So last night was the biggest challenge in the straight edge era thus far, as I was going on a night out on the town. Up until now I’ve only had to resist the booze in the house, a handful of pub visits and meals out and when I’ve gone round my Mum’s. I was a little apprehensive because I don’t think I’ve ever had a night out in Swansea where I haven’t got drunk and I was worried that I’d get bored or spend the whole night feeling awkward and uncomfortable.
However, I managed to resist temptation and made it through the night alcohol free.
So here’s what I learnt from my night out:
1. Just Because You’re Not Drinking Doesn’t Mean You Won’t Feel Rough The Next Day
Worried that my energy might flag as the night wore on I drank far too many energy drinks last night, and while they did get me pretty hyped up they also meant that I was urinating like a racehorse and also feeling a little sick-y because of the caustic taste. When I got into bed it took me ages to drop off and my sleep was fragmented and when I woke up this morning I felt kinda rough, with my stomach sloshing around and feeling bleurgh. A non drinking friend has advised me to stick to lemonade in future, I think this may be the right decision, it just doesn’t feel fair to feel bad when I’ve not been drinking.
2. I’m Getting Old
I was older than the vast majority of people out last night by the better part of a decade. Oy vey!
3. Swansea is Dead Now
Despite it being a Friday night and the first couple of weeks of a new university year, Swansea was pretty quiet last night. We checked out this new bar, Underground, which was pretty much empty. Drunk Chris would’ve probably hung around their longer because of the foxy barmaid who sported a Suicide Girl style cleavage/chest tattoo, but Sober Chris decided life was too short and we cut out of there fairly quick.
The Potters’ was heaving, but that’s the norm. The place that’s taken over from Flares, Koopas was pretty atmosphere-free too. It had 2 rooms like in Face/Off and neither seemed to be generating much enthusiasm from the punters. We ditched there too and hit Sin City, which had more people in, but the indie room was pretty quiet there too, and while the metal room got going a bit it still felt very lacklustre.
I know Thursday is the big student night, but still, I expected more people to be out. When I first started going out Friday’s were heaving, but now it all seems to be concentrated on Wind Street and the Kingsway seems to be a ghost town.
4. I Can Dance Sober (Well, kinda)
I love dancing. It is one of my favourite parts of going out.
I have no skill at it, and a very loose grasp of rhythm, but I make up for it with enthusiasm and energy. However, I’ve always needed to get my buzz on in order to (a) give myself an excuse for my rubbish moves and (b) feel less self-conscious, despite knowing that nobody really cares what I’m doing.
Anyway, I was worried that I couldn’t do it without Dutch courage, and foresaw a boring night of loitering by the sidelines. It didn’t help that it was just me and Rich out, and he’s not the biggest dancer. However, we came downstairs just as the Beastie Boys’ awesome “Intergalactic” kicked in and we both started dancing.
I danced a fair bit after that, both with Rich and without, and really enjoyed myself. I think it might be because I’m getting older, or because I’ve lost a bit of weight, but I didn’t feel half as self conscious as I used to and I threw shapes with reckless abandon and no consideration for how stupid I looked.
Although I will admit, I’m still not comfortable dancing by myself.
5. I am a Wimp When Sober
Throughout the night I kept seeing this pretty, curvy girl in red. We passed a few times and I smiled at her, and she smiled back. Yet, that’s all I did. If I’d been drunk I wouldn’t have done anything either, most likely, or had I, it probably would have been mortifying and terrible, but I’m not sure which is worse. At least drunk I’d have taken a shot. Maybe I just need to get more confident and in time it’ll come, like with the dancing.
6. I Should Wear Less Baggy Clothes
Towards the end of the night I marveled at a fairly drunk girl’s ability to get down the slippery steps in heels after my Converse clad feet had almost sent me flying. It turned out to be her birthday, so I wished her a happy one and we briefly chatted, during which conversation she told me that “if I wore t-shirts that fitted better I’d look fitter”. She seemed concerned that this might have upset me, but its the first “Look better” advice I’ve had that’s suggested that I’ve actually got something to work with (I usually get “you’d look better if you turned the lights off” or “If you were in somebody else’s body”) I laughed it off, but it was quite nice of her, and I think she might have a point.
A lot of the clothes I own are too big for me (yes, they make clothes that big) and while they make me self conscious I have heard that baggy clothes on a bigger person actually make you look worse. Don’t worry, I’m not going to be pulling on the spandex, but maybe I should get some tees that are a bit closer to my real size, and not just keep buying bigger ones. Especially as I’m planning to lose more weight.
Anyway, thanks to that girl
7. Dancing Like Nic Cage Makes You Dizzy
To add to my usual moves (unbalanced pogoing, skanking, crazy legs, weird shuffle, headbanging, air punching and air guitaring) I tried something I’d seen on a video of Nic Cage’s best moments on YouTube (you can see the video in all its shouty, crazy eyed glory here). Basically its from Face/Off and is this weird hands on knees, round and round headbang thing. Its quite fun to do, but coupled with caffeine levels that could raise the dead it made me extremely light headed for a bit.
8. I’m Nicer Than Rich
At Koopa’s we got talking to this extremely foxy, but barmy posh girl who I complimented on giving a two-bird salute to some douchebags who catcalled her. She claimed to be from Skewen like me, but I’ve never heard anyone that posh there, or seen someone that hot. Anyway, she chatted to us for a while, and seemed a little bit heartsick over a friend who’d left with a girlfriend, as well as the posh accent making everything she said seem sarcastic. As she left she said it was nice meeting us, and nicer meeting me than Rich. I’m counting that as a win for Mrs Page’s baby boy.
9. I Have an Evil Streak When Sober
While in the toilet at Sin there was a fella next to me was texting while peeing, now, if I’d been drinking I’d have just thought “What a plonker! One day he’s going to drop that in the urinal!” and maybe cautioned him before leaving, Sober Chris, however heard Evil Chris pipe up with “Nudge him! Nudge him! Nudge him!”. I resisted the urge, but it never would’ve even crossed my mind while drunk.
10. Freshers Can be Awesome as Well as Annoying
I’m not sure how soon after graduation it happened, I think maybe a year after, but students begun to infuriate me. I think probably because they were living the carefree lifestyle I’d previously enjoyed while I languished on the dole or worked in unsatisfying jobs. Anyway, their habits began to grate, they seemed pretentious and insufferable, although I’m sure that people could have said the same of me as a student.
Yesterday we saw some examples of student douchebaggery, the clique system is more in effect in other universities than it was in Lampeter, although I think that was because Lampy was so small you kinda got to know everyone, and there were a few idiots out. But there was one incident which made me feel happy and more charitable towards them, because they showed me a little kindness.
Rich was off smoking somewhere so I was dancing about downstairs, alone, to “Pretty Fly (For a White Guy)” when this gang of students kind of adopted me into their group, they were goofing about and having a laugh dancing and it was kinda nice to have someone to mess about with during what is one of my all time favourite songs. So well done dancing freshers, you’ve helped restore my faith in students a little bit.
Any thoughts? You know what to do. BETEO