‘Oh, I’m so boring these days…’ seems to be a confession that is shared by many a friend. And although I hate to admit it, I fear I am boring too (I know, you’re struggling to imagine this).
These confessions are invariably volunteered as we reminisce about our wild and crazy youth. (Yes, we are now of an age where we reminisce.) There was a stage in my life in my late twenties when ‘partying’ was an important and regular part of socialising. I was single, and had a group of single friends always up for a good night out – or as we would say, single and ready to mingle!
Saturday night was the big night and involved getting glammed up: high heels, revealing clothes (still stylish though – of course – and always obeying the legs OR cleavage rule); meeting at one of our’s first so we could have a glass of something before we went out (because you can’t have too much to drink, can you?); tottering into town, and then tottering from one bar to another (one was never enough: we might miss out on something); then finishing the night in a club.
Going out was a long event: starting early and finishing late (or early, depending how you look at it). That is a long time to be drinking, so you can imagine the state we got ourselves in. Sundays were spent recovering and reliving the entertaining moments from the previous evening.
It was a fun time in my life: working hard during the week, and playing hard (probably harder) at the weekend. But as we all got older, got boyfriends, some which turned into husbands, and some of us having children, the nights out became less and less often, to the stage we are at now, which is, well not very often at all. I am still friends with all these gals – yeah, okay, women – but we are more likely to be found gossiping over a skinny cappuccino, or a salmon salad with a glass of Sauvignon Blanc at lunch. All very civilised.
But does this mean we have become boring? Is getting so drunk that you have to lean against the wall in a club, and do a kind of wall shimmy dance manoeuvre, being interesting? Is it a sign of being interesting to struggle to piece together events from the night before?
As I’ve got older I still hang out with friends regularly, and still love to have a good belly aching giggle, but I also enjoying chatting about the world and having relationships that are held together by something deeper than booty shaking and cocktails. Now I supplement my giggle fests with interesting activities – travelling, reading, films, theatre, museums – activities which bring culture and learning into my world. And I seek like-minded people for friends: giggling is fabulous, but I need interesting too.
But the image I carry in my head of someone who is cool and fun is someone who drinks, smokes, maybe dabbles in recreational drugs, falls out of clubs, has an edgy dress sense and just got out of bed hair (yes, I am aware this is sounding a lot like Kate Moss). You know, the kind of rock star persona, always up for a party, type gal.
I don’t know if this image is partly influenced by coming from a family who are big drinkers. In fact I am the only one in my family who has ever spent time with the dullness of moderation. My mum and dad – who are definitely old enough to know better – have regular big nights out. For them socialising is all about the friends, the giggling, and the booze. And my brother is the same. I know they all think I’m odd (even though they do a good attempt at hiding it) for stopping at two glasses of wine.
And let’s face it: it is not cool to go to the theatre. It is not cool to still be thinking about your five a day when you are out for a girl’s lunch. It is not cool to go to bed early to read your book. It is not cool to drink moderately, because the thought of feeling ropy is just too much to bear. It is not cool to spend your Saturday night in your PJs, curled up on the sofa with your husband watching a film, and being in bed by ten. (But it ain’t half lovely to wake up feeling refreshed, and having Sundays free to do interesting things!)
Oh, I have realised where this is all going. My life is more interesting as I’ve got older, but less cool. Okay – uncool. I am totally bloody uncool.