Would you rather go for a night out or go running in the rain every day for a month?
It’s that time of year when there are things on to go to. Months in advance, nights out seem like a good idea. As they loom into immediacy, sometimes you wish you hadn’t signed up.
I’ve learned my lesson though.
When the Christmas Night Out is advertised at work, I’ve been there enough times to realise that what you don’t want is to eat an overpriced meal at an overcrowded table, rotating your plate to get to the food because your elbow to elbow with the next person and then there’s dancing. Eek. And then the low point of the night – standing about in Glasgow in the rain at midnight with the rest of Glasgow waiting for a taxi while you just wish you’d driven. Or not gone.
One only has to do this a few times before you think: let’s have a meal out in November instead.
I went out this November. To a posh thing.
For someone like me, this takes a couple of months’ worth of preparation. I had to source a dress I could fit into, shoes that were dressy and functional for walking – and for once – I even had to go there with the hair and make up. It reminded me very much of the preparation for the Deerstalker last March – when I had to get the head torch and good gloves and kit that wouldn’t chafe.
With both events – you only have to get yourself to the start line in the right kit. Anything that happens after that is fine – part of the rich tapestry. I figured that if I got out at the hotel looking like I was going to the function I was going to, I had won the race, so to speak. (But did I get a goody bag with a protein bar and a new and highly useful piece of seamless headgear? No.) (Actually, they gave me a champagne glass in a gift box… ho hum…).
People generally like socialising. But for me, normal socialising is ironically the worst way for me to get to know people. I need a working/active context. I can’t function in a context of entertainment and enjoyment. I am too short to speak to anyone if there’s music on. I don’t dance. I have nothing to say. In my niche of obscurity I have plenty to say, but in a general melee I have no idea. None. Zip. I don’t know anything that has happened in popular culture in the last twenty years and the bit before that is getting a bit hazy. Common ground is hard to find unless you are doing sit ups on it, I find.
So, when faced with a night out, I think to myself, can we not just meet at the bottom of a mountain in a storm and go up it?
Anyway, as we head off into the rich tapestry of December, I hope you enjoy the events you signed up for. I’ve signed up for Marcothon (running three miles every day for the whole of December for no reason) which I am enjoying so far.
Have a happy Advent!