Tuesday, November 6

Things I've Learnt Since Clubbing In My Mid-20s

It's a bit of an on-going joke that I call myself a Nana, because some of my favourite things in life are puzzles, an afternoon nap, a good cup of (Biscuit Brew) tea, fresh bedding and cooking a nice dinner. Gone are my clubbing days where I'd get dressed up and go out until 4am. My idea of a good evening is having my pals over for a games night, or going to a cocktail bar where we can still talk and socialise. Benji & I also love cinema dates, playing pool, bowling and going for a nice meal, rather than spending our Saturday night in a club.

But here's the thing, being in your mid-20's means you still have friends who enjoy going out. It's a very odd transition phase in our lives, some of our friends went to Uni late, whilst others are getting engaged, buying houses and having babies. We often get invites to celebrate our pals birthdays for pre-drinks and a night out. Benji loves having a few drinks and going 'out out' with his mates, so once in a blue moon I like to go with him, especially if the girlfriends are going, it's nice to make an effort and get to know everyone. I often convince myself that "I fancy a night out" too but in reality, I always fake smile about how much I'm enjoying it, and mostly regret going in the first place. So, without further ado, here are the things I've learnt about going clubbing but this time, in my mid-20s.


Getting ready is the best bit
I'm a girly girl. I love my heels, lashes, a little black dress, bit of red lippy etc. I've quickly realised that it's not a night out that I crave, it's making the effort and feeling 100% fabulous for it. I pop on my favourite tunes, start my first drink, curl my hair and transform myself from Ugly Duckling to beautiful Swan. I love seeing Benji's face when he sees how nice I look too.

Pre-drinking (aka, pre's) is a great way to meet new friends
I love meeting new people, but I'm sometimes a bit reserved and shy when making new friends. Pre-drinking is the perfect environment to get to know new people, help make some drinks, share your chip shop chips (yes this did happen last weekend) and participate in drinking games.

I still can't remember how to play Ring Of Fire
Speaking of drinking games, I never went to University, so I never learnt the different games during freshers. The most common game which easily comes up 9 out of 10 times, is Ring Of Fire. Each number represents a different action, so if you turn over a 3 that means 'me', and you have to take a swig of your own drink etc. In your mid-20s, almost everyone knows the rules off by heart, purly from experience, but Nana here always loses and has to drink, because I haven't played enough times to remember. Excellent.

Girls don't wear heels anymore
I still can't get over this one. I went out on Saturday and I swear to you, girls hardly wear heels. They ALL wear crop tops, jeans and vans. Gone are the days you aren't let into a club because you're not dressed appropriately, this is norm now. The Nana in me is like 'genius, no more sore toes!' but the other half of me felt overdressed and disappointed that going out is really casual now. I'm sure bars in London are a different story, but Bournemouth has changed folks.

Why is the floor so sticky?
I honestly felt peak Nana when I asked our gang why the floor was so sticky. They all shrugged like it was really normal, but it's really hard to get your groove on when your shoes are stuck to the floor. Grim. Oh, and don't get me started on the bar too.

I've mastered getting served at the bar
Gone are the days I'd wait AGES to be served, I've got this DOWN now. The key is to lean really far over (it's easier for them to hear what you're ordering), whilst making plenty of eye contact. Works every time.


Don't stand on the end for the photos
I look at that photo and think 'wow, I look like a whale?'. A fish-eye lens is often used in clubs to get everyone in the shot, but if you're on the end, it makes you look a lot bigger than you actually are. I cannot tell you how many photos I untag myself in on Facebook. I must remember to stop standing on the end.

You have to PAY for photos now
This is new to me, but in Vodka Revs last weekend, we had a lovely shot of four of us at the start of the night, and the photographer asked for £3 if we wanted it on Facebook. Sorry? SINCE WHEN. Nah, I'll stick to my iPhone! I've never had to pay for the club photos before but again, times have changed apparently.

The toilets are THE place to make new gal pals
I not 100% sure what it is, but the girls loos are a hub of conversation. It's like we suddenly all love each other and there are no boundaries when it comes to sharing this love. I've found myself giving boy advice, sharing my perfume, unzipping playsuits, receiving compliments, adjusting bra straps, giving compliments, bumping into people from school, sharing a pack of gum and holding someone's drink whilst they pee. If the boys wonder why we take so long, it's because we're having a social.

I'm always the girl who carries everything you need
You know sometimes in a club there's a lady who sits in the loo with a stash of deodorant, tampons and lollipops (seriously, why?)...well I'm that girl in the group you can 100% rely on. I've got a clutch with foldable pumps, eyelash glue, a phone charger, lipstick...you name it, I've probably got it. It almost reminds me of being the same girl with everything in her pencil case at school (tipex, rulers, highlighters...the lot). I guess some things don't change. I've quickly realised that the girls in our group can count on me, a job I'm happy to accept.


Swap the clutch for a cross-body bag
When I started going out, everyone would take a clutch bag. Now I'm a bit older, it's all about practicality. I can't dance properly whilst holding a drink AND trying to hold my bag under my arm, so I've switched to a cross-body bag and I wear it like a Nana (of course), because if it's hanging off my arm I could easily drop it or have it taken off me (yes this has happened). So you can bet I've got my bag across my body, zipped up, full of everything I need. Very smug.

Foldable pumps are always a good idea
I've started carrying those fold-up pumps and let me tell you, they have come in handy on many occasions. Last weekend I used them to walk from the top of town to the casino, and now I will ALWAYS take them. I'm making a pledge to stop taking my heels off before the night has ended, because that's always a bad idea.

The casino is my kind of place
Gambling is like drinking, it must be done responsibly. I've been many times over the years and even though I have NO idea how to play any of the games, this is where we end up most nights we go out. When I'm bored of da club, I'll often suggest to Benji that we move to the Casino. They do beautiful cocktails, the atmosphere is nicer and I can rest my feet whilst Benji is like a kid in a candy store throwing chips across the table. We get free soft drinks whilst you're playing a game, so it's the ideal time to sober up and it's easy to get a taxi home when we're ready. Practical. Nana here knows.

Let's face it, I'll still be going 'out out' once in a blue moon, but you can't swap my high waisted knickers and dressing gown that easily. Now I'm a bit more experienced with clubbing, it can actually be a much more enjoyable night, but I just wish there were nicer over 21 bars in Bournemouth.
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