For as long as I can remember, I have wished that I enjoyed going out. From this, it is fair to infer that I generally do not like going out. I enjoy being out, doing things and seeing people but only once I am there. Getting there is the problem. My couch and Lululemon Still pants have a rapturous siren song that hold me in chains of bliss. So does streaming Netflix… and books… and studying… and not being outside. But let’s be real. Life must be lived out in the world despite the powers of the Internet and the comforts of home to resemble a full life. To ensure that I have adequate amounts of real world fun, I have come up with some basic rules for myself that have been doing me right for some time now. Whoa, whoa… Not Real World kind of fun; just plain real world. I’m no strumpet!
1. Always go out when you feel like it won’t be fun.
This can be a tough call. I will qualify this by saying listen to your gut instinct if you think you will be murdered or experience something equally horrifying, like catching the guy you were dating wearing a thumb ring and picking up chicks. That said, if you the just think the night is going to be boring and a waste of your time, go for it! I have had my best times when the expectations were low. The unplanned un-hyped evenings quite often are the most delightful. Examine your going out history- when was the last time that “it’s going to be epic” night actually was?
2. Don’t bail on your friends.
I know this seems like a given, but I have had to learn it. People invite you to do things because they want you there. It’s easy to think they won’t notice if you aren’t there but they do. They also notice if you are there and it means something! Think how excited you are to see a friend who you rarely see out. Your friends love you and they love being with you, so be a friend back! If you are like me, you might get discouraged and feel awkward with people sometimes… But practice makes perfect. The more you hang, the more natural and fun it gets. Every time you see people, you will have more and more to talk about.
3. Go home when you are still having fun.
This is a new-ish rule but so far, so good. I like to leave at the peak of fun, before things fizzle out and get awkward. You go home really jazzed about going out and excited to do it again. This is positive reinforcement, ladies and gentlemen. Train hard!
4. Nothing good happens after 2 am.
This relates to number 3 but I feel more strongly about sticking to this rule. This is the final frontier. If the fun peak isn’t reached until late, I like to have a personal curfew. Granted, I am a bit of a little old lady but I can’t recall being thankful I ever stayed out past 2 am. This is the witching hour, when bad decisions are made, fights are picked, stupid things are said and even stupider things are done. The exception, of course, is a sleepover, a dinner party or a game night at someone’s home. Also, you can set the time later if it fits your life better, the point is just setting a limit.
5. You don’t look pretty if you are cold or your feet hurt.
I have to give credit to Shirley, my wise and classy grandmother, for this one. As much as I feel like a little frump ball next to those sexily clad bronzed ladies in crazy hot high shoes, at the end of the night I win by walking with proper posture and no limp. Being chilly with blistered achy feet gives a very distinct, hunched limp that is not cute. Please throw this rule out if you have car service, valet or simply won’t need to walk much. In any such case, you better work it. I’ll be pissed if you’re in flats.
6. Drink to enjoy it, not to regret it.
Sure, we all like a nice adult beverage, sugary soda or caffeine. But you can never go wrong with moderation. Never have I looked back and thought, “Zut alors! I wish I had been more wasted/sugar buzzed/hyper-caffeinated”. I can’t say I’ve never wished the opposite. Be present in the moment, make the memories and enjoy the times you are having. You can always drink again.
7. Vary your going out crowd.
Variety is the something… of life… I can’t bring myself to write the old cliché or adage or whatever it is. But mix it up! Going out with the same crowd is awesome, we all love our BFFs. However, it is also great to give things a rest to keep things fresh and to make time for other people that you might find quite splendid. I have always hung out in a bunch of different groups and it exposes me to a huge variety of people, senses of humor, activities, even clothing. I love seeing my different sides come out with my different groups of friends. Bonus points: Drama is less likely to simmer up when you have little breaks, and you always appreciate your friends.
Okay. There you have it! Now step away from that SVU episode, get out of the sweats, swipe on some lipstick, make your mirror face and find something spontaneous to do with a Bestie! I have to give myself the same pep talk now. Say it with me, “going out is fun”. I usually say it like that, sans exclamation point, until I actually get out. Then the exclamation points fly! Oh, and don’t forget a jacket!
Image via slow motion crawl