Don’t get me wrong, I love a good night out. I’m all for ‘quiet’ Friday night drinks which result in in cheesy chips eaten at 3.am while you question whether its the abundance of mayo or the concoction of spirits in your stomach making you feel so queasy. There are just a few things that I find make the whole ordeal a slightly more traumatizing experience.
1. Rude bouncers. There seems to be some unwritten rule which suggests that bouncers treat everybody with such suspicion and contempt that even being on the premises makes you feel criminal. I once took a glass outside, unaware that it was the absolute law that any drinks must be transferred into plastic cups beforehand. I was instantly cornered back inside by the bouncer who, snatching the glass full of vodka and lemonade from me, seemed convinced I was about to smash it and use the shards to attack somebody. I understand these rules are for safety but I didn’t enjoy the shocked glares from other pub-goers who’d got the impression that I’d marched outside brandishing a weapon. I’ve met some lovely bouncers too of course, the kind who chat about their wives and kids and wish me a good night. But the majority just spend several minutes assessing my I.D while they wait for me to reassure them that yes, the pale and bedraggled girl in the photo is me, I just so happen to look very different when I’ve made a bit more effort.
2. Dance floor harassment. Would it have been acceptable in the 1940’s for a gentleman to approach a woman at a dance and, uninvited, attempt to fondle her in public? No. Men back then would politely ask for dances and it was all sweet and romantic and shy. Every girl has had to rescue their friend from a gropey stranger and/or experienced these dance floor Octopuses themselves. Their tactic is to slip in from behind so you don’t even get to see their face, which must make them feel practically invisible as they then assume you wont feel them as they try to clutch at your hips or wind their hands around their waist. Body language makes it quite clear when a girl doesn’t want to dance with someone – You pull away, you turn around and shout “No,” you disappear into your group of friends. Yet some persistent dance floor gropers will actually follow your movements (always to the back, always hidden, like those parasite fish that latch onto sharks) and continue trying their luck. I’m making a joke of it here, but on a serious note this is absolutely disgusting behaviour. Unless you clearly consent to letting somebody touch you all over while dancing with them, it is never, under any circumstances, okay to physically assert yourself upon a stranger.
3. Bitchy Toilet-goers. A girls toilet is the place to make new drunk friends who you’ll bond with the minute you hand that wad of toilet paper beneath the cubicle to help out a fellow girl in need. I actually once discovered a girl in the toilets who seemed so fun and so on the same wavelength as me that we ended up spending the night together and became good friends. Girls toilets are like the Tinder of finding female companionship. HOWEVER. A small minority of girls choose the toilets as a stalking ground for bitchiness. I’ve heard muttered comments like ‘what is that girl wearing,’ injected snidely as the poor unaware victim applies her lipstick. Then there’s the looking up and down. The scanning assessment which some girls use to make you feel like every component of your outfit, your makeup, your hair, is despicable. It’s basically the look that says ‘You shouldn’t have been let out of the house, darling.’ These are often the girls left stood in the toilets perfecting their makeup and looking bored while all the girls who’ve made new friends totter off together to get in a round of Jaeger bombs.
4. Weather Complications. You’re in a pub. You want to go to a different pub. It’s a 7 minute walk away, there are hurricane-like conditions outside, you’re wearing a short dress and getting blisters from your heels. Do you see my problem? Rainy nights are fine if you’re planning on staying in the same venue, but mad dashes from pub to club, or bar to taxi rank, can end badly, especially in Winter conditions. A friend of mine once had to endure orange droplets literally pouring from her legs as a torrential downpour caused her instant tan to run off. She then fell over in her hurried determination to get into the dry, cutting open her knee and getting blood and dirt on her beige dress. It was my dress. We managed to laugh it off and deflect a group of boys asking her if she had a skin condition as her patchy skin mottled into a strange orange/brown/skin colored pattern. There’s also nothing more frustrating than trying to shelter from the rain while waiting for a taxi, shivering as you sober up and long for the comfort of your bed (to which you plan to take a large pizza, devoured before sleep to prevent the hangover).
5. The Hangover. Of course, if there is one top negative associated with a night out, it has got to be the hangover. I’ve experienced them all. The ones which trick you as you wake up feeling full of energy, gleeful, witty and able to face the day, only to realize at around 1.p.m, when the headache and nausea kick in, that you must have been still drunk and running on Sambucca fumes. Then there are the all-consuming, poisonous hangovers. When they start you have just about enough brain power to contemplate the complicated maneuver of crawling to the toilet to be sick. Your whole body feels toxic and God forbid anybody should set eyes on you in this state because they’d fear a Walking-Dead-style zombie outbreak had finally occurred and lock you in a room until the police came. As brain power increases these hangovers progress to include self-doubt, the questioning of every decision you’ve ever made in life, and an overwhelming blanket of disgrace as you vow to never drink again.
Will these 5 night out negatives prevent me from participating in any further nights out? Hell no.