I haven’t posted for a while because, like you, I’ve been busy socialising again. Pubs are back open, sports venues have crowds, and the weather is slightly less terrible than it was in May. It’s good to be back, but there are a few things you haven’t missed. So as a lament to lockdowns past, here are all the things you hate about socialising.
Forgetting people’s names
Having not been outside for the best part of a year and a half, there will be plenty of you in new environments, attempting to make new friends. However, you fall at the first hurdle. You concentrate so hard on saying your own name correctly that you completely forget to listen to the other person’s. Now, you have three options: 1) later in the evening, boldly ask them to remind you of their name and try to actually retain it this time; 2) ask someone else what their name is; or 3) accept that this potential friendship is terminated and start again with someone else.
Having to be organised enough to book places weeks in advance is rubbish. If you’re lucky, someone in your friendship group will be thinking ahead, but half of your friends don’t know what they’re doing tomorrow, let alone in three weeks on a Friday evening. This problem has been exacerbated by the Euros football which you forgot was happening until too late.
Not prebooking places
Conversely, you also hate standing in a queue for an hour and a half to get a table at a bar which stops serving as soon as you arrive. It’s a tricky balance.
Having a table but being too scared to cut the queue
“My friends are already inside,” you mumble awkwardly, as you try to shuffle past a group of lads on their third queue-beer, before giving up and standing alone in the line for an hour instead.
You know it’s a necessary hurdle to overcome, but you don’t care what they do for a living, and they don’t care where you’re from. You have a stagnant conversation about lockdown hobbies (read my blog everyone) and you nod along as they tell you about their cryptocurrency investments.
You order another beer, desperate for the three-pint cushion to hit: the sweet-spot of socialising without being too drunk or too sober. You don’t realise as it’s happening, but suddenly the conversation is flowing freely, and all it cost you was an hour and a half of painful small talk and £17.40.
Speaking of which, having been cocooned at home for so long, you are used to buying your drinks at supermarket prices. Now, you’re paying four times as much for a drink that’s either way too warm or way too cold in a plastic cup.
After wearing the same pair of joggers every day, you now have to put on a pair of jeans and be reminded how uncomfortable denim is. You’ve also been convinced by your targeted Instagram ads to buy way too many new clothes and now can’t decide what to wear. You worry what people will think of your outfit, even though you won’t remember what anyone else wears.
Your clothing choices also had to consider the fact that for the first month or so, all the socialising was outside. This meant you had to assess the temperature, the wind and whether the outdoor space was covered before choosing the wrong number of layers. Great news if they had those big orange heaters, but woe betide you if it became your responsibility to turn it on every five minutes.
Were they always this bad? Was your tolerance always this low? Gone are your productive weekends baking banana bread. Instead, you wallow in bed, trying not to die after four beers and a round of tequila shots that nobody wanted but for some reason were ordered anyway.
You’re not sure why you do it, but after this long you can’t turn down an invite to a social occasion. So enjoy your socialising everyone, it’s good to be back. Mostly.
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