promoters and too cheap to purchase enough alcohol to get to that level independently.
Speaking of cheap, I hate going out because, no matter how hard I try to avoid it, I always end up wasting money. Drinks in New York City cost about $16 a pop which means that by the time you are inebriated you are out of $50, which is enough money to buy 3 BOTTLES of wine. Which makes you a literal drunk fool. Which is why I may soon buy a flask.
(How did the women of SATC afford to go out so much, particularly if Carrie was a writer who submitted 1 ARTICLE A WEEK ???!!!!!)
Oh, and after you waste valuable time and money and feel rejected by total strangers, then comes even MORE fun – a hangover! Because, no matter how little I drink (because I’m cheap), I always wake up feeling like I just had an all-nighter with death itself. My head pounds. I can’t walk straight. I can’t write a sentence. My appetite sways between nauseous and starving African child. My jeans go from fitting to busting open in mere hours. I hate humanity.
(How did the women of SATC go out 3 nights a week, drink sugary drinks and maintain great bodies and careers? I’m talking about Miranda and Samantha – Carrie clearly had 6+ free days a week and zero qualms about nursing hangovers on weekdays.)
I’m not quite sure why I’m even writing this, except for to ask – do you feel the same way? Do you too feel an immediate sense of dread when somebody suggests “a fun night out”? Or is it just me? Am I alone in this? Am I alone in life?!!!
Pray tell the comment section below.