(This is part of a four-part series about my dry January experience. Click here for my previous entry.)
The wonderment and experience of going out on a Saturday night has been a source of inspiration for artists for decades; from Elton John, to that guy who wrote the song that goes “Get down it’s Saturday night” over a funky beat*. It’s pretty much a universal fact (backed up by many well known publications) that Saturday night is the time to cut loose and focus purely on having a good time. So in keeping with the theme, this post is going to be about my Friday night out on the town.
Night two – Friday, January 13th
In the grand scheme of things, two weeks sober isn’t a big deal, but before starting this, I thought that it would get easier after realising that having a night out without drinking isn’t a big deal. If anything, the second night was more difficult, but for different reasons.
The venue for the night was my old student union bar at Kingston University, which wouldn’t be my first choice for a night out, but our friend’s band ** were playing at a ‘loan drop’ party, meaning that by the time the band finished their first set, there would be at least three people on the verge of alcohol poisoning. Part of the reason why I was slightly more apprehensive about tonight, compared to last week, was because my friends and I had arranged the night about two weeks beforehand, whereas last weekend’s antics were fairly impromptu. This gave me a chance to over think (as I always do) the fact that I would be the only sober person amongst a crowd of drunk people, most of whom are at least four years younger than me.
Luckily, I had a group of people my own age, and a sober friend with me, and as I mentioned in my previous entry, the morale support was partly what kept me away from the booze. As I was pounding small glasses of tonic water, the band tore through a set of blazing renditions of pop and soul songs, both new and old, and while i get a bit of a bee in my bonnet when an event at a bar or club is referred to as a ‘party’, there was a real party atmosphere to the room.
It may be a bit over dramatic to say that disaster struck, but half way through the night, as I was getting another drink at the bar, I came so close to giving into temptation that I actually asked for a gin and tonic, but then changed my mind and asked them to hold the gin. I think the reason behind the near slip was because I wanted to lose my inhibitions somewhat, but part of this exercise is to learn to have a good time without getting drunk. Shortly after this happened, I realised that if you are trying to stay away from alcohol while still maintaining an active social life, something strange happens after the halfway mark of a night out – the idea of having a drink seems kind of pointless, as you’ll either A) end up staying out way later than you intend to, B) be playing catch up with your friends, C) spend money unnecessarily – or some combination of these three.
The only other lapse in willpower was at the end of the night; as the band had finished playing and packed up, they all had a pint – for some reason, I was tempted to get one, but was lured away. Probably for the best, as again, it would have been pointless. I managed to jump in a cab with some friends, and the feeling of being in complete control on the night tube was quite nice, and I was reassured that I had done the right thing by the sight of two fully grown men, sat on the platform at Tottenham Court Road, throwing popcorn at the floor in a drunken stupor. Before it sounds like I am getting on a high horse, one confession that I feel I should make is that I smoked throughout the night, which is rather out of character for me, as I only smoke while drunk or immensely hungover. Guess it’s a way of swapping once vice for another, and something I would hopefully not do again.
Having got home at around about 2.30am, I won’t say what time I woke up on Saturday, partly due to shame, but I’ll let you try to work out when I finally arose from the land of the dead. One clue that you can go on is that when I said that I “woke up on Saturday”, I didn’t say “Saturday morning”.
Aside from the late start, I felt fresh, and, as one of the people in this video mentions, a hangover free weekend feels so much longer. I could get up early and get twice as many things done than I would have if I had got smashed the previous night, without having to worry about being so hungover that I want to vomit and nap at the same time. Having said that, there is something of a guilty pleasure about having a hangover nap – It kind of feels like hitting a reset button on a malfunctioning machine. But, it’s not called a guilty pleasure for no reason, as I tend to feel like I’ve wasted a valuable part of the day by taking a power nap.
As for what I actually did last night (it would be a bit unfair to begin this entry talking about Saturday night, without actually talking about what I got up to), I had a night in playing guitar (getting a beastly tone out from my underused octave pedal – that’s not a euphemism), drinking copious amounts of tea, and binge watching a show on Netflix. I may write a review of said show later this week, so I won’t say what it is yet, but I’ll give you a rather nonsensical clue – the title rhymes with “Smirk Bentley’s Ballistic Defective Inter-agency”.
* I found out the song is called ‘Get Down Saturday Night’, by Oliver Cheatham. Thanks, google.
** The band are called Eddy Smith and the 507 . Go check them out – I cannot be held responsible if you literally shake your ass off to their music.